Thursday, February 9, 2012

Laura's Buffalo Broccoli & Chicken Mac n' Cheese

In honor of the recent Super Bowl, I decided to do a "sports" inspired recipe.  I honestly only watch the game for the food that comes with it.  My favorite? Buffalo wings!!! However, I didn't want a million wings hangin' around my kitchen.  My solution? I decided to mix the buffalo wing flavor with another food that I really love--macaroni and cheese.  However, macaroni and cheese is often a recipe for danger. Did you know that the Mac n' Cheese meal at Friendly's weighs in at 2,270 calories, 109 grams of fat and 3,320mg of sodium?  According to MSNBC, that's the equivalent of eating 46 Dunkin Donut munchins. Now, how is that FRIENDLY?!

The north meets the south in this recipe, and makes a tasty little creation. I've made substitutions to make it healthier without ruining the flavor. I also added broccoli to up the nutrient content. Enjoy it!

Laura's Buffalo Broccoli & Grilled Chicken Mac n' Cheese

3 T light butter
1/2 pound 100% whole wheat penne (you can use macaroni if you want)
2 cups frozen broccoli florets
1/2 onion, finely chopped
6 oz Tyson grilled & ready grilled chicken strips, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup, plus 2 T Frank's Buffalo Wing Sauce
1 T all purpose flour
1 1/2 t dry mustard
1 1/4 c skim milk
1 1/2 cups mixed cheese (I used equal mixtures of reduced fat cheddar, part skim mozzarella, and queso shredded cheese)
1 t Mrs. Dash Southwestern Chipotle salt free seasoning
1/3 c reduced fat sour cream
2 T reduced fat blue cheese dressing (I used Litehouse Blue Cheese w/ Kefir)
canola cooking spray

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and spray 9x9 baking dish with canola spray. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil; add pasta & broccoli, cooking for about 7 minutes. Drain and set aside.

2. Melt 1 1/2 T of the butter in a small skillet over medium heat. Add onion and cook until translucent (5 minutes). Stir in the chicken, garlic, and wing sauce. Simmer until slightly thickened.

3. Melt remaining 1 1/2 T butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Sprinkle in flour & dry mustard, making a roux. Stir with a wooden spoon until smooth. Whisk in the skim milk, and then add in the remaining 2 T wing sauce. Stir until thick--about 3 minutes. Sprinkle in the Mrs. Dash Southwestern Chipotle seasoning & pepper.

4. Slowly add in the cheeses, and whisk in the sour cream until the sauce is smooth.

5. Spread 1/2 of the penne/broccoli mixture into the bottom of the 9x9 (even8x8 pan will do, but will be full). Spread all of the chicken mixture over the pasta. Spread the remaining pasta over the chicken mixture. Pour cheese sauce over the dish.

6. Top with the blue cheese dressing. Bake 30-40 minutes, or until bubbly. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

Serve as is, or with a spinach salad.
Makes 6 servings--8p+ each

Inspired by this Food Network Recipe: Buffalo-Chicken Macaroni and Cheese

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