Friday, May 20, 2005

Buffalo Chicken Casserole

Buffalo Chicken Casserole (Adapted from Eating Well)

12 ounces whole-wheat elbow noodles
1 1/4 cup sliced carrots (about 3 medium)
1 cup sliced celery (about 3 medium stalks)
3/4 cup chopped onion
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into 1" cubes
1/3 cup cornstarch
4 cups milk
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 ounces crumbled goat cheese (use blue cheese for a more traditional bite), divided
5 to 8 tablespoons Frank’s RedHot

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

In a large pot of boiling, salted water, stir in pasta and cook until just barely tender (roughly 2 minutes less than package directions). Drain, rinse with cool water and set aside.

In the same pot, heat oil over medium. Stir in carrots, celery and onion - cook until the vegetables begin to soften, about 5 minutes. Stir in garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add chicken - cook, stirring occasionally, until no longer pink on the outside, about 5 to 7 minutes.

In a medium bowl, whisk together cornstarch and milk. Pour into the pot and season with salt - bring mixture to a boil, stirring often, and cook until bubbling and thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, about 4 to 6 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in 2 ounces cheese and hot sauce.

In a 9" x 13" baking dish coated with nonstick spray, spread noodles to an even layer. Spoon the chicken mixture over the top, then sprinkle with the remaining cheese.

Place into the oven and bake until the sauce is bubbling, about 28 to 32 minutes. Remove and allow to sit for 10 to 15 minutes before serving.

Makes about 6 to 8 servings.

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