Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Hot Buffalo Bites

Yesterday was Boat Club.     As I think I've mentioned before, we get together once a month and do a potluck and also play games, cards, board games, or just visit.      Last night I brought Buffalo Bites.
Buffalo Bites

 
I was at a potluck a few weeks ago and someone brought some hot wings, well, they weren't that hot (spicy), but still, they were good. I love wings myself, and take every opportunity to try the endless, well, almost endless variations out there.  

However, and this is a big however, it doesn't matter how good the wings are, they are still messy, your fingers get greasy, and then there is the problem of what to do with the bones, and ….  well, you get my drift.



Many years ago I started making a version of hot wings for my husband who loved the hot, but hated the idea of picking up the wings and gnawing on the bones. I would just take some boneless, skinless chicken breasts and then prepare them accordingly, thanks to a recipe I got off a packet of Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing. And they worked wonderfully. So, I'm going one step further here. I decided to make them for one of our monthly gatherings, in other words Boat Club. 

 These are hot,  I mean, what's Buffalo style chicken without hot?   These are baked, not fried,and I think they're pretty darn good. I serve them with Celery and Carrot sticks, and Homemade (semi)  Blue Cheese Dressing.

So here goes:
Prepare your boneless, skinless chicken by cutting them into strips. Like this.  It's easier to slice the chicken when it's firm, so go ahead and throw it in the freezer for half and hour or so, or just cut it while it's still partially frozen.  (the par-freezing bit works well on Beef and Pork as well, just an FYI for future reference.)
Oh and by the way, boneless, skinless breasts were selling for $3.99/lb yesterday, but I was able to score these chicken breasts for $.99/lb.   So I just skinned and de-boned them.  Took me less than ten minutes and voila, they were ready to cut up
Chicken breasts

Boning a chicken breast

Chicken Breasts cut into chunks

For tonight and to make it easier to eat, I'm also going to cut them in half again, and hey this is a pot luck so you do want to make it easier for people to try a little of everything.  

But you can prepare them however you want. It is important to make sure that the chicken pieces are uniform in size so that they cook evenly.

Melt a stick of butter, add in Franks Red Hot sauce or your favorite hot sauce, to taste.  I had some Texas Pete's on hand so I used that. 

I kinda glop it in there and then taste. But you do need at least three tablespoons of hot sauce, if not more. 


And yesterday I got ahead of myself and my chicken was cut and ready to be dipped and put on the pan to cook, but it was way too early, so I threw them into a ziploc bag, poured the butter/hot sauce over them, and put them into the fridge.

Then dip the chicken into the sauce mixture and lay on a rimmed baking sheet coated with non stick spray.
You want the chicken to barely touch, it will shrink as it cooks and draw away from each other.
Chicken with hot sauce and butter for Buffalo Bites


Now for the fun part. OK, so it's all fun at this point. Sprinkle the contents of one to two packages of Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing mix over top. I usually use one package per pound or so of chicken.

Then put it in a 375 deg oven for about 15-20 minutes. You want the chicken cooked and a little browned.
Just like this.
Buffalo Bites

Now, don't they look yummy?

You do need to taste test at this point, it's very important, I mean otherwise you'll never get a chance to taste them, because they do disappear rapidly once they are on the table.   

 Recipe: Boneless Buffalo Chicken Bites

2 lbs. Boneless Chicken, cut into equal sized pieces
1/4 lb or one stick melted butter
1/4 cup Hot Sauce, or more, to taste.   I like Frank's Red Hot Sauce, but use your favourite brand.
1-2 packages Dry Ranch Dressing mix.

Melt the butter, add the hot sauce and stir to combine.  Dip the chicken into the sauce and place on a greased, rimmed baking sheet. Don't crowd the pan, make sure that the chicken isn't touching too much, otherwise it just steams together.   Sprinkle the Ranch Dressing over top and bake in a 375 degree oven for about 15 minutes or until chicken is done. If the chicken isn't browned, put them pan under the broiler on high for an additional 5 minutes to brown up.  ( I think they taste better when they're browned a little)

Some of the other offerings last night on the table were:
Roasted Tomatillo Salsa and chips

Fried Chicken;
Potato Salad;
and last, but not least, a lovely vermicelli salad with stuffed Jalapeno's on top.

I also didn't get a picture of the Kung Pao Chicken or the chocolate cake, I was too busy socializing.
But there's always next month, and I'll share it with you then.  
Sid Munkholm
Sid Munkholm

Sid loves to cook, feed people and have fun in the kitchen. She shares her successes and the involuntary offerings she sometimes gives the kitchen goddess as well. And she's still looking for the mythical fairy to help her clean the kitchen after a marathon cooking session. Currently working on a cookbook showcasing the recipes from her Danish heritage.

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