Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Recipe Review: Buffalo Chicken Chili Mac

I made this Chili Mac recipe for dinner tonight.

Surprise! Surprise! It's a Rachael Ray recipe! I know. I'm eventually going to have to branch out, but there's a reason they call it a comfort zone.

Anyway, I'd recommend giving this a try if you like spicy stuff. It is pretty economical, simple, and makes a lot of food. It's even the kind of thing you could make the night before and then just pop in the oven for a little while after you get home. I used regular macaroni instead of whole wheat because that's what I already had, but I think whole wheat would work just as well in this kind of dish.

That being said, there were some problems for me.

1) For me, it was bit too spicy. The recipe calls for 1/4 to 1/2 cup hot sauce and I only used 1/4 and it still overwhelmed the rest of the flavors. I did leave it simmering for a really long time because I started making dinner early when I convinced myself it was an hour later than it really was so that could have been a contributing factor. You be the judge.

2) It needed more cheese. Next time I make it I'll probably add close to two cups worth of cheese to it. I'll probably pick a milder cheese (like either cheddar or mozzarella) for the additional gooeyness and while I'll definitely keep the pepper jack and blue cheesy crust on top ( I added some parmesan to that even), I plan to poor the chili mac mixture into the baking dish a little at a time and add cheese to each layer. I think that would balance things out and hold things together better.

3) There could have been more chicken. Budget-wise this probably stretches a buck pretty well with less meat and less cheese plus more pasta, and it is definitely filling. I just think that even one more chicken breast would have made it feel more substantial. But I think that's just a personal preference issue. It's totally fine without it too.

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