We loved KFC’s sinful Mac ‘N Cheese Zinger Burger, that fried chicken burger comprising a fried chook fillet tucked between mac-and-cheese-stuffed buns. But we thought, why even bother with buns? Why not just mac and cheese, but with an extra crisp surface and without need for deep-frying anything (we’d rather not contend with the leftover oil and the lingering smell of it in our homes).
So, we set about making a super tasty macaroni and cheese by using good quality cheese and adding a morsel of chicken stock cube to the mix (it imparts a lovely umami whisper to the cheese sauce). Spread out your mac and cheese so that it forms a not-too-thick layer — that way, you can cut it neatly into rectangles and arrange the chicken pieces on top. The layer of buttery Parmesan panko crumb topping gives the mac and cheese lots of crunch, as if you’d fried it when you merely baked it.
Of course, you could make your favourite fried chicken from scratch, but “convenience” is our middle name, so we picked some super crispy fried chicken morsels from the frozen foods shelves at the supermarket and popped them in the oven along with the mac and cheese (no frying!). To brighten the flavours of this rich number, we drizzled some honey barbeque sauce over the chicken. You can also use any piquant sauce of your choice, like your favourite Korean or Thai sweet chilli, or honey mustard sauce. Serve with a salad on the side — or not, if you plan on living dangerously.