Lunchbreak: Spicy Mac N’ Cheese


Chef Paul Katz shares how to take Nashville Hot Chicken flavors to new heights, demonstrating the Spicy Mac N’ Cheese from Rebel’s Hot Chicken. 

IPA Cheese Sauce Ingredients: 

  • White American Cheese, shredded 3.75    lb. 
  • Heavy Cream 36 oz 
  • Sage, fresh chopped   8 leaves 
  • Milk, Whole   24  oz. 
  • Beer, IPA, Lagunitas 1  qt. 

Bacon Lardons Ingredients: 

  • Bacon, sliced 1/4″ thick, diced 1/4″ 2    lb. 
  • water   1  oz 

Cavatappi Pasta Prep Ingredients: 

  • Water, tap 1.75  Gal 
  • Salt, kosher 2      oz 
  • Cavatappi pasta, dry 1.25       lb. 
  • Oil, blend   2 oz (only if cooking a head of time and cooling) 

Nashville Sauce- Cayenne Pepper Mop 

  • Spice, Pepper, cayenne 6  oz 
  • Spice, Chili Powder 1/2  T 
  • Spice, Garlic Powder 1/2  T 
  • Sugar, Brown Light 2      oz 
  • Spice, Paprika 1/2  T 
  • Oil, Olive blend 2 cups 

Seasoned Flour Ingredients: 

  • All-purpose flour ¼  cup 
  • Kosher salt 1 tsp 
  • Black Pepper ¼ tsp 
  • Corn starch 2 T 

Spicy Mac N Cheese Ingredients 

  • Pasta, Cavatappi, recipe, cooked portion 32      oz 
  • IPA Cheese Sauce, recipe 32  oz 
  • Cream, Heavy  8       oz 
  • Bacon, lardons recipe 8    oz 
  • Chicken Breast, buttermilk marinated,1/2” dice 2  lbs. 
  • Seasoned Flour, recipe   1/4 cup 
  • Sauce, Nashville 8    oz 
  • Salt, Kosher   ½ tsp 
  • Parsley Chopped ½ T

IPA Cheese Sauce Procedure: 

 In medium pot, reduce IPA by 1/2 (3 quarts reduced to 1 1/2 quarts) let cool to room temperature.  In a heavy bottom pot, heat cream and milk over medium heat to light simmer.  

Wrap Sage in cheese cloth to form sachet, add to pot.  

Slowly whisk in white American constantly mixing until melted smooth.  

Once all cheese is incorporated and melted fully, remove sachet, and remove from heat  

Whisk in room temp beer reduction until fully incorporated.    

 Bacon Lardon Procedure: 

 In heavy bottom skillet place diced bacon and water and heat over medium heat.  

 When fat begins to render reduce to low heat and continue to render until just cooked, not crispy. 

 Strain of fat and cool, set aside at room temp. 

Cavatappi Pasta Procedure: 

In large pot, bring water to full boil, add salt, let dissolve  

Add all pasta at once, stir  

Set timer for 7 minutes, stirring occasionally  

After 7 minutes, taste pasta, should have no crunch but should not be mushy  

Pour pot into large colander, drain thoroughly, DO NOT RINSE, lightly oil (only if cooling before use) 

Nashville Sauce- Cayenne Pepper Mop Procedure: 

Measure all spices and place in a blender  

In a small sauce pot add olive oil, over medium high heat, bring to 210 degrees (boiling) add oil to seasonings.  

Start blender on low speed for 10 seconds then puree on high for 2 minutes to incorporate spices 

Mix with rubber spatula set aside. 

Seasoned Flour Procedure: 

In a mixing bowl place all ingredients and mix well set aside until needed 

Spicy Mac N Cheese Procedure: 

In a sauté pan, add cream, cheese sauce, bacon lardons over medium high heat and bring to a soft boil  

If reheating pasta-place pasta into pasta water and heat through for 30 seconds.  Drain well and add to sauce, if not reheating after cooking pasta and draining add straight into sauté pan  

Boil sauce and pasta together for 1 minute.  

While sauce is cooking, press marinated chicken pieces in seasoned flour, fry at 350 degrees until cooked fully through.  

Remove from oil, drain, season with salt, place in bowl with Nashville sauce and toss well. Make sure chicken is coated in sauce. 

Evenly transfer mixture into 4 separate dishes, while plating, make sure topping the pasta with some of the fried chicken pieces. 

Sprinkle finely chopped parsley onto the top of each dish 

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