Monday, August 31, 2015

On the Wild Side

My family loves wings, and we take them seriously.  My husband likes the burn-your-face-off wings, while I like hot but with my lips and tongue still intact.  Our daughter loves garlic parmesan and our son's favorite is honey barbecue.

So why not put that wing flavor into pasta.  This is probably in my top five favorite things to cook...Buffalo Chicken Chili Mac.  I always make up a big casserole and end up eating the leftovers every day for lunch until it's gone.  I just love it so much!  The rest of my family will eat it the night I serve it and then they're done with it.  But who cares!  I get it all to myself!  And I always add more wing sauce and Ranch to mine.  Just 'cause I can.

What's your favorite wing flavor?

2 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cubed
2 T butter
Olive oil
1 lb penne pasta (or your favorite)
1 onion, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
2 stalk celery, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 T smoked paprika
One 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
1 bay leaf
1/2 to 1 C buffalo sauce (depends on how hot you want it)
2 C chicken stock
Salt & pepper, to taste
8 ounces shredded Pepper Jack cheese
Blue cheese crumbles, if desired
Sliced green onions, if desired
Ranch dressing, if desired

Cook pasta according to directions.  

Preheat a large skillet or dutch oven to medium high heat and melt the butter and drizzle in some olive oil.  Cook the onion, carrots, and celery until they are tender.  Add in the chicken and more olive oil, if necessary, and cook the chicken until it's done, about 5-7 minutes.  Add in the tomatoes, garlic, chicken stock, paprika, bay leaf, and buffalo sauce (I use about a cup of buffalo sauce) and season with salt and pepper, to taste.  Bring the sauce to a boil and then reduce the heat slightly.  Cook for about 15 minutes, stirring frequently, until the sauce is thick.  Remove the bay leaf and turn off the heat.

Mix the sauce in with the pasta and put it in a 9 x 13 casserole.  Sprinkle the shredded cheese over the top and put it under the broiler for a few minutes to melt and slightly brown the cheese.  Serve the pasta with some blue cheese crumbles, green onions, and Ranch dressing, if desired.

Adapted from Rachael Ray

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