Of course, we can't follow instructions like normal people. So, the recipe we ended up with, while it remotely resembles the original, has been... well, let's just say interpreted. For one thing, this mac & cheese dish
We chose to poach our chicken breasts (2 of them), cube them up, and toss them with hot sauce while they were still steaming hot. I've successfully used this technique before with baked chicken wings. The theory is that the "pores" of the hot chicken are open and receptive to the hot sauce. The pieces soak up all the flavors while you're busy doing other things.
prepared to sauté our veggies. We chose to tackle the sautéing in stages -- first the onions, then the carrots, and finally the garlic and celery. The goal here was to completely cook the onion, get the carrots to a crisp-tender state, and cook the celery just slightly (so that it would still retain some crunch). Cuz I'll be honest, chicken wings just wouldn't be chicken wings without the crunch of that celery.
When the pasta was finished cooking, we rinsed it with cool water to halt the cooking process, and tossed it into a bowl with the veggies.Then, we moved along, melted some butter, and made a roux with the flour & spices. I'm a big fan of cooking spices in oil to bring out their flavors -- so this was just one more opportunity to allow everything to come together in a big way. When the butter, flour, and spices had bubbled away eagerly for a few minutes, we added the milk to make our bechemel.
Sartori Reserve Dolcina® Gorgonzola (for that bleu cheese flavor we love with our buffalo wings). At this point, we tasted for seasonings, added a smidge of salt, and mixed everything together.
Then we poured the whole mess into a large greased baking dish.
After sprinkling some bread crumbs (from a piece of forgotten ciabbata) over the top, we realized that our gluten-free macaroni & cheese was no longer gluten-free... oops! You can tell we don't do this every day. Fortunately for us, this dish would be just fine with a bit of parmesan sprinkled over the top instead of the bread crumbs. In fact, it might even be better.
After about 30 minutes, the bread crumbs weren't QUITE toasty, but the cheese around the edges was all bubbly and wonderful looking. So, we declared it done!
"It's like a pasta version of that buffalo chicken dip that we used to make," Peef declared after scarfing down his bowl of leftovers.
I sipped my IPA and smiled. Cuz there's really nothing better than being warm and satisfied on a cold, rainy January evening. And it's even better when the husband agrees.
Buffalo Chicken Spicy Mac
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