16 November 2015

Eats: buffalo chicken dip

I’m fairly certain that all of blogland is a hot second away from posting all their best fall recipes – bourbon pecan pie tartlets, prosciutto-wrapped acorn squash with brown butter glaze, the most amazing smoked-then-deep-fried turkey. It’s coming. I can feel it.

(PS do those recipes actually exist? I made them up, but now my mouth is watering.)

But before we dive headfirst into Thanksgiving and don’t look up from holiday recipes until January, I want to offer another, oft-overlooked seasonal food: sports grub. It’s just as unhealthy as Thanksgiving food, but just feels right when you’re eating it during a football or hockey game. And those sports are probably why Mr. P recently requested that I try making buffalo chicken dip.

Let’s consider this: boneless hot wings... with the ranch dipping sauce mixed in... held together with CHEESE... and served on tortilla chips. There is no part of that I do not wholeheartedly support.

The recipe I used called for canned chicken, which... blech. So I started by wrapping up a single chicken breast in foil and popping it in the toaster oven. I think it took a half an hour on 400 degrees?

No raw chicken shots, because I like you! And besides, wrapping up in foil means the chicken stays extra juicy with no dishes to wash.

Now, the other reason I wanted to try this recipe was because it gave me a chance to see about shredding chicken in my mixer. I’ve known for awhile it’s possible, but I tended to roll my eyes at that, thinking it wouldn’t do as good a job AND it created an extra bowl to wash. But I was short on time feeling curious, so I cut the baked chicken in half and threw it in the bowl:

It took thirty seconds of the paddle attachment knocking the chicken around before it started to break up:

Less than a minute more, and it was shredded! Seriously!

So yes. I am now a shredding-chicken-in-the-mixer convert. True, it creates another dish to wash, but I would much rather spend time washing a bowl than digging around in shredded chicken, you know? Also, it shreds it really finely really quickly – which I normally wouldn’t like, but with Baby P sharing meals with us, I prefer breaking up the big chunks. It’s worth it! Give it a try!

The rest of making the dip is so easy. To the chicken, I added two softened blocks of cream cheese and a cup of shredded Mexican blend cheese:

Those proportions are off from the original source, but I wanted a creamier dip for this potluck!

Also, another upside to shredding the chicken in the mixer: it’s easy enough to mix the rest of the ingredients on just by flipping on the switch! Once the chicken and cheese are mixed, it’s time to add equal parts buffalo sauce and ranch dressing:

Apparently a half cup of each is needed, but I didn’t measure (of course) – I just eyeballed it.

Mix it all up and, if you’re going to a party like us, transfer it to a serving bowl:

And... you guessed it... top with more cheese.

If you use an oven-safe dish, you can just pop it in the oven to melt the cheese just prior to serving. In the end, we just microwaved ours, which made it an ideal dish for a weeknight potluck!

So cheesy! We also had celery for dipping, but let’s be real... I ate it exclusively with tortilla chips.

So when you’re burned out on Thanksgiving fare in the next week or two (!!), remember this as the anti-Thanksgiving junk food! Though it might be hard to burn out on bourbon pecan pie tartlets. But if they exist, I’m willing to test that out...


Janice said...

Looks like a simple recipe made even faster with the mixer. Loving the idea. Recommendation: toss in more than one chicken in the oven and wha-la, you have main ingredient for next meal already cooked, no waiting. That is, if you don't mind reheated food for dinner. Some people prefer fresh. I prefer ease ;) ha