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Buffalo Wings, they’re baked, not fried!

These wings are so good you would honestly never know that they are baked and not fried. They are much healthier than traditional wings, plus you can make them at home! (We don’t have a deep fryer at home… yuck).  Seriously though, we aren’t that health conscious, but just the fact that we can make these at home is awesome.

The nice thing about these wings is that you can use whatever sauce you want.  In the original recipe they tell you how to make your own buffalo sauce, but we actually prefer to toss them in a bit of barbecue sauce.  Our favorite is Sweet Baby Ray’s Hickory & Brown Sugar.

Baked Buffalo Wings

1 lb Chicken wings (we use “party wings” or “wingettes”, that’s how our local store labels them)
1 TBSP Cayenne pepper
1 TBSP Salt
1 Tsp Crushed red pepper flakes

  • Fill a large pot halfway with water then add all the ingredients.
  • Bring the water and chicken to a boil and allow to boil for 15 minutes
  • Transfer the wings to a broiling tray covered in aluminum foil (or non-stick foil).
  • Place in the middle of the oven under broil.
  • Broil for 15 minutes, then flip them over and broil for another 15 minutes.  Finally, flip them back over and broil for another 2-3 minutes.
  • Transfer the wings to a bowl and toss them in your sauce of choice.  Start with a small amount of sauce and add more if desired.  You may be surprised how a little sauce can go a long way!

Buffalo Chicken Dip

This is a modified version of the recipe found here on allrecipe.com.  My big problems with the original version are that it uses canned chicken, which I just find gross. Plus it has you put it in a slow cooker to warm it all up.  That probably isn’t a bad idea if you make a ton of it, but I’ve found just heating it up in a casserole dish and leaving it out on the table it stays warm for a really long time, and it’s almost always completely gone before it gets cold anyway.  So here goes… Buffalo Chicken dip with updates.

Notes:

  • I have heard, though I haven’t tried it myself, that you can use Blue Cheese dressing instead of Ranch if you really are opposed to ranch.  As I’ve said, I never tried it.
  • For the cheddar, I definitely recommend using an actual block of cheddar cheese, not the pre-shredded stuff in the bag. I’ve tried both and the real cheddar version comes out much smoother and less oily.  I think that is somehow related to the coating they apply to the bagged stuff to keep it from sticking to itself.  I used the orange extra sharp New York variety, but not sure it matters much.
  • I like to split up this recipe sometimes and put it into 2 separate casseroles.  It does make a lot, and if you’re only having a few people over you may not make it through all of it.  Once in the casserole it can be refrigerated or even frozen (though you should freeze it in a tupperware) until later. This is also nice if you want to put it out twice say in the first quarter and third quarter of a football game 🙂
  • You don’t have to bake it in the oven right away.  You can make everything ahead of time keep it in the fridge and then pop it in the oven when you’re ready for it.

Buffalo Chicken Dip

1 package (1.25- 1.5 lbs) of boneless skinless chicken breasts (3 pieces)
1 cup of Frank’s Red Hot sauce
2, 8oz packages of cream cheese
1 cup Ranch dressing (I like Hidden Valley since it’s the “original”)
1 3/4 cups shredded cheddar cheese, divided into 1 1/2 cup and 1/4 cup portions.

Serve with: carrots, celery, chicken crackers, tortilla chips, cut up slices of bread, whatever you like to dip!

Directions:

  • Boil your chicken until cooked through. I think it takes around a 20 minutes to a half an hour, but I’ve never timed it.
  • Shred the chicken. My nifty trick for shredding chicken: put the cooked chicken in the bowl of your kitchen aid mixer and turn in on to medium. Give it a minute or so and you’ll have perfectly shredded chicken!!! (it might work with a regular hand held mixer or a food processer, though I’ve never tried.
  • In a skillet, add together chicken and hot sauce (skillet on 6 or 7).  Mix together until everything is well heated through.
  • Add the cream cheese and ranch dressing into skillet mixture.  Stir together until mixed through and the cream cheese is melted.
  • Add in 1 1/2 cups of your cheddar cheese.  Again stir until well mixed and cheddar is melted.
  • Transfer everything into  one or two small casserole dishes.  I used the smallest ones I have which are probably 1 1/2 quarts. It all fits.
  • Top with the remaining cheddar cheese.
  • Put in the oven at 350 degrees until heated completely through, about 20-25 minutes.  I usually keep the cover on it for 15 minutes so the cheese on top doesn’t burn, but then take it off towards the end to allow it to brown up a bit.

The Real Original Chex mix

So I don’t know who else noticed this, but some years back the people who make Chex cereal tried to pull a fast one and actually changed the recipe for their “Original Chex Mix”  They still call it “original chex mix” but it’s not – there is another recipe that doesn’t have all those stupid bagel chips, and weird squigly crackers in it, and is the recipe that I remember as a kid making with one of my Aunts around christmas time.  Why only at christmas time? I’m not really sure. But, like so many things related to cooking, I have some very fond memories of helping my aunt make – and of course- devour Chex mix.  So, I’ve been on a mission to find the missing recipe for the REAL Original Chex mix… and this is what I’ve come across…

The Real Original Chex Mix recipe is this:

1/2 cup butter
2 TBSP Worcestershire sauce
1-1/4 tsp seasoned salt
1/4 tsp garlic salt
3 cups Wheat Chex square cereal
2 cups Rice Chex square cereal
1-1/2 cups peanuts
1-1/2 cups small pretzel rods

Instructions:

  • Preheat oven to 275 F. Use a regular large cookie sheet.
  • Mix the first 4 ingredients together in a pan.  Once the butter is melted, add in the Chex, peanuts, and pretzels.
  • Bake for 40-50 mins, stirring every 10 mins or so.

Now, that original recipe still isn’t exactly what we used to make in my family. We always had corn chex in there too.  So the recipe we used was something a little more like this:

1/2  cup + 2 TBSP butter
5 TBSP Worcestershire sauce
2 1/2 tsp seasoned salt
3/4 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
3 cups Wheat Chex square cereal
3 cups Rice Chex square cereal
3 cups Corn Chex square cereal
1 1/2 cups peanuts
2 cups small pretzel rods

Optional
A few shakes of Sriracha or Tabasco

Instructions:

  • Preheat oven to 275 F
  • Mix butter, worcestershire, seasoned salt and garlic salt in a microwave safe bowl. Microwave until the butter was melted.
  • In a large bowl mixed the Chex, pretzels and peanuts.
  • Slowly add in the butter mixture.
  • Spread everything over two cookie sheets and bake  for 50-60 mins again stirring every 10-15 mins or so.

Delicious and just like when I was a kid!

There are two alternative things that I have tried, I know, I know… I just preached about how much a Chex Mix traditionalist I was… but the basic flavor is the key, these just enhance it!

The first is adding a squirt or sriracha sauce, or a few shakes of Tabasco.  Everyone likes a little spice, right??? 🙂

The second alternative would be to use fancy mixed nuts instead of peanuts.  Again, it just kind of spices things up a bit.

Enjoy!