An Open Cookbook

An Open Cookbook


Buffalo Chicken Dip

It is the first Monday of the month, which means: Recipe Swap time. Christianna of Burwell General Store sifts through a vintage cookbook for a unique and sometimes very unique recipe for us to alter and make our own. This month was 'Stuffed French Pancakes'. It entails simmering a creamy, chicken-based sauce that is poured into the center of a pancake. The pancake is rolled around the sauce and served with a ladle of Morney sauce. Upon reading this, my stomach kind of turned. But then in all fairness, I considered ham and cheese-filled crepes, realizing savory crepes are quite nice. This wasn't so bad.

Timing worked out perfectly with the Super Bowl yesterday. T was having her annual party and a chicken-inspired dish was the perfect addition to the snack table. Buffalo chicken dip seemed to be quite a popular topic in conversation at work this January, so why not make a cheesy chicken dip for the swap and the party?

My natural inclination is to use creative liberties to change recipes, especially if it can be made healthier or a little lower in fat. But keeping the spirit of calorie-dense food consumption on game days, I bought full fat cream cheese and regular ranch dressing. But I did at least buy Annie's dressing, and was pleasantly surprised to learn Frank's Hot Sauce only has five ingredients, none of which are artificial red food coloring. The sauce is naturally red from cayenne peppers. So all in all, not so bad...and quite delicious.

Super Bowl parties are about the socializing, the food table, and the halftime entertainment for me. Even though I am not football's number one fan, I do love a national gathering day that brings friends and families together. I was laughing with some of the friends at the party at how we only see each other once a year at this party. It is always a great opportunity to invite other groups of friends for a merging of friend circles. Although most people are getting pumped up for the actual football game, there are so many other great parts of the day that form and maintain the bonding spirit. Woot woot!

Buffalo Chicken Dip
Yields many servings
Inspired by an recipe

1 chicken breast
1/2 cup hot sauce (such as Frank's(R) Hot Sauce)
2 8-ounce packages cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup ranch-style dressing (such as Annie's(R))
1 1/2 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
1 1/2 tablespoons dried parsley

Bring a pot of water to a boil and add chicken breast. Cook at a rolling boil until chicken is completely cooked through, 10 to 15 minutes. Remove chicken from water and place on a cutting board. Shred chicken using two forks.

Heat a skillet over medium heat; add chicken and hot sauce. Bring to a simmer and stir in cream cheese, stirring continuously until cream cheese melts, 5 to 10 minutes. Stir in ranch dressing and cook until dip becomes smooth and bubbly, about 5 minutes. Fold in Cheddar cheese and parsley; cook until Cheddar cheese melts, about 5 minutes. Transfer dip to a fondue pot or slow cooker. Serve with celery sticks.