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This recipe makes the smoothest, cheesiest, delicious mac and cheese ever. It is from America’s Test Kitchen, which is now my new favorite source for recipes. I cut the recipe in half but only used 5 oz of evaporated milk. It comes in 5 oz and 12 oz cans, and I didn’t think I would use the rest. And the little can was just so cute! I used six ounces of cheese, about half sharp cheddar and half american from the deli. The sauce was so creamy and saucy, like a queso dip. The one issue was that there was too much cheese for the 4 oz of pasta (penne) that I used. I decided to kick this mac and cheese up a notch when I saw a recipe for buffalo chicken mac and cheese. I also referred to Alton’s stove top mac and cheese recipe . They are almost identical except for the amount of evaporated milk and cheese.

My adaptation including roasting 2 buttermilk brined chicken thighs at 375 for about 28 minutes. I chopped them up and stirred them into the mac and cheese, along with a lot of Frank’s hot sauce and green onions. I saved the blue cheese for a topping.

Creamy Macaroni & Cheese
2 large eggs
1 (12oz) can evaporated milk
1/4 teaspoon hot red pepper sauce
2 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon dry mustard, dissolved in 1 teaspoon water
1/2 lb elbow macaroni
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
12 oz sharp cheddar, American, or Monterey Jack cheeses, grated (about 3 cups)

1. FOR THE BREAD CRUMBS: Heat butter in large skillet over medium heat until foam subsides. Add bread crumbs; cooks, tossing to coat with butter, until crumbs just begin to color., about 10 minutes. Season to taste with salt; set aside.

2. FOR THE MACARONI & CHEESE: Mix eggs, 1 cup evaporated milk, pepper sauce, 1/2 teaspoon salt, pepper, and mustard mixture in a small bowl; set aside.

3. Meanwhile, bring 2 quarts water to a boil in large heavy bottomed saucepan or Dutch oven. Add remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons salt and macaroni; cook until almost tender but still a little firm to the bite. Drain and return to pan over low heat. Add butter; toss to melt.

4. Pour egg mixture over buttered noodles along with three-quarters of cheese; stir until thoroughly combined and the cheese starts to melt. Gradually add remaining milk and cheese, stirring constantly, until mixture is hot and creamy, about 5 minutes. Serve immediately, topped with toasted breadcrumbs.

The Recipe: Buffalo Chicken Mac-and-Cheese

Ingredients:

1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast
1 pound elbow macaroni
1 tablespoon butter
4 ounces shredded American cheese
4 ounces shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1 cup evaporated milk
1 cup milk
1 tablespoon flour
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
16 ounces buffalo sauce
1/3 cup crumbled bleu cheese
Carrot and celery sticks

Directions:

Cube and cook the chicken and boil the macaroni. Heat the butter and flour in a heavy saucepan to make a roux. Add the evaporated milk and milk; stir until well-blended and allow to thicken. Add the American and sharp cheddar cheese; stir until melted. Add the onion and garlic powder and buffalo sauce and mix well. Add chicken and mix well. Pour the sauce mixture over the macaroni and blend. Season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle bleu cheese on top, and broil until cheese is melted. Serve with carrot and celery sticks.

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