I knew this recipe would be a winner as soon as I heard the name! What’s not to love about pasta, chicken and cheese? And, it was very easy to convert to be dairy-free.
This recipe isn’t perfect for a busy weeknight, and does dirty quite a few dishes…but it is SO worth it! The heat from the hot sauce was just right for me. H added a little more Frank’s on top of his.
I found the recipe on Noble Pig. It is originally from Food Network Magazine. My dairy-free edits are in italics below.
My apologies for the photo – this just isn’t a photogenic dish – I promise it tastes much better than it looks!
7T. Unsalted butter (margarine), plus more for the dish
1 Small onion, finely chopped
2 Stalks celery, finely chopped
3C. Shredded Chicken
2 Cloves garlic, minced
3/4C. Frank’s Buffalo Wing Sauce, divided
2T. All-purpose flour
2t. Dry mustard
2-1/2C. Half-and-half (original flavor soy milk)
1lb. Extra sharp cheddar cheese, shredded (soy cheddar cheese)
8oz. Pepper jack cheese, shredded (soy jack cheese blend)
2/3C. Sour cream (soy sour cream)
1C. Panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
1/2C. Crumbled blue cheese (did not use)
2T. Chopped fresh parsley
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cook 1lb. of chicken breasts for 2o minutes. When done, lower heat to 350 and shread chicken with two forks.
Butter a 9 x 13 baking dish (my baking dish was dirty, so I used my dutch oven – worked like a charm). Bring a large pot of water to a boil, add the pasta and cook according to package directions. Drain.
Meanwhile, melt 3T. 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 1/2C. hot sauce and simmer until slightly thickened, about 1 more minute.
Melt 2T. 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, then add the remaining 1/4C. 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.
Put the remaining 2T. butter in a microwave safe bowl and microwave until melted. Stir in the panko, blue cheese and parsley. Sprinkle over the macaroni. 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!
Husband Rating – 4.5 out of 5 – I could have done without the celery, but I loved this dish!
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