Buffalo chicken wings are a staple in many households at game time or on evenings when you just feel like something spicy to enjoy for dinner. However, creating my Buffalo Chicken and Cauliflower Penne will give you all the same great tastes, but with a few other tasty ingredients added to the bowl that will make your mouth sing. Cauliflower and penne pasta, along with saucy dark meat chicken create one glorious one-pot meal.
It’ s a layering game in this recipe, starting with browning some diced dark meat chicken in a Dutch oven or pot. I chose dark meat because “hot wings” are dark meat and I wanted to mimic actual drums and flats. Next, some onion and celery are added and sauteed in butter, along with the remaining chicken juices to begin building great flavor. Cauliflower florets are then added for texture and taste. Penne, chicken broth and hot sauce mixed with a tablespoon or two of tomato paste round out the recipe and bring on that buffalo spiciness. If you’re not a huge fan of heat, just decrease the hot sauce amount to something you’re comfortable enjoying. This pot of pasta is fun food — perfect for game night.
3 tablespoons butter
1 pound boneless skinless chicken thighs, diced
1 white onion, diced
2 stalks celery, diced and reserving the leaves to rough chop
1 small head cauliflower, cut into florets
1/2 pound penne pasta or other small tube pasta
3 cups chicken broth
1/4-1/3 cup hot sauce, your favorite variety
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1/3 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup whole milk ricotta cheese
- In a large Dutch oven or pot, add butter and place over medium high heat. When butter is melted, add diced chicken and spread out over bottom of pan. After 3 minutes, stir to brown chicken on other sides. Continue cooking for 4 minutes, remove with slotted spoon to a bowl, reserving butter and chicken juices in pot.
- Add onion and celery and stir. Sauté for 3 minutes and add cauliflower. Continue to cook for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add penne and chicken broth, stir to combine. In a measuring cup, whisk together hot sauce and tomato paste. Create a well in center of pasta and pour in hot sauce mixture. Stir to combine and place lid on pot. Reduce heat to low and cook for 10 minutes, or until pasta is al dente.
- Remove lid and add cream, stir. Sprinkle top with 2/3 of chopped celery leaves, stir. Ladle into bowls and dollop with ricotta cheese and any remaining celery leaves. Enjoy!