free run juice

buffalo chicken mac and cheese – with wine

One of my favorite places on the Upper West Side is Fred’s, which has some of the sickest mac and cheese ever made (not to mention carafes of goldfish crackers at the bar). Whenever I take my nephews there, they always get the buffalo chicken version which is pretty damn awesome. My sister attempted to make it for them at home and it went over quite well. This weekend I got to try it, and once I posted the pic on Instagram and Twitter people were clamoring for the recipe so I got it straight from the source.

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Here’s the rough recipe – no measurements or anything, so just improvise! (If you really need measurements, I searched for some recipes and this one seems ok but it was hard to find a decent one since others used gross things like whole grain pasta and cheddar cheese soup – ugh!)

1.      Put chicken tenders in a baking dish and coat them with hot buffalo sauce.  Bake in oven on 350 until cooked through.
2.      Boil water and cook elbow pasta.
3.      Make cheese sauce by melting butter, whisking in flour, adding milk until warm, and then melting in shredded cheddar cheese.
4.      Cut up the chicken into bite-sized pieces and toss together with pasta and cheese sauce.
5.      Pour into a casserole dish and top with shredded cheddar.
6.      Bake on 350 for 10 minutes (or until hot in middle).
7.      Broil for the last few minutes to get it crispy on top.

So what wine to serve with this? Kind of a tough call. Usually for spicy food you want to go with an off-dry Riesling (the sweetness balances out the spiciness) or a rose. But we’d had a fancy cheese plate during cocktail hour and had opened a full-bodied Chardonnay so just kept drinking that. With normal mac and cheese that would be perfect. The hot buffalo sauce complicates things slightly, but was still really good with it!

fancy cheese plate

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