Football goes hand in hand with all kinds of bar foods, especially buffalo chicken. Places like Hooter’s are known for dishing out buffalo wings in various degrees of spiciness as accompaniments to the sports games being broadcasted on the many television sets. Here is one recipe that celebrates buffalo chicken while combining it with another bar food staple, macaroni and cheese:
Buffalo Chicken Mac & Cheese
Source: Adapted from Food Network Magazine
8 oz macaroni pasta
For the chicken
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 2 Tbsp butter
- 1 tsp minced garlic
- 1 large chicken breast
- ~1/2 cup hot sauce
For the sauce
- 1 Tbsp butter
- 1 Tbsp flour
- 1 tsp dry mustard
- 1 1/4 cup heavy cream
- 2 Tbsp hot sauce
- 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- 4 oz cream cheese
- 1/4 cup sour cream
For the topping
- 1/4 cup bread crumbs
- 1 Tbsp butter, melted
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and butter a 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil; add the pasta and cook until al dente, about 7 minutes. Drain.
- For the chicken: Meanwhile, cut chicken into chunks and season with salt and pepper. Melt butter and olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and cook until translucent. Stir in the chicken and cook 5 minutes or until no longer pink. Add hot sauce and simmer until slightly thickened, about 1 more minute.
- For the sauce: Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the flour and mustard and mix together until smooth. Whisk in the heavy cream. Once the cream comes to a boil whisk in the hot sauce, cheddar cheese, and cream cheese. Whisk in the sour cream once all the cheeses are melted.
- For the topping: Combine the bread crumbs and melted butter until the crumbs are evenly coated with butter.
- Combine the pasta, chicken, and sauce. Pour into baking dish and top with bread crumbs. Bake for 10-15 minutes or until golden brown.
The dish does a great job of combining the flavors of buffalo chicken with the cheesiest kind of macaroni and cheese. You get a pasta that is creamy from the combination of sour cream and cream cheese, spicy from the hot sauce, crunchy from the bread topping, and sharp from the cheddar cheese. To make this dish more of an appetizer, you can spoon the pasta into the cavities of a mini cupcake/muffin pan, then top with the bread crumbs, and bake until crunchy just like PartySugar did in their Mini Macaroni & Cheese Appetizer article.
Stephanie Diaz is the writer behind Confessions of a City Eater. For more on baking visit Confessions of a City Eater or send your emails to [email protected]