THE WASHINGTON POST – I’ll admit having a weakness for many different foods, and buffalo chicken anything is right up there at the top of the list.
Pizza, sandwiches, even some ill-advised Buffalo pretzels I bought once and quickly resolved to never have in arm’s reach again.
I know I’m not the only one who will gravitate to this hot buffalo chicken dip like a moth to a flame. I’ve seen it happen at many Super Bowl shindigs and, more recently, in our Washington Post Food Lab. Such a pity that I had to test the recipe a few times.
Yes, this is the unabashed, unapologetic, nostalgic favourite that graces many game-day tables.
It’s spicy, creamy and salty, which means it hits just about every flavour pleasure centre. I made a few small changes to the popular recipe on the Frank’s RedHot sauce bottle, adjusting the amounts of ranch dressing and blue cheese, and running the dip under the broiler for an extra boost of colour and attractive cheese melt.
A few tablespoons of pickled jalapeños brightened and intensified the heat as well.
Thankfully, this is a temptation I find myself encountering once, maybe twice, a year, so I’m not going to apologise for using a little store-bought ranch dressing – and definitely not for the hot sauce, which is already a refrigerator staple in my house.
It’s basically just hot peppers and vinegar anyway. And I guarantee that if you serve this dip at a party, you won’t have to worry about eating too much of it yourself, because your guests will be all over it. Serve with some crunchy vegetables, and enjoy.
HOT BUFFALO CHICKEN DIP
Active: 10 minutes | Total: 30 minutes (Eight servings)
The recipe scales up easily for a large crowd. It’s also simple to adapt to your taste, whether you want to increase or decrease the hot sauce, swap out the cheese (try mozzarella if you’re not a blue cheese fan), and add your choice of garnishes at the end, such as scallions or chopped celery. Serve with chips, vegetables or crackers.
The dip can be assembled and refrigerated up to one day in advance. Let it come to room temperature while the oven preheats; you may need to add a few minutes of baking time.
Two cups shredded cooked chicken
Eight ounces cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup crumbled blue cheese, divided
1/2 cup hot red pepper sauce, such as Frank’s RedHot
Quarter cup ranch dressing
Two to four tablespoons finely chopped pickled jalapeño slices, eight to 16 slices
Position the racks in the middle and upper third of the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
In a large bowl, add the chicken, cream cheese, half cup blue cheese, hot sauce, ranch dressing and chopped jalapeños and mix until thoroughly combined. Spoon the mixture into a shallow one-quart baking dish, ideally one that is broiler-safe.
Bake (middle rack) for 20 minutes or until the mixture is heated through and bubbling at the edges. If your dish is broiler-safe, turn the broiler to high, sprinkle the remaining quarter cup blue cheese on top, and move the dish to the upper rack. Broil until the blue cheese has softened and a few dark spots appear on the surface. Let cool slightly, then serve.
Calories: 240; Total Fat: 18g; Saturated Fat: 9g; Cholesterol: 70mg; Sodium: 780mg; Dietary Fibre: 0g; Sugars: 1g; Protein: 16g.