When I saw this recipe on The Greedy Girls recently I couldn't stop thinking about it. I was having a batch cooking day recently and decided to give it a shot, but first I modified the recipe so it was a little more Weight Watchers friendly. The key to making a rich sauce lower fat is to spread it across more portions - you still get all the flavour, but you're just making it go a little further. I then just substituted some of the full fat elements for lighter options, and presto... it was awesome.
This is a really, really tasty dish. It's quite time consuming to make, but it's so worth it when you get there. It's also super rich - I haven't been super good lately so my appetite has grown a bit, but every time I eat this I'm surprised at how full I am, considering it's only 40g of pasta per portion. I think I ate the last portion today, and I'm going to have to make it again crazy soon. New favourite recipe, right here.
Full credit for this goes to Amy from The Greedy Girls - I just tweaked it a bit!
500g chicken breasts = 12PP
320g macaroni or pasta = 31PP
1tsp brown sugar = 1PP
4 tsp Lurpak Lighter = 3PP
1 tbsp plain flour = 2PP
240ml semi skimmed milk = 3PP
170g cheddar cheese = 14PP
125g light mozzarella = 6PP
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
1 red onion, sliced
2 peppers, diced
2 cartons of passata
Two teaspoons of cumin
Two tablespoons of paprika
72PP / 9PP (serves 8)
1. Place the chicken breasts (whole) and the pasta in a large saucepan. Cover with boiling water, then add a few inches more water. Add a generous pinch of salt, and cook for around 20 minutes. Drain and set the macaroni aside.
2. Pull out the chicken breasts, shred with a couple of forks and set the meat aside. Keep the saucepan ready for later, too.
3. Meanwhile, fry the garlic and onion on a low heat for five minutes. Add the peppers and fry for five minutes more. Tip in the passata, the cumin, a shake of chilli flakes (depending on how hot you like you food), the paprika and the sugar. Add anything else you think it needs for flavour - I added a splash of balsamic vinegar and a spoonful of artificial sweetener.
4. Stir the sauce through the shredded chicken (FYI - if you struggle with the shredding, chopped is fine. I bought diced breasts so shredding them wasn't the easiest feat!). Season with salt and pepper and leave to bubble on a low heat.
5. That's the buffalo chicken part done - now onto the mac 'n' cheese! In a small saucepan melt the butter.
6. Add the flour to the butter and stir to combine. Then add the milk, a splash at a time, mixing well between each addition. You’ll end up with a thick, gloopy sauce. If it's too thin, add more flour.
7. Add around half the cheddar and stir to melt into the sauce. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
8. Preheat the oven to 200C.
9. Put the pasta back in the big saucepan and tip the cheese sauce over the top. Stir to coat the pasta.
10. In an large, ovenproof dish, layer half of the buffalo chicken on the bottom of the dish. Then add half of the macaroni and cheese on top of that. Top with the remaining half of the buffalo chicken mix and finally the rest of the mac ‘n’ cheese. Don't worry if your layers aren't neat, it's best all mixed up.
11. Tear the mozzarella up and distribute over the top of the dish. Then sprinkle over the remaining cheddar.
12. Bake for around 20 minutes, until the cheese is golden brown. This freezes really well - I might even have added another 2PP worth of cheese onto it when I reheated. SO GOOD.