Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Baked Buffalo Chicken Pasta

I've said it a few times I'm sure that my son is enthralled with mac and cheese, so when I saw this in my Google Reader, I knew I wanted to try it soon.

As he saw me pour the wing sauce into the dish, my husband asked, "Is this going to be too S-P-I-C-Y?" to which I replied, "I sure hope not!"  Then, as it was cooking, that delicious hot sauce smell was pretty strong; I got really worried again.

But all the boys enjoyed it--the medium one liked it, maybe because I called it "mac and cheese."  The little one liked it, but I don't think either of the boys liked the chicken so much.  Even the big one, who doesn't like mac and cheese at all enjoyed it.  And I liked it a lot too!

I grilled my chicken this time around, since I figured it would be the fastest way to get them done, so I was happy to have some wings without the fry!

Baked Buffalo Chicken Pasta  Source:  How Sweet It Is
serves 4-6
1 pound pasta (I used whole wheat orecchiette)
3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cooked and cut into chunks
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon flour
1 1/2 cups milk

4 ounces grated monterey jack cheese (I used half a brick) + more for topping
1/3 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese + more for topping
1/3 cup buffalo wing sauce
1/3 cup panko bread crumbs
salt and pepper to taste
for garnish: 3/4 cup chopped green onions, 1/2 cup fresh cilantro, 1/2 cup gorgonzola cheese, additional buffalo wing sauce
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Prepare water for pasta and cook according to directions.
While pasta is cooking, heat a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the butter, and once it’s melted and bubbly add the flour. Whisk together to create a roux and cook for 1-2 minutes until mixture gets a bit golden in color. Add milk, stir and turn down heat to low. Continue stirring until milk thickens. Add in grated cheeses and continue to stir until mixture is smooth. Stir in buffalo wing sauce. Taste and season with salt and pepper if needed.
Spray a baking dish (9 x 13 is fine, I used a round 4-inch deep dish) with non-stick spray. Add pasta and chicken, then pour cheese sauce over and mix throughly until everything is coated. Sprinkle with additional grated cheese and bread crumbs. Bake for 25 minutes or until cheese is golden brown. Remove from oven and immediately top with gorgonzola, green onions and cilantro. Drizzle with buffalo wing sauce.

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