Buffalo Chicken Mac and Cheese with Frank’s RedHot Sauce
Our IP Version of S’MAC’S Buffalo Chicken Mac-and-Cheese with Frank’s RedHot Sauce. S’Mac is something of a New York legend, an all mac-and-cheese restaurant started by Sarita Ekya (S’Mac = Sarita’s Mac). The place has some of the most original mac-and-cheese combinations we’ve seen. The Buffalo version is their top seller, so we had to make an IP copycat (although if you ever go in person, also try the Parisienne with Brie, figs, and shiitakes). We must use LOW pressure in this copycat because 1) we want to keep the liquid level low to avoid a soupy mess, and 2) we use small elbows which tend to stick and scorch under high pressure. For the original, the restaurant uses Parrano cheese, a Dutch cheese that’s modeled on semi-firm Italian cheeses. We’ve substituted the more readily available Gouda and Parmigiano- Reggiano, a combo that’s a close approximation to the flavor of Parrano. But if you find it (sometimes at high-end supermarkets), nix our substitutes and use 8 ounces (2 cups) of shredded Parrano.
Servings Prep Time
4servings 5minutes
Cook Time
25minutes
Servings Prep Time
4servings 5minutes
Cook Time
25minutes
Ingredients
  • 3cups chicken broth
  • 1cup bottled Frank’s RedHot sauce
  • 8oz boneless, skinless chicken breasts(1/2 pound) cut into 1-inch cubes,
  • 1/2 stick butter(1/4 cup or 4 tablespoons) butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1lb raw dried small elbow macaroni
  • 1 1/4cups light cream or half-and-half
  • 2tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 1/4tsp grated nutmeg or ⅛ground nutmeg
  • 6oz shredded semi-firm Gouda cheese1 1/2 cups
  • 1oz finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano1/2 cup
  • crumbled blue cheesefor garnishing
Instructions
  1. Press SAUTÉ and set for MEDIUM, NORMAL, OR CUSTOM 300°F. Set the time for 10 minutes.
  2. Pour the broth and Frank’s RedHot sauce into the insert set in a 5-, 6-, or 8-quart Instant Pot. Stir in the chicken and butter. Continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until the mixture is steamy but not simmering, about 4 minutes.
  3. Stir in the macaroni and continue cooking until little simmering bubbles begin to appear in the pot. Turn off the SAUTÉ function and lock the lid onto the cooker.
  4. Set Instant Pot for PRESSURE COOK or MANUAL on LOW pressure. Set the pot for 5 minutes.
  5. When the pot has finished cooking, use the quick- release method to bring the pressure back to normal. Unlatch the lid and open the cooker. Whisk the cream or half-and-half, flour, and nutmeg in a small bowl until smooth before you turn on the SAUTÉ function in the next step.
  6. Press SAUTÉ and set for MEDIUM, NORMAL, OR CUSTOM 300°F. Set the time for 5 minutes.
  7. As the pot begins to heat, stir the cream slurry into the macaroni mixture. Continue cooking, stirring constantly, until bubbling and thickened, about 1 minute. Stir in the Gouda and Parmigiano- Reggiano, turn off the SAUTÉ function, and use hot pads or silicone baking mitts to transfer the (hot!) insert to a nearby wire rack to stop the cooking. Cool for a few minutes to melt the cheese, then stir well and serve warm, garnishing with crumbled blue cheese.
Recipe Notes

Other Pots

•  For a 3-quart Instant Pot, you must halve almost all of the ingredient amounts except you must use 1⅔ cups of broth.

•  For an 8-quart Instant Pot, you can increase almost all of the ingredient amounts by 50 percent except you must use only 1¼ cups of Frank’s RedHot sauce.

•  For a 10-quart Instant Pot, you must increase almost all of the ingredient amounts by 50 percent except you must use only 1¼ cups of Frank’s RedHot sauce, or you can even double almost all of the amounts except you must only use 1⅔ cups of Frank’s RedHot sauce.