14 November 2011

November Secret Recipe Club: Buffalo Chicken Macaroni and Cheese

It's Secret Recipe Club time reveal day again! I have no idea how it crept up on me so quickly. I'm quite embarrassed that I have not posted a single thing since the last Secret Recipe Club reveal! Oops. Things are moving along quite quickly here. Bender and I only have one more month in Winston-Salem and have been taking advantage of what little time we have left to spend with our friends. Alas, that means things like the my Fabulously Fun Food blog have gotten the cold shoulder. Perhaps when we are in Nashville I will have a bit more time to dedicate to this blog. After all, it has provided me with the support and outlet I needed when I was living in Germany. So, stay tuned after the new year for more frequent updates.

In the meantime: Yay for Secret Recipe Club. This month I was assigned the fabulous blog New Yorker by Heart. She has more recipes than I could possibly go through, and her newly update blog is very easy to navigate. Don't be scared when you open it the first time. According to Google Translate, the blog is in Danish. Never fear! Use Google Chrome as your browser and click on “Translate to English.” Easy peasy and you're good to go!

I found tons of scrumptious looking recipes on New Yorker by Heart. I debated between Asparagus Gratin with Asparagus Cream, Bruschetta with Mushrooms and Gorgonzola, Papperdelle with Mushrooms, Tomatoes, and Bacon, accompanied by lovely Garlic Knots, and Pasta with Mushrooms. But then I heard that Winston-Salem was having a Macaroni and Cheese festival and my tummy made the decision: Buffalo Chicken Macaroni and Cheese. How fun is that?

Turns out, changes can ruin a recipe. Oops. So, I'm going to walk you through my mistakes. Never fear though, the Mac and Cheese was still good. My cooking experience was just riddled with minor disasters because I was the idiot who thought I knew better. D'oh!

The moral of this story: Follow the Recipe! New Yorker by Heart knows what she's doing!

So, how to do this. How to explain my mistakes.
I decided to lower the fat. Always a bad idea. I opted for whole milk over half-and-half. I also left out the sour cream. In doing so, I left out the counterbalance for ¼ cup of Tabasco sauce. Oops! So, don't do that! And on top of that, New Yorker was smart enough to leave the Tabasco sauce out of the cheese sauce. That's one smart woman!

In this post, I'm posting the recipe from New Yorker by Heart rather than the one I used. I'm positive you won't be disappointed with the results!

Buffalo Chicken Macaroni and Cheese
adapted by New Yorker by Heart, originally from Food Network
7 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for the dish
Kosher salt
1 pound elbow macaroni
1 small onion, finely chopped
3 stalks celery, finely chopped
3 cups shredded rotisserie chicken
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup hot sauce (preferably Frank's)
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons dry mustard
2 1/2 cups half-and-half
1 pound yellow sharp cheddar cheese, cut into 1-inch cubes (about 3 1/2 cups)
8 ounces pepper jack cheese, shredded (about 2 cups)
2/3 cup sour cream
1 cup panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

  1. 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 minutes. Drain. 
  2. Meanwhile, melt 3 tablespoons 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. 
  3. Melt 2 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 and stir until thick, about 2 minutes. Whisk in the cheddar and pepper jack cheeses, then whisk in the sour cream until smooth. 
  4. 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. 
  5. Put the remaining 2 tablespoons butter in a medium microwave-safe bowl and microwave until melted. Stir in the panko, blue cheese and parsley. Sprinkle over the macaroni and bake until bubbly, 30 to 40 minutes. Let rest 10 minutes before serving. 
Check out New Yorker by Heart!


  1. Oh, my, my! I love a good mac and cheese and if you make it spicy....oooh lala. Must have some. Glad you included it in SRC.
    Check out my entry.... http://permanentposies.com/2011/11/creamy-banana-nut-cake-with-vanilla-bean-frosting/

  2. Looks great and wonderful to have you participate in SRC. Good luck on your move!

  3. lol We've all been there! I made a thai basil curry sauce last night (and strayed from the recipe) and it was SO spicy! I had to dump a ton of cream in it to cool it down. Your mac & cheese still looks good though!

  4. What a great dish, we would really enjoy this. This is a great pick for the SRC! Thanks for sharing and have a wonderful week.
    Miz Helen

  5. I saw a recipe like this a while ago and thought how much my Hubs would love it, but never made it. Thanks for jogging my memory!

  6. A great twist on such a traditional food. Great SRC choice.

    If you haven't already, I'd love for you to check out my group 'A' SRC recipe this month: Pork Belly Soup with Collard Greens.

    Cook Lisa Cook

  7. We all learn from little bumps in the road like this. But I must say it still looks fabulous and must've definitely tasted good.

  8. Looks delicious -- need to add this to my meal plan ASAP! So fun to be in SRC with you!

  9. I agree with Trisha, part of learning how to be a good cook is to know what to change completely, what to simply substitute and what to leave well enough alone! I suspect your problem is that you tried to change too many items. You'd have been better served if you had just changed one item, instead of all of them.

  10. My best friend loves anything flavored like Buffalo Chicken. She'd love this!

    If you haven't already, I'd love it if you'd check out my SRC recipe for Crockpot Apple-Cinnamon Oatmeal.

  11. Thanks for your kind words and please do try the asparagusgratin with the asparagus creme it's soooo good :)

    I have blogged since 2006, som I do have a lot of recipe and I'm glad that the Danish didn't scare you........

    All the best,

  12. In love macaroni cheese and I especially like the look of the cheesy topping. Also thanks for the tip about using Google Chrome to open New Yorker by heart. I got scared away earlier!

  13. I've been there too, you think you are doing okay, make a few subs, and they just don't work out. It still looks really good! I too saw a recipe for this back a bit and considered making it, you've jogged my memory as well, great post!

  14. Ah yes, I had the same problems with my SRC post this month! Had to do a few trials and errors to get the recipe right. I love the idea of Buffalo Chicken Macaroni and Cheese, it is my two favourite things in one!

  15. ooooooh - that sounds yummy! I've been on a buffalo (mock) chicken kick and must make this before my streak ends!

  16. ooey, gooey and cheesy, looks wonderfully delicious!

  17. I've been known to break a recipe or two, as well! sounds like a great meal for winter weather though.

  18. Oh goodness! Mac and Cheese AND buffalo........sounds amazing!!!! Thanks for sharing this recipe!


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