Ingredients Jump to Instructions ↓

  1. 2 cups unseasoned breadcrumbs

  2. 1-1/2 tablespoons cayenne pepper

  3. 1-1/2 tablespoons ground cumin

  4. Sea salt

  5. Freshly ground black pepper

  6. 3 large eggs

  7. 1 pound chicken cutlets

  8. 6 tablespoons canola oil, plus more as needed

  9. 1 pound elbow macaroni

  10. 8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter, divided

  11. 3 cups chopped onions

  12. 2 large garlic cloves, chopped

  13. 1/2 cup all purpose flour

  14. 4 cups whole milk

  15. 1 cup grated jack cheese

  16. 1 cup grated extra sharp cheddar cheese

  17. 1 cup creamy and crumbly blue cheese (recommended: Maytag Blue ), crumbled, plus more for garnish, if desired

  18. 2 teaspoons paprika

  19. 1 cup Frank's RedHot Original or other hot pepper sauce

  20. 1 stalk celery, finely diced

Instructions Jump to Ingredients ↑

  1. From classic stovetop shells to leek-and-cheddar penne , I've never met a mac and cheese I don't like. But the recipe I'd been craving most of all was one that, up until recently, only lived in my imagination: buffalo chicken macaroni and cheese. In a medium bowl, combine the breadcrumbs, salt, cumin, cayenne, and pepper. Beat eggs in a shallow bowl. Coat chicken pieces with the breadcrumbs, dip in the eggs, then coat again with the breadcrumbs; place on a plate. Repeat with the remaining chicken.

  2. In a large, heavy skillet, heat 1/4 cup canola oil over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add two of the chicken tenders and cook, turning once, until golden, about 3 minutes. Repeat with the remaining chicken, adding more oil if necessary. Using a slotted spoon, transfer cooked chicken to paper towels to drain. Cut into 1-inch pieces; set aside.

  3. Cook macaroni in a large pot of boiling salted water until pasta is tender but not quite cooked through, about 6 minutes. Drain; transfer to very large bowl.

  4. Melt 6 tablespoons butter in same large pot over medium heat. Add chopped onions and garlic. Cover; sauté until onions are soft but not brown, stirring often, about 6 minutes. Add flour; stir 2 minutes. Gradually whisk in milk. Bring to boil, whisking frequently. Reduce heat and simmer sauce 2 minutes. Add all cheeses, paprika, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper. Whisk until cheeses melt and sauce is smooth, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat. Season to taste with more salt and pepper, if needed. Mix cheese sauce into macaroni. Mix in half the chicken pieces. Mound mixture in 13x9x2-inch glass baking dish.

  5. Preheat oven to 350°F. Bake macaroni uncovered until heated through, about 25 minutes.

  6. Meanwhile, stir hot pepper sauce and remaining 2 tablespoons butter in small saucepan over medium heat until butter melts.

  7. Remove macaroni from oven and top with remaining chicken pieces, then spoon 4 tablespoons of hot pepper and butter sauce over macaroni. Bake for 5-7 more minutes.

  8. Sprinkle top of macaroni with finely diced celery and more blue cheese crumbles; serve immediately, passing around extra hot pepper sauce.


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