Break Out the Comfort Food: Buffalo Chicken Mac and Cheese

Buffalo chicken wings and mac-and-cheese collide. . J. Kenji Lopez-Alt

Each season change I'm surprised how quickly the temperature seems to shift. For example, when summer turns to fall, instead of a gradual slide from extremely hot, to very very hot, to very hot, to hot, to a little less hot (okay, I'll stop there, you get the point), the weather seems to fall from the 90s to the 60s and 70s overnight. Any meteorologists or climate scientists around who can explain that? Is it all in my mind?

It's certainly what it felt like this past week in New York City. Two weeks ago I was dripping sweat in a t-shirt and shorts while hauling tomatoes and corn from the market. Now I'm contemplating breaking out my sweaters and putting on a scarf, and am starting to dream of roast birds and baked dishes—comfort foods that make autumn so...comforting.

To get some inspiration for what to make along those lines, I looked into our archives and pulled up this Buffalo chicken mac-and-cheese recipe from Kenji. Kenji seemed to be a little ambivalent about the combination, but I think this looks like a fine one-dish weeknight meal. You've got chicken, pasta, and a whole lot of rich cheesy flavor, with just enough spice from the Frank's hot sauce to make it interesting.

Plus, for those of you with kids, it's a great back-to-school weeknight meal that's ready in about 30 minutes. The season has come quickly, but this makes me feel ready for it.