Spicy chicken mac ‘n’ cheese

2 chicken thighs
most of a box of macaroni*
1 stick of butter
1/2 cup flour
1 to 1.5 c milk
1 c sharp cheddar cheese
a good bit of Cayenne pepper (maybe 1.5 teaspoons? I didn’t measure.)
a serious bit of paprika (maybe a tablespoon)
salt and pepper
1/2 c panko bread crumbs
a few tablespoons sharp cheddar

Boil the chicken thighs. I might use more chicken next time, but it was clean-out-the-freezer day, and I had two thighs left. Once they’re cooked through and soft, drain and shred them. Boil the macaroni until almost cooked. Drain well. While the pasta’s doing its thing, melt the butter in a small saucepan. Add the flour and make a quick roux, just until the mix smells like cooked pie dough. Add the milk, stir well, and let it thicken up a little. Taste it and make sure it’s good n spicy. Turn off the heat and add the cheese, Cayenne, and paprika. Mix it with the drained pasta and shredded chicken and add that glorious slop to a well-oiled baking dish. Toast the panko with a little butter and salt, then sprinkle it on top of the casserole. Add the extra cheese, too. Bake it at 350 for, like, 15 minutes, until the cheese is alllllllll gooey, just how we like it.

I seriously felt like Paula Deen the entire time I was making this. Comfort food to the EXTREEEEEEEME!

*It’s midterms, so you’ll be craving mac n cheese this weekend. Save some for yourself.

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