Fried chicken baked Mac cheese collard greens

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For a spin on the venerable macaroni and cheese, we hitch a ride down South and accent our pasta with slow-cooked collard greens, spicy andouille sausage and the holy trinity of onion, celery and green bell pepper. Oh, and a sprinkling of crumbled cornbread really puts this one over the top. We think you’ll love it too.


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House Seasoning:

1/2 cup garlic powder

1/2 cup onion powder

1/2 cup seasoning salt

2 fresh chickens, each cut into 8 pieces

2 teaspoons ground black pepper

Oil, for frying

3 cups all-purpose flour

3-Cheese Macaroni, recipe follows

Sweet Potato Apple Chutney, recipe follows

Collard Green Rolls, recipe follows

Hot sauce, for serving
House Seasoning:

1/2 cup garlic powder

1/2 cup onion powder

1/2 cup seasoning salt
Macaroni and Cheese:

1/2 cup unsalted butter, plus additional for buttering baking dish

5 cups cooked elbow macaroni

1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper

3 1/2 cups shredded sharp Cheddar

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

1 quart milk

12 ounces American cheese, diced

8 ounces cream cheese, diced

2 eggs, beaten
Sweet Potato Apple Chutney:

4 tablespoons butter

2 cups peeled diced fingerling sweet potatoes (about 1 pound)

1 teaspoon ground ginger

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground allspice

1/4 teaspoon ground clove

1 1/2 cups apple cider

1 cup peeled, cored and diced Granny Smith apples (about 2 medium)

1/2 cup diced red peppers

1 packed cup light brown sugar

3/4 cup golden raisins

1/4 cup ginger-infused bourbon
House Seasoning:

1/2 cup garlic powder

1/2 cup onion powder

1/2 cup seasoning salt

1 cup vegetable oil

10 cloves garlic, smashed

2 stalks celery, chopped

1 onion, chopped

1 green pepper, chopped

1 red pepper, chopped

3 cups chopped collard greens plus 12 large collard green leaves, large center stems removed

3 cups chopped mustard greens

3 cups chopped turnip greens

2 jalapenos, seeded and diced

3 tablespoons smoked salt

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika

1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes


Special equipment: a deep-frying thermometer
For the house seasoning: Combine garlic powder, onion powder and seasoning salt in a small bowl.
For the chicken: Wash chicken pieces and pat dry with paper towels. Place in a large bowl. Combine 3 tablespoons house seasoning with 1 teaspoon black pepper in a small bowl, then generously sprinkle each piece of chicken with the seasoning mixture. Place in a plastic bag, seal and refrigerate for 24 hours.
Remove chicken from bag. Add about 3/4-inch frying oil to a cast-iron skillet and heat over medium-high heat until temperature reaches about 350 degrees F. Line a plate with paper towels.
Meanwhile, combine 2 tablespoons house seasoning with the flour in a shallow pan (save remaining house seasoning for another use). Roll chicken in flour in batches, dusting off excess, and place in skillet. Turn heat down to medium to prevent burning. Brown chicken on all sides, turning with tongs, until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the meat (avoid touching bone) registers 165 degrees F. Remove chicken to lined plate. Repeat with remaining chicken.
Use a 5-ounce scoop to portion out some 3-Cheese Macaroni in the center of a plate. Add 3 tablespoons Sweet Potato Apple Chutney. Cut a Collard Green Roll in half on the bias, and place each piece against the scoop of macaroni. Place fried chicken pieces against the front of the macaroni and cheese scoop. Pour a little of the pot liquor from the greens around the plate, then grab your favorite hot sauce and dig in! (Repeat with remaining ingredients to make 8 more plates.)
Macaroni and Cheese:
For the house seasoning: Combine garlic powder, onion powder and seasoning salt in a small bowl.
For the macaroni and cheese: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a 9-by-13-inch baking dish and set aside.
Place cooked macaroni in a large bowl. Toss macaroni with white pepper, 1/8 cup house seasoning and 1 cup Cheddar. Set aside.
Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium-high heat, being careful not to burn. Whisk flour into melted butter to make a roux. Continue to cook, whisking constantly, until a smooth paste, about 2 minutes. Turn heat to low and slowly add milk, whisking continuously, then allow to simmer for about 5 minutes.
Add the American cheese and cream cheese in batches, whisking, until melted and blended. Add 1 1/2 cups Cheddar, whisking until blended, then remove from heat. Add 1/8 cup house seasoning to cheese sauce (save remaining house seasoning for another use). Quickly whisk in the eggs until combined.
Spread macaroni evenly into prepared baking dish. Add cheese sauce, tossing, and stirring to coat macaroni well with sauce. Top with remaining cup Cheddar. Cover with foil and bake for 45 minutes. Remove foil and bake until cheese crust is browned, 5 to 10 minutes more. Allow to sit 15 minutes before serving.
Sweet Potato Apple Chutney:
Yield: 12 servings
Melt butter in a large saute pan over medium heat. Add sweet potatoes, ginger, cinnamon, allspice and clove. Add apple cider, stirring, then allow to simmer for about 10 minutes. Add apples, red peppers, brown sugar and 1 cup water and continue to cook, adding more water if needed, until sweet potatoes are soft but still firm and mixture is thick and syrupy, about 20 minutes. Stir in raisins and bourbon and continue to cook for another 5 minutes. Remove from heat.
For the house seasoning: Combine garlic powder, onion powder and seasoning salt in a small bowl.
For the rolls: Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add garlic, celery, onions and green and red peppers and sweat, about 4 minutes. Add chopped collard greens, mustard greens, turnip greens, jalapenos, smoked salt, baking soda, smoked paprika, red pepper flakes, 1/4 cup house seasoning and enough water to cover greens (save remaining house seasoning for another use). Cook greens until tender, 2 1/2 hours. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
Strain pot liquor from greens and reserve. Place pot liquor in a shallow pan and heat over medium heat. Carefully add whole collard green leaves and simmer until leaves soften, about 3 minutes. Remove leaves one at a time and place on a flat surface. Flatten a leaf and top with 1 scoop drained greens right in the middle of the leaf. Fold the sides of the leaf over the greens and roll the leaf into a log. Repeat process with remaining leaves and filling.

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