This weekend, when I was planning my menu for the week, I found myself drooling over almost every recipe over at Can you stay for Dinner? a gorgeous blog written by a very talented woman, and chock full of delicious food and the most stunning pictures ever (can you tell I have a blog crush?)
So I decided to try out one of the more simple recipes and make buffalo chicken macaroni and cheese. Here is the original recipe from her blog, and if you are going to make this I would follow her instructions Use mine for a laugh if you want!
You will need:
- 1 cup milk (she used 1% but I only had skim)
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1 tablespoon butter (I should probably buy salted butter if I'm going to continue cooking this much)
- ¾ cup extra sharp cheddar cheese (3 oz)
- ½ cup crumbled blue cheese (2 oz)
- 4 cups cooked elbow shaped pasta
- 1 lb chicken breast, cooked and chopped into bite sized pieces
- 1/2-2/3 cup hot buffalo wing sauce (she recommended Franks, but I use my favorite anchor bar!)
Now, the first thing I'm going to point out is that her recipe calls for 4 cups COOKED pasta. I have come to realize that I do not read recipes clearly before I jump right in to cooking. In my head for some reason I read that as 5 cups uncooked pasta. So right off the bat, I have about a billion times more pasta then I needed.
*I just reread her recipe, and in her instructions she DOES say 5 cups dry pasta, but in the ingredients it says 4 cups cooked. Hmm...*
But first of all, you're going to want to cook your chicken. I followed her directions to submerge the chicken breasts in water, bring it up to a boil and then simmer it. I've never boiled chicken before, but for some reason this creeps me out. Am I alone in this?
Cook your pasta (take a guess at the correct amount, I'm betting it's 4 cups cooked) as instructed on the box. Easy enough.
While the pasta is cooking you start making the cheese sauce. You combine the milk and the cornstarch and bring it to a boil. Be careful, this happened way faster than I anticipated and it got all clumpy and brown. I had to toss it and start over. So keep whisking!
Reduce the heat and add the butter, then the cheese. Simmer and stir until it's creamy and delicious!
Pour it over your pasta and mix it well. It was at this point that I tasted it and realized that my pasta:cheese ratio was wayyyyy off, because I could hardly taste the cheese. So I went back to the saucepan and whipped up another batch of cheese sauce, finishing up the block of cheese. Much better!
My chicken was cold at this point, but I chopped it into bite size pieces (not bite size enough, I later learned) and tossed it with probably 1/2 a cup of hot sauce.
Then I mixed it into the five pounds of pasta I made, tossed a few crumbles of gorgonzola on top and voila!
I was too nervous to try it then and there, so I covered it up, popped it in the fridge until the following night when I reheated it for dinner.
Overall it was good, though not overwhelmingly amazing. I bet her recipe came out much better than mine, and I plan on trying this again sometime, but just following the directions a little more closely next time.
I just have to finish what's left of this batch first, and that might take awhile.