1 stick real butter
1 cup finely chopped onions
3/4 cup finely chopped celery
1/2 cup finely chopped bell pepper
8 cloves garlic, sliced
1/2 cup finely sliced green onions
1/4 cup peanut or vegetable oil
3 lbs. boneless chicken thighs, cut in pieces
1 lb. diced andouille sausage
2 lbs. peeled shrimp
3 cups evaporated milk
1 cup canned chicken broth
1 lb. Velveeta cheese cut in chunks
2 tsp. Frank Davis Bronzing Mix
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
2 lbs. ziti pasta, cooked al dente
1 cup Parmesan cheese for topping
1/2 bunch parsley, minced for garnish
Start by taking a heavy 12-inch skillet and melting down the butter over medium heat until it foams.
Then stir in the onions, celery, bell pepper, sliced garlic, and green onions and cook them for about 12-15 minutes until they soften completely. But be careful not to let the butter burn.
At the same time that the veggies are sauteing, take a second skillet and saute the chicken thighs and the andouille sausage chunks in a scant amount of peanut oil over medium heat until they thoroughly brown and turn toasty all over.
Then take the skillet off the fire, drop in the shrimp, and toss everything around gently, allowing the shrimp to turn pink. When all the ingredients are ready, set the skillet off to the side.
When the skillet with the vegetables in it is ready, pour in the evaporated milk and the broth, mix them together thoroughly, and bring the mixture to a slow boil. Then drop in the chicken, sausage, and shrimp mixture and all of the Velveeta cheese chunks; then with the heat still set a medium, stir until the cheese melts and the sauce turns smooth and silky. For the most part, this should take you about 5 minutes.
At this point, sprinkle on and stir in the bronzing mix and the cayenne pepper.
Then take the pan off the fire and allow the sauce to cool until a slight sheen forms on the surface.
Actually, if you want to develop the maximum flavor in the sauce, I recommend that you make the sauce one day, cover it and place it in the refrigerator overnight, and then reheat it and ladle it over the pasta the next day.
But to be truthful, this is so good that'll probably never happen-you'll make it and eat it the same day!
When you're ready to eat, spoon out a generous portion of ziti in a heated soup bowl, ladle on the chicken/andouille/shrimp sauce, top with a sprinkling of Parmesan cheese, and garnish with a little of the minced parsley.
Of course, you know you just got to have some hot, crusty bread to go with this!
If you want to make the sauce extra spicy, instead of using regular Velveeta cheese you can substitute Mexican-style Jalapeno Velveeta. If you prefer not to serve the sauce with ziti, you can use almost any kind of 'sketti' you want-ditali, noodles, rigatoni, penne, spaghetti, the choice is yours.
To serve this recipe at a party, go ahead and make the sauce and pre-boil the pasta an hour or so ahead of time. Then place everything-covered-in a warming oven at 150 degrees for up to 45 minutes or so. This way everyone at your party eats at once.
This is probably the closest you'll ever come to real homemade cheese and macaroni like your Grandma usta make (without ever making macaroni and cheese). The kids will start to scoff this up even before their plates are put in front of them!
Finally, experiment with the principal ingredients. In addition to the combination of chicken, andouille, and shrimp, you can substitute roast pork, Italian sausage, smoked turkey, diced filet mignon, crabmeat, ham, bacon, crawfish tails, or any combination of two or more. It all depends upon how much imagination you have.
© 2018 WWL-TV