Friday, February 3, 2012

Buffalo chicken dip (just in time for the Super Bowl)

So it's official. Worst blogger of all time. Sorry y'all. Got a new job and life got busy and have been totally terrible about blogging. And here's a new one- but no pics. Yet. Maybe I'll make it for the Super Bowl this weekend and will sneak in some pics later. Maybe? We'll see. In any event- let's get back to it...

Most of the time, I think I'd be perfectly content living life as a vegetarian. And then I eat something that's absolutely beyond delicious, like roast chicken with sherry-thyme pan sauce (recipe coming soon) or buffalo chicken dip and I think - no way, what a terrible idea. I've been meaning to post this recipe for awhile now (sorry I didn't get it up in time for playoff snacks), but I wanted to make sure that if you had a Super Bowl party to attend this year (Go Pats!), you'd have a tasty go-to snack to impress your friends and family. And let's face it- buffalo chicken dip is practically irresistible. (Yes, obviously it's totally unhealthy, but I'm pretty sure calories consumed over Super Bowl weekend don't count. And if you're still clinging on to a New Years resolution, most ingredients in the recipe have low-fat alternatives- so feel free to use them if you can find 'em). The recipe that follows is a combination of several recipes I've used over the years. First, a brief note. If you Google this recipe, most of what comes back involves canned chicken. I have one thing to say about that: sick. I'm sorry- I'm sure it's easy, or saves time, or who knows what... but honestly. Canned chicken. Canned meat in general. I mean, really. Just don't. So gross. Here's my version:

1 c. cooked, shredded chicken (if you don't have time to bake/grill the chicken, get a rotisserie- one breast should yield just about enough meat)
1 c Franks hot sauce (or hot buffalo sauce)
1 c ranch dressing (you can also use bleu cheese dressing, but people can be weird about bleu cheese, so ranch is usually a safer bet)
1 celery rib, minced
2 8 oz packages cream cheese (or neufchatel, if you're going low fat), room temp--room temp is important or it will be hard to mix in with the rest of the ingredients
2 c grated/shredded cheddar cheese

The amazing thing about this recipe (aside from how delicious the finished product is) is that once you round up the ingredients, you're basically ready to bake it. But here are a few steps.

1. Preheat oven to 350.
2. Dice/mince celery rib. If you don't have celery, it isn't a must-have, but the little bit of a crunch provides a nice contrast to the creaminess of everything else.
3. In a medium-sized bowl, stir together softened cream cheese, cheddar cheese (reserve 1/4 of the cheddar for the top of the dip), hot sauce, ranch dressing, celery and chicken. 
4. Transfer to oven-safe baking dish, sprinkle top with remaining 1/4 cheddar cheese and bake, covered in foil, for 30 minutes (or until heated through and cheese on top bubbles).

Serve with tortilla chips, carrots or celery sticks. Of course you'll be out of chips first. (Though I think that goes without saying). And there you have it- an easy, crowd-pleasing recipe for buffalo chicken dip. If I can keep people out of it for long enough, I'll try to snap some pics.

And since the Falcons are out of the running... go Pats!!