September 7, 2011

Jalapeno Popper Buffalo Chicken Mac & Cheese

Jalapeno Popper Buffalo Chicken Mac & Cheese

Adapted from Lauren's Latest

Serves 6-8


4 slices of bacon
2 tbsp bacon grease
1/2 large onion, diced
2 jalapenos, sliced
1 pound elbow macaroni

For The Sauce:

4 tbsp butter
5 tbsp AP flour
2 cups milk
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp nutmeg
2 ounces cream cheese
1 tbsp Frank's Red Hot Wing's Buffalo sauce
2 1/2 cups grated cheddar cheese
1 cup grated mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup grated provolone
1/4 cup blue cheese crumbles
1 chicken breast, cooked & shredded (optional)

For The Topping:

1 cup corn flakes, crushed
1/3 cup blue cheese crumbles
cooked bacon, crumbled


In a large cast iron skillet, cook bacon until crispy.  Remove from pan, drain on paper towel-lined plate.  Once cooled, crumble & set aside.  Pour off excess bacon drippings, keeping 2 tbsp in skillet.  Saute onion & jalapeno in skillet until soft, about 6 minutes over  medium heat.  Set aside.

Place chicken breast in pot of boiling water & cook for 10-ish minutes.  Remove from pan, drain on paper towel-lined plate.  Once cooled, shred & set aside.

Bring large pot of water to a boil.  Salt water generously & cook pasta 2 minutes short of package directions.  Drain & set aside.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In the same pot, melt butter over medium heat.  Whisk in flour & cook 1-2 minutes.  Whisk in milk, cream, salt, pepper & nutmeg.  Increase heat to medium high & continue mixing until sauce thickens.

Remove from heat.  Stir in cream cheese & hot sauce until melted smoothly into the sauce.  Pour cooked pasta & sauteed onions & jalapenos into the sauce.  Stir to coat.  Stir in cheeses & chicken.

Pour into a baking dish & spread out evenly.  Top with blue cheese, corn flakes & crumbled bacon.  Bake 20-30 minutes until top of macaroni has browned.  Remove from oven & serve hot.

Kim's Notes:

Let's talk about the cheese.  I felt like I bought all the cheese in Publix.  When I got home & unloaded everything, John said, very seriously, "Kim, I don't think you should use all that cheese."  It's like he doesn't even know me!  I used all the cheese, although I did realize while typing this out that I forgot to add half of the blue cheese crumbles.  Oops!

This recipe was really good.  I know, how could it not be?  I'd probably never make this for dinner or anything, but for a cook-out with a lot of guys, it was perfect!  I'm assuming it was a hit based on the fact that there was nothing left in the pan.  Surprisingly, it wasn't overwhelmingly cheesy or creamy.  It had an almost casserole-ish feel to it.

If I do make this again, I'll probably use less chicken, or no chicken at all.  It just isn't necessary.  I'll also spice it up more.  Maybe add more Frank's hot sauce & use a little cayenne.  And I'll change the topping.  I'll probably skip the corn flakes & use a combo of panko & breadcrumbs instead.  All of that being said, this is REALLY GOOD.  Highly recommend it for a cook-out, tailgate, Super Bowl party, etc.


Anonymous said...

that looks divine!!!

Libby said...

oops that was me!

ND said...

This looks so super delicious. I love Frank's Hot Sauce! I might try it without the meats.

The Blonde Mule said...

Libby: You crack me up with your anonymous posts, hahaha!

The Blonde Mule said...

Nichole: Re: Frank's - me, too! Def try it sans meat. The meat is totally unnecessary.


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