3.21.2012

Recipe Wednesday: Shredded Buffalo Chicken!

Wednesdays shall be henceforth known as Recipe Wednesday.  Even though my darling dearest wanted to be cute and suggested "Wecipe Wednesday." I may have laughed just a little/almost choked on my carrots.

Before I started dating Hband (that's husband, by the way, just in case anyone was confused), the thought of hot sauce made my stomach churn.  The smell alone was disgusting.  My dad liked it on his enchiladas, and all I remembered was that pungent smell and the crusty, rusty ring it collected around the cap.  Gross.

I also didn't care for wings.  In fact, I'm not even sure I started thinking about them until I was in college and heard my brother talking about meeting up with friends at Buffalo Wild Wings.

But then I moved to Florida, and either it's something here in Florida, or wings are having a moment, because suddenly, every guy I knew was crazy about wings, especially buffalo wings.  I couldn't have cared less about them.  I didn't like eating chicken off the bone, and they smelled funny.

And then I started dating my now husband, who ordered hot buffalo wings every single time we did the happy hour 1/2 price apps at the Applebees with the group.  He loved them so much.  I can picture him now: The plate arrives, he stoops down and inhales deeply, then gives a little twitch at that pungent smell, and dives in.  Soon there is sauce all over his face and hands, and the smell will linger for hours.

I mean, he really loves those things.  So I thought the least I could do was try them.  I did.  And I LIKED them.  Yeah, I really liked them.  "What's in this sauce?" I asked. 

"Hot sauce and margarine, I think." 

"...What?! Hot sauce? Gross!"

But it wasn't gross, it tasted delicious.  I am now therefore a buffalo sauce fan... but not so much wing fan.  What, I just still don't like eating meat off the bone!  What are we, Vikings with turkey legs?!  We've developed silverware, people!

In an effort to incorporate buffalo sauce into our dinners but without bones, I found this recipe on Pinterest and tried it out when we were dating.  It was an instant success, and probably one of the easiest meals I've ever made, ever.  Plus it fed us for days.


Shredded Buffalo Chicken in the Crock Pot:
I found this recipe here, but I've tweaked it just a bit.

Needed:
  • one package of frozen chicken breasts (I use 2.5 lbs because that's what I can find and it fits in a smaller crock pot)
  • one packet of dry Ranch dressing mix
  • one bottle (I used about 3/4ths of a bottle) of buffalo sauce (I've used Ken's)
Directions:
  • Dump the whole bag of frozen chicken into your crock pot. 
  • Cover with sauce.  I've found 3/4ths a bottle gives it the right kick for me.  Hband likes more, so I put extra on his sandwich at the end.
  • Dump the packet of dry Ranch mix on top.
  • Turn the crock pot on low and cook for 7 hours.
  • Take the chicken out after 7 hours and use two forks to shred into pieces.  This should be easy after 7 hours-- it should come apart by itself.
  • Separate fat particles and throw those away.  What's great is those easily come off now that they've been slow-cooked.
  • Put the shredded chicken back into the crock pot full of buffalo sauce/chicken juice and cook on low for another hour.
  • After that hour, your chicken is done!  Use however you'd like.  Here are some of my favorites:
Sandwich:
Put the chicken on a hoagie roll of some kind.  I add pepper jack cheese and a little Ranch dressing.  Some might like blue cheese or blue cheese dressing.  Use your imagination!  This is usually the first way I use the chicken after cooking.

Pizza:
Make or buy some pizza dough (Publix has some mighty good pizza dough)and mix some Ranch dressing and buffalo sauce together.  Apply a thin layer of that mixture for sauce, then add chicken.  Top with pepper jack cheese.  This was a little too strong for me, but had good flavor. 

Pockets:
Use crescent rolls as dough pockets.  Apply Ranch dressing to the dough, then top with chicken and some pepper jack cheese.  Roll or pinch up so the sides close, then bake!  These were yummy!

Potatoes:
Bake up some potatoes (you can even do this in the crock pot for hours!), then top with chicken and pepper jack cheese, and maybe Ranch, too, or sour cream.

These obviously all have similar flavors, but that's the point: those flavors are delicious!  Instead of getting burnt out on buffalo, try freezing the leftovers (I did and it worked great!) and using one buffalo meal a week.  We had enough chicken for three full meals with leftovers of each.

Happy buffaloing!


xoxo, A