Friday, February 1, 2013

Buffalo Chicken Dip


Printable version
NOTE: For all my regular readers, this is the last buffalo chicken recipe for a while. Promise.

I was at holiday party back in December and someone had brought buffalo chicken dip. It seems like 90 percent of the time I have eaten the dip it has been made with to much hot sauce. I don’t mind the heat, it’s the acidity. It leaves a foul after-taste in my mouth.

Honestly, I have never cared much for buffalo chicken dip – until I tried it at the holiday party. The secret was adding more cheese and dressing, enough to balance the hot sauce. More mozzarella, combined with ranch dressing, cream cheese and blue cheese was enough to take away the unpleasant after taste. I nearly wiped out the entire crock-pot myself.

The most common recipes for buffalo chicken dip found on labels and manufactures web sites do not call for enough cheese to balance the hot sauce in my opinion. A half cup of Frank’s or Tabasco sauce goes a long way – there has got to be a good amount of milk based product to balance that out.

For this recipe, I add a cup of cream cheese (8 oz), cup of mozzarella, quarter cup of blue cheese and half cup of ranch, That’s 3/4 of a cup more combined than what you’ll find in most Buffalo Chicken Dip recipes. For me, that is the key to make this dip delicious.

BEHIND THIS BITE
Two weeks ago I made four different Buffalo Chicken recipes. I was inspired by some Buffalo Chicken Rub I had picked up at Williams-Sonoma. I wanted to mix it up and get my Buffalo on. I had intended to make the dip then, but I got burned out on Buffalo Chicken. I had to give it a break. I decided to wait until the Super Bowl got closer to make this.

Of all the Buffalo Chicken recipes I've made in the last month this was my favorite, I love how the creaminess of the dip works with the hot sauce. I use tortilla chips with this recipe but it's equally good, and a little healthier, with stalks of celery.

The irony of my Buffalo Chicken recipe frenzy is that I never made the one thing Buffalo Chicken is famous for – wings! Honestly though, if I’m going to make wings, I’m going to make my own gourmet sauce, like the Chipotle Bacon wings I made last summer. Buffalo wings are good, but to me, the secret to great wings is in a special gourmet sauce.

THE RECIPE
Party Dip; 45 minutes
2 cans Chicken (12.5 oz)
8 oz Cream cheese, room temperature
1 C Mozzarella cheese, shredded
1/4 C Blue cheese, crumbled
1/2 C Ranch dressing
1/2 C Hot sauce (such as Frank’s)
Tortilla chips or celery for dipping

Mix together and bake
In a 2 quart baking dish mix together hot sauce, ranch dressing, mozzarella, blue cheese and chicken. Bake in a preheated 350° oven for 30 minutes or until heated through and bubbly. Stir and serve with tortilla chips.

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