Saturday, November 10, 2012

Chicken Wing Dip

There are two really good reasons why you should try making this chicken wing dip, if you never have before.

Reason #1 - Football
Reason #2 - Holiday Parties

Somewhere between those two occurrences, you will discover how awesome this chicken wing dip is, will be asked to make it in copious amounts for every gathering, and even those copious amounts will prove inadequate to handle its life span of 2.76 seconds.

I wish I could take credit for creating this recipe, but I can't.  It's the good ol' Frank's RedHot Buffalo Chicken Wing Dip recipe.  Probably the only thing I sometimes do differently is use an alternate hot sauce, based on availability at the store, and I generally have to double or triple the amount because - as I mentioned - I'm often asked to make "vats" of this stuff.

I'm not kidding on the "vats" thing.

There are two ways to make this chicken wing dip. You can bake it, or you can use a slow cooker.  I'll give you directions for both.

If you're making this in a slow cooker, it probably means that, like me, you're making a double or triple batch.  Cut all amounts in half if you're making a "regular" batch to bake.

First, start off by letting two 8-ounce bricks of cream cheese come to room temperature. I usually just plop mine right into the slow cooker insert.

Then, cook up to 7 boneless chicken breasts by blanching in boiling water for about 30 minutes, until they are cooked through.  Then shred them.  This can be annoying, messy, and tricky, but thanks to Robyn over at Add a Pinch, I learned that you can shred the chicken, two or three breasts at a time, by using the paddle attachment for the KitchenAid stand mixer.  I was dubious, but she assured me that it works, and I tried it.  Works wonders and cuts the prep time in half.  Plus you don't burn your fingers handling hot chicken.

(I did not discover the mixer-trick until after this particular batch was made.  You can see that my shredded chicken isn't particularly shredded.  The consistency is much better if you can use the KitchenAid to shred.)

In a large measuring cup, combine 1 cup of ranch salad dressing and 1 cup of hot sauce.  You can use regular Frank's RedHot, the buffalo wing sauce, or, as I usually do because it's actually just a touch hotter, Louisiana buffalo sauce (if you can find it).  Dump it into the slow cooker, then add the blue cheese.  Mix everything up with a really sturdy spatula.  If you have people with crazy addictions to spicy food, you can kick it up by drizzling more hot sauce on top.

Mix it all together, and cook on low heat for about 2.5 to 3 hours, until it's bubbly.  Stir periodically to make sure there are no dry spots.

If you want to bake the dip, combine all ingredients directly in a baking dish (I recommend using half the amount you'd use for a slow cooker unless you have a really huge baking dish).  Bake on 350 degrees for 20 minutes, or until bubbly and heated through.

Serve with tortilla chips, and stand back to avoid the stampede.

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