Buffalo (and Barbeque) Chicken Bites with Bleu Cheese Dressing

If you love it so much, why don't you maarry it! This may remind you of your childhood days, but it rings true in my house. As sad as it is, if Justin could marry a food, I believe he would marry buffalo wings. Yes, yes it is true. I have come to terms with Justin loving them as much as me, but it is still hard to type it out. When I was making my meal plan last week, I asked Justin if he had any requests. "Buffalo Chicken!" He has never asked me to make buffalo chicken for him - I have always assumed he thought I couldn't do as well as the millions of restaurants that serve the wonderful delicacy. I guess my newly-found culinary skills encouraged him to finally take the plunge. But, I could surely never compare to the likes of a seedy hole in the wall five-star restaurant. Since I had no choice, I searched for the perfect recipe. The verdict? As he was elbow-deep in buffalo sauce, he looked at me with loving eyes and said, "These are the best wings I've ever had in my life. Is this all there is?" After 10 minutes of me interrogating him, I finally believed him. I must hold this recipe close - it's now the secret to my successful marriage! (Okay, not really, but I'm sure it wouldn't hurt making these the next time I splurge on a pair of shoes...)

The best part about the recipe is that is so easily adaptable for a non-buffalo sauce-lover like myself. Since you don't add the sauce to the chicken until the last minute, it was so easy to toss Justin's chicken in wing sauce and mine in barbeque sauce. So versatile! I changed this recipe so it was healthier than the normal fried wings you find out at a restaurant. I (and Justin) highly recommend giving this one a try.

Buffalo (and Barbeque) Popcorn Chicken with Bleu Cheese Dressing

For chicken bites:
2 chicken breasts, cut into small pieces
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp. paprika
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp. salt
Pinch of onion powder
Pam or vegetable spray
Dash of ground black pepper
Dash of garlic powder
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup hot sauce (I used Frank's Red Hot)
Barbeque sauce

For bleu cheese dressing:
1/4 cup bleu cheese, crumbled
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup sour cream
2 green onions, sliced
2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
Dash of ground black pepper

In a small bowl or ziplock bag, mix together the flour, paprika, cayenne pepper and salt. Place chicken pieces in bowl, and mix until pieces are evenly coated. Cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour to 2 hours. (I did this the night before serving.) (This is very important to ensure pieces get crispy in the oven. Do not skip this step!)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place a wire rack over a jelly roll pan. (If you don't have a wire rack, you can create a make-shift rack out of aluminum foil.) Place chicken on rack, and bake for 35 minutes. Turn the oven up to 375 degrees, spray chicken with Pam, and bake for 5 more minutes so they get crispy.

While the chicken is baking, in a small saucepan over low heat, combine the butter and the hot sauce. Stir together until the butter is melted and mixture is well blended. Remove from heat and set aside.

Once chicken is cooked, place bites in a small bowl. Add hot sauce mixture and stir together. Move to a serving plate and serve with bleu cheese dressing and celery. (If you want to make barbeque bites instead, toss with barbeque sauce instead of hot sauce mixture.)

To make bleu cheese dressing, combine bleu cheese crumbles, mayonnaise, sour cream, green onions, lemon juice and pepper, and stir until combined.

Source: adapted from All Recipes

6 comments:

Joelen said...

I'm such a sucker for wings and these look fantastic!

Aubrey said...

Oh goodness - you totally described my husband. I will have to try this out and see how he likes it. He also thinks Frank's Hot Sauce is the best thing ever invented!

Amanda said...

Love your blog, I made these tonight and they were great - mmmm, one of our new favorites. Thanks!

crockpottuesdays said...

Thanks for the recipe. These were great! And I think they were much better than at a restaurant. :)

Nikki (Pennies on a Platter) said...

These sound really good! Love popcorn chicken, and love buffalo sauce! Win-win! :)

Carla said...

We made this for dinner tonight (saw the link on the nest), and they were great! Great healthier substitute for the boneless fried wings we love to get as takeout!