Buffalo Chicken Mac and Cheese with Bacon

I love that Buffalo chicken dip at any gathering and who doesn’t like Mac and cheese? This recipe is a mix of the two and will be a guaranteed hit at your next get-together.

I “Sous Vide’d” the chicken at 165ºF for 2 hours first but it’s not necessary. You can start with step three and just add an hour to the simmering process as explained below.

This recipe won runner up of a Mac and Cheese competition. Enjoy!

Ingredients

1 pound Elbow Pasta

1 pound Sharp Cheddar (No Mild or Extra Sharp here)

1 pound of boneless chicken thighs

1/2 pound of Pepper Jack (I used Jalapeño Pepper Jack)

1 slice of Bacon (For Flavor)

1 small Sweet Onion

3/4 cups of Franks Red Hot Wings Buffalo Hot Sauce

2 1/2 cups of Half and Half

1 pound of Sharp Cheddar Cheese cut up into cubes

1/2 pound of Pepper Jack cut up into cubes

2/3 cup Sour Cream (Get full fat!)

1 cup Panko

2 tablespoons Lawry’s Season Salt (Any variations of Season salt will do)

2 tablespoons dry mustard

2 tablespoons of all-purpose flour

7 tablespoons unsalted butter

Optional: 1 cup of chicken stock if not cooking Sous Vide

Directions

  1. Season the chicken with Season Salt.
  2. Bag up the chicken in zip lock bags and place into Sous Vide bath at 165ºF for 2 hours.
  3. Pre-heat oven to 350ºF
  4. Boil pasta by following the boxes instructions
  5. Cut up sweet onion finely and sauté in 3 tablespoons of butter. Be careful not to burn the butter, keep at medium heat.
  6. Once fragrant add slice of bacon. Simmer for 10 minutes.
  7. In the meantime melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a saucepan over medium heat.
  8. Stir in flour and mustard until smooth. Whisk in half-and-half and add half of the buffalo sauce until thick. Add the cheese and sour cream until smooth.
  9. Add chicken to frying pan with the other half of buffalo sauce. (If you did not cook Sous Vide first, simmer for 1 hour covered with 1 cup of chicken stock)
  10. Simmer chicken covered for 30 minutes
  11. Place chicken in a large mixing bowl and mix and shred chicken. Feel free to mix in a little more buffalo sauce at this stage to give it a little more oomph, but not too much to make it too liquidity.
  12. Mix macaroni, chicken mixture, and cheese sauce in a casserole dish
  13. Melt the remaining butter and stir with Panko. Sprinkle over macaroni and bake until you see bubbles, about 30 to 40 minutes. Make sure to let the dish sit for 10 minutes before eating or serving
  14. Enjoy!
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