Friday, February 28, 2014

Buffalo Chicken Mac and Cheese

So, I have had a couple extra children staying at my house for a while. Two three year olds to be exact. And there is something I have learned about 3 year olds.... they LOVE mac and cheese. They would have it every day if they could. But, I like variation. So I have challenged myself to discover new ways with some of their favorites, to keep them eating and to keep my husband and I sane. Here is my newest variation on mac and cheese. I am sure I am not the first to come up with this idea. Most likely if I Google it, I will find several versions of the same idea, but we had fun coming up with this so thought I would share how we did it. Today's mac and cheese variation is Buffalo Chicken Mac and Cheese.

First thing's first. Cook your macaroni and your chicken. I think you know how to do that, right? Yeah, thought so.I won't bore you with the details. Chop up the chicken. Once you get that taken care of, combine them in a 9x13 baking dish, along with 2 cups of your favorite cheese. Like this! (note, I jumped the gun and took the pic before cheese, but you still get the idea, right?)


Now that that is combined, we are going to make the sauce for it. You start this by melting the butter in your sauce pan. Once that is melted, you need to wisk in the flour. Now, if you have never made a sauce like this let me warn you... Have the milk right handy before this stage. Unless you have an awesome partner at your disposal (thank you Super Husband) that will run and get the milk for you so you don't burn the butter/ flour mixture. Once those are combined, wisk in your milk. Keep wisking until it thickens. At this point is where I added the ranch dressing (or blue cheese depending on your taste) and the hot sauce. I am not going to tell you how much hot sauce to add. I would say that is a personal taste preference. But if you ask me, the more the better! If you ask the little ones in my house, I don't believe they would agree with me.  So this is what you now have.

Did I happen to mention yet that you need to chop up celery? Well, you do. And if haven't done so, I guess now is a good time to do that. Pour the sauce over your mac/chicken/cheese mixture. Make sure it seeps down in real well. No need to really stir it in, just jiggle the pan a bit to make sure it coats well. Now top it off with that celery you just chopped up and a handful of cheese ( that is an official measurement, right?)
Pop this baby in the oven preheated to 400 degrees and bake it for about 20 mins. Enjoy!

                                      Buffalo Mac and Cheese

                              3 Chicken breasts
                              1 box of elbow macaroni
                              2 ribs of celery   (see a pattern here? Breasts, elbows and ribs??Lame, I know)
                              about 2 1/2 -3 cups of cheese of your choice (I used Colby jack)
                              4 Tlbs butter
                              1/4 cup flour
                              2 cups milk
                              1/2 cup ranch
                              1/4 cup- how ever much you love of red hot sauce

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