Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Buffalo Wing Chicken Dip

Yes, that is a face in my dip. Yes, it is made of vegetables. Yes, it is ridiculous, and no, it was not created by myself. That is my husband's handiwork. I decided to make a buffalo wing dip for his birthday, since his bigger, more elaborate birthday dinner will come later this week. I took the dip out of the oven, went upstairs to put the baby to bed, and when I came back this is what he had done to it. Cute.

Let me back up a little, though. There's a bit of a story behind the making of this dip. It is easy to put together, but it requires a few different steps. I spent a good part of the afternoon poaching chicken breasts, allowing them to cool, shredding them, and then shredding a brick of cheddar cheese. I walked away from everything to take the kids outside to play (highs in the mid-80s, yay!) and came back later on to do the next few steps. I placed a package of cream cheese, 1/2 a cup of ranch dressing, and 3/4 of a cup of buffalo wing sauce in a glass bowl and set it in the microwave to melt the cheese. A couple minutes later, I heard a *chink*. I opened up the microwave to discover that the bowl had completely broken. Weird; I had microwaved that very same bowl many times before. What was even weirder, though, was how the bowl had broken. Here's what it looked like after I had emptied its contents.

The base of the bowl was still intact, and the rim of the bowl was still intact. But somehow, one half had come apart from the other, and the top half was still resting on the bottom half. It was very bizarre. Of course, I had to scrap the whole concoction inside the bowl and start over. I couldn't risk it; what if there was broken glass inside the dip? Anyway, so I tossed the bowl in the garbage and began again. And it turned out delicious. Oozy, cheesy, spicy. It works as a snack, or as an appetizer, or even as dinner. Bread, veggies, tortilla chips; you could probably dip just about anything and it would still be awesome.

All in all, I think it was a good birthday for Andy this year. He got his gifts the night before. We went with a coffee theme this year, and his "big" gift was a brand new Kitchen Aid coffee grinder. I was very excited about it because I actually managed to keep it a secret from him, which virtually never happens with his birthday gifts. Xander had fun decorating the outside of the box!

Here's the recipe for Buffalo Wing Chicken Dip, which I tweaked to fit our tastes. The original recipe is here.

Buffalo Wing Chicken Dip
adapted from Recipezaar
serves 6-8

8 ounces cream cheese
6 ounces Frank's red hot sauce (we used hot buffalo flavor)
1/2 cup ranch dressing
1/4 cup blue cheese crumbles
3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, poached and shredded
8 0unces cheddar cheese, shredded

1. Combine cream cheese, ranch, and hot sauce in a medium-sized bowl. Heat in microwave until cream cheese is melted, stirring every minute or so to prevent burning.
2. Add the chicken and about half the shredded cheddar to the mixture, stirring to coat everything. Pour into a baking dish (mine went into a 2-quart casserole dish).
3. Top mixture with the remaining cheddar cheese, cover dish with foil, and bake for 15 minutes at 350 degrees. Remove foil cover and bake for an additional 10-15 minutes, until bubbly and starting to darken on top. Serve immediately with veggies, bread, tortila chips, etc.

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