Sunday, September 8, 2013

Buffalo Ranch Chicken

I live in central Ohio, which means that for ten weeks every Saturday, our afternoons (and occasionally evenings) are consumed by college football. The college football ritual involves lots of beer for those who drink it (I don't) and lots of food for those who like to eat (which I obviously do). The food part of it is complex - you need to have access to lots of food that you can eat ALL DAY LONG, grazing happily off things that you can just kind of pile on your plate while you park on the couch, cheering every time Braxton Miller gets his hands on a ball.

In other words, it's party food. Since the cool weather is starting to move in but hasn't quite committed yet, Ohio football party food is often stuff that you can start off warm, but still tastes really good cool, after it's been sitting on the coffee table for an hour because your husband decided to go to the auto parts store during halftime and you haven't seen him since.

This is a recipe I originally spotted on Pinterest, and I changed a couple of the measurements to make it less gloppy and more spready, but I can't really take credit for it. I can, however, tell you it's amazing, and if you have any left, it's really good for breakfast the next day.

BUFFALO RANCH CHICKEN

2 lbs chicken breasts, cooked and diced into chunks
1 small onion, diced
3/4 C buffalo wing sauce (I like this one from Texas Pete)
1/2 C ranch salad dressing
Salt and pepper
1 C shredded cheese (I used mozzarella, which was what was in the fridge)
1 8-oz block of cream cheese

Preheat your oven to around 375. Take your cooked chicken breasts, put them in a bowl with the onion, the buffalo sauce, and ranch dressing, and mix it all together. Add salt and pepper to taste. Mix in about 2/3 of the shredded cheese.

Soften the cream cheese in the microwave, and spread it around on the bottom of a 9x11 casserole dish. Really, just put the cream cheese IN the dish, warm it up for about 40 seconds, and smear it around. You don't have to grease the bottom of the dish. Just smear your cheese around.

Dump the chicken mixture on top of your cream cheese, and spread it around so the cream cheese is covered. Sprinkle the remaining third of your shredded cheese on top. Bake for about 25 minutes or until it's a nice golden brown. Let cool for about 5 - 10 minutes (because hot cream cheese is like eating a mouthful of molten lava and IT BURNS, MY PRECIOUS), and dig in. We like to eat this with tortilla chips, but you can also dip veggies in it, spread it on a wrap, or just eat it with a fork, which is what my thirteen year old son does.

Dig in, and if it ain't quite hot enough for you, add more buffalo sauce during half time!

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