Buffalo Chicken Pasta Bake

Friday, September 2, 2011

Last weekend Mr. Schwartz and I attending yet another wedding.  Not complaining, just stating the facts.  It was Mr. Schwartz's cousin, Brooke, and she looked absolutely stunning!!  It is so fun to hang out with his family. They are so down to earth and hilarious.  Especially his little--er, well younger (he is one tall dude), cousin, Reece.  Otherwise known as the Reester Bunny.

Reece and I were chatting and he says "Krysten, your blog is cool but I can't make anything on it, wtf." (sorry mom, pretend you don't know what that means)  He went on to say that he only has a few things in his pantry/fridge as a college kid.  They include: chicken and buffalo sauce.  Reece, did I tell you I love you!?  I mean what else do you really need?  So, I told Reester that I would make something he could make and he should stay tuned.

I decided to go with this Buffalo Chicken Pasta Bake.  Yep, it's amazing.  I was sent a similar recipe from a high school friend Kieren, a few months ago and had yet to make it. As usual I adapted it just a bit, I always do, don't take it personal Kieren!! Thanks for sending it over!!  WOW, it is delish, I could not stop eating the little bit I had. It will feed you for well, a few days at least Reece!! I also will go into a little more detail on this one so that you can really nail it!! Enjoy buddy!! : )

Musical Selection: Young Folks by: Peter, Bjorn and John.  Seems appropriate. 
Start by first cleaning your celery, then dicing it up like this.  Don't worry about the pieces being the exact same size but you want to keep them fairly similar.
Next, get to work on your onion.  Peel it and slice it in half.  Next, cut it like I have pictured above.
Then take your knife through it the other way.  See, nice little dice on this.  Not hard.
Set the celery and onions aside.
Cook up your pasta.  Make sure that you do not cook it all the way you want it to have a little bite left to it since you will be baking it as well.  You can use really any type of pasta that you have on hand.  I would suggest penne or whatever the heck this stuff is.  I know, I should have checked before I tossed out the box.  Oh well, just use some sort of pasta that will hold the sauce--probably not spaghetti.
Okay, so I forgot to take a picture of my cooked chicken.  But, I seasoned it with salt and pepper and cooked it in a little canola oil in this pan.  But, if you have a George Forman grill you can cook the chicken on that as well.  Either way, make sure the chicken is cooked all the way through.  Set aside at this point and add your veggies into a hot frying pan with some butter or margarine whatever you have so that it doesn't stick.  You want a good amount in there probably about two tablespoons.  Also season with a little salt and pepper.
I added a little bit more because we are going to be making a roux.  Sauté the veggies until they become kinda soft.  I wanted a little crunch on the celery yet so that it would be kind of like eating wings and celery.  Nothing better right?
Then add the flour.  This seems weird, I know.  But add two tablespoons of flour or so.
It will look like this.  Weird.  Everything is kind of coating and bubbly.  You want to cook this for at least two minutes stirring the whole time so it doesn't burn.  You are cooking the flour taste out at this point.  This flour/butter mixture will thicken your sauce.
Add the milk and stir the crap out of it.  You want to get all of the flour bits off of the veggies.  It will happen, just be patient.
It will look like this.  Let it bubble and thicken a bit.  Keep stirring it.
Add the cheese....stir.
Add the buffalo sauce. I used my favorite Franks Red Hot sauce.  Unfortunately, there was not a ton left and I ran out.  I wish I would have put more in there.  Give it a taste at this point and see if you want to add more.
Stir in the pasta.
Pour into some sort of baking dish/casserole.  Give it a good spray before you do.  Top it with additional cheese.  Note that I used cheddar, mozzarella and blue cheese.  Know that you can just use one of these but I wouldn't suggest using only Blue Cheese.
So I made this big batch for my hubby and his football friends who were going to come over to do a fantasy football draft this week.  It got rescheduled so I froze it...hopefully it turns out next week when the come instead.  But, I did want a little taste so I put some in this little mini casserole that was my grandma's.  Isn't it adorable!?
Came out all hot and bubbly.
Top it with some green onions (optional Reece, don't worry) and it was cheesy perfection.
Uh huh.  Seriously addicting!!!

Happy Weekend Everyone!!!

Buffalo Chicken Pasta Bake 

1 pound pasta (I used whole wheat orecchiette)
3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cooked and cut into chunks
3 tablespoons butter 
1 onion, diced
1 cup of diced celery
2 tablespoon flour
2 cups milk
2 cups cheddar (sharp or regular) +  1/2 cup more for topping
1 cup Mozzarella Cheese 
1/3 cup buffalo wing sauce (or more depending on your taste)
salt and pepper to taste
for garnish: 3/4 cup chopped green onions, 1/2 cup blue cheese, additional buffalo wing sauce
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Prepare water for pasta and cook according to directions.
Season chicken with salt and pepper and cook it.  
While pasta is cooking, heat a frying pan medium heat. Add the butter, and once it’s melted and bubbly add the celery and onions and saute until they are tender.  Add another tablespoon of butter then 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. Add the pasta and chicken to the sauce.
Spray a baking dish (9 x 13 is fine) with non-stick spray. Put the mixture into the baking dish.  Sprinkle with additional grated and blue cheeses. Bake for 25 minutes or until cheese is golden brown. Remove from oven and top with green onions. Drizzle with buffalo wing sauce if desired.

1 comment :

  1. there Is No Step For The Chicken...


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