Buffalo Chicken Mac & Cheese

A fun twist on an old favorite, Buffalo Chicken Mac & Cheese is sure to hit the spot for mac & cheese and buffalo chicken fans a like. Good as a side dish or as a one dish meal. This is a little spicy, but you can tone it down or kick it up based on your own preference.

Buffalo Chicken Macaroni and Cheese
Food Network Magazine
(Images and Recipe Originally Found by Chris at NoblePig.com)

2 Tablespoons unsalted butter (original called for 7 – unless your Paula Dean, forget it. It came out just fine!)
Kosher salt
1 pound elbow macaroni
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 stalks celery, finely chopped
3 cups shredded rotisserie chicken
2 cloves garlic, minced
3/4 cup Frank’s Buffalo Wing Sauce, divided
2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons dry mustard
2-1/2 cups half-and-half (or skim milk works fine too!)
1 pound extra sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
8 ounces pepper jack cheese, shredded
2/3 cup sour cream
1 cup panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese
2 Tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and butter a 9 x 13 baking dish.  Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil; add the pasta and cook until al dente, about 7 minutes.  Drain.

Meanwhile, melt 1 Tablespoon butter in a large skillet over medium heat.  Add the onion and celery and cook until soft, about 5 minutes.  Stir in the chicken and garlic and cook 2 minutes, then add 1/2 cup hot sauce and simmer until slightly thickened, about 1 more minute.

Melt 1 tablespoons butter in a saucepan over medium heat.  Stir in the flour and mustard with a wooden spoon until smooth.  Whisk in the half-and-half(we used skim milk) then add the remaining 1/4 cup hot sauce and stir until thick, about 2 minutes.  Whisk in the cheddar and pepper jack cheeses, then whisk in the sour cream until smooth.

Spread half of the macaroni in the prepared baking dish, then top with the chicken mixture and the remaining macaroni.  Pour the cheese sauce evenly on top.  Sprinkle top with the panko, blue cheese and parsley.  Bake until bubbly, 30 to 40 minutes.  Let rest 10 minutes before serving.  Drizzle with some wing sauce for color.

Garnish with even more wing sauce, blue cheese and sour cream if you like!

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