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Dining In The Big Dipper

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Dining In The Big Dipper

By Karen Schulz

One of my most “velveteened” recipe cards is Buffalo chicken dip. It is splattered and torn and wrinkled and worn, like an over-loved stuffed animal. The recipe is simple, delicious, and loved by all. I have served it at tailgates, holiday celebrations, and birthday parties.

No longer does Buffalo chicken mean just wings. I have seen nuggets, Buffalo chicken pizza, and Buffalo chicken meatballs. It is only natural that a one-dish wonder in the form of a gooey dip should get in on the action.

After several years of being featured at my daughter’s annual cookie exchange holiday party, the girls wanted to learn how to make it themselves. We had a cooking class and I taught them how to make three easy appetizers, Buffalo chicken dip being one of them (along with BLT tomatoes and Manchego toasts with fig jam). Now they are all off at college and make it when they have friends over to watch a football game, or for each other’s birthday celebrations. I love that they now cook for each other and have started building their own recipe card collections.

I realize it may not be the healthiest dish, but it is a healthier alternative to traditional wings that are fried. Not only is it easier and cleaner to eat than bone-in wings, it is chockful of protein thanks to the skinless poached chicken and all that glorious cheese. The best part, Buffalo chicken dip, is delicious warm or at room temperature, so there is no maintenance required if your guests linger or if you circle back for some late-night nibbles after everyone has gone home.

Buffalo Chicken Dip

<Ingredients>

1 package boneless chicken breasts

1 12-ounce bottle Frank’s wing sauce

1 8-ounce package cream cheese at room temperature

1 12-ounce jar Marie’s chunky blue cheese dressing

1 8-ounce brick Monterey jack, shredded

<Directions>

Fill a medium sauce pan half way with water, enough to submerge the chicken breasts. Bring to a boil and cook through, about 10 minutes.

In a bowl, with two forks, shred the poached chicken. Next, add the hot sauce and let it soak in. Stir in the cream cheese. Pour into an oven-safe dish. Layer the blue cheese dressing on top and then the shredded Monterey jack.

Cook in 350° oven for 30 minutes.

Serve with celery sticks and pita chips or crackers.

The author’s daughters and friends after preparing party foods.

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