Saturday, March 31, 2012

Jalapeno Popper Buffalo Chicken Macaroni and Cheese

Make this immediately.  I totally did a huge happy food dance when I ate this.  I will say that the name is a little misleading.  It isn't like it really tastes like the poppers or the chicken, just the ingredients from those items make a ridiculously awesome mac.  This might be my favorite Pinterest find yet.  I would make a couple small changes (listed below, see link for original recipe) just to make it easier, but overall it was fantastic!  I don't know how she fit a full recipe in a 9x9 pan, mine was full with a half. 

Jalapeno Popper Buffalo Chicken Macaroni and Cheese
Serves:  4 (or 1 of me)
Calories:  About 3200 in full recipe (no chicken, my way)

4 slices of bacon
1 tablespoon bacon grease {reserved from said bacon}
1/4 large onion, diced {about 1/2+ cup}
1 jalapenos, sliced {ribs and seeds removed} (I might go with a bit more next time)
1/2 pound elbow macaroni

for the sauce-
2 tablespoons butter
2.5 tablespoons all purpose flour
1 cup milk {whole or 2% please}
1/4 cup heavy cream
salt & pepper, to taste
1 pinch nutmeg
2 ounces cream cheese
1 tablespoon hot sauce {such as Frank’s Red Hot} (I use 2-3 Tb Frank's Buffalo Sauce)

1 1/4 cups grated cheddar cheese  (I use Kraft's Shredded Triple Cheddar with Philadelphia)
1/2 cup grated mozzarella cheese  (I use Kraft's Shredded Mozzarella with Philadelphia)
1/8 cup grated provolone  (I just diced up a slice or two of deli provolone I had)
1/8 cup blue cheese crumbles  (It needs like 1/4 cup)
1/2 cup precooked and shredded chicken {optional}  (I included it, but won't again)

for the topping-
1 cup corn flakes, crushed  (Throw in a baggie and smash with a can or mallet)
1/3 cup blue cheese crumbles
{4 slices cooked bacon, as listed above}

parsley, for garnish

In a large skillet, cook bacon until crispy. Remove from pan, drain on paper towels and crumble. Pour off excess bacon drippings, keeping 2 tablespoons in the pan. Place skillet back on heat and saute onion and jalapenos until soft, about 6 minutes over medium heat. Set aside.

Bring large pot of water to boil. Salt water generously and cook pasta 2 minutes short of package directions. You want the macaroni to be very al dente, but not still crunchy. Drain and set aside.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In the same pot, melt butter over medium heat. whisk in flour and cook 1-2 minutes. Whisk in milk, cream, salt, pepper and nutmeg. Increase heat to medium high and continue mixing until sauce thickens. Remove from heat. Stir in cream cheese and hot sauce until melted smoothly into the sauce. Pour cooked pasta and sauteed onions and jalapenos into the sauce. Stir to coat. Stir in cheeses and chicken. Pour into a buttered baking dish {9×9, 9×13, or somewhere in between should be good} and spread out evenly. Top with blue cheese, corn flakes and crumbled bacon. Bake 20-30 minutes until top of macaroni has browned. Remove from oven, top with parsley and serve hot.

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