Sunday, February 3, 2013

Baked Buffalo Chicken Bites

At this point, the Superbowl is only hours away.  (Yes, I'm really writing this at 7am on a Sunday.)  IF you're having people over later, you're probably running around like a lunatic trying to put everything together and make sure you have everything you need - beer, food, toilet paper, etc.  You might also be making some last minute food... or scrambling to find one last thing to make.  Fret not, my friend, these buffalo chicken bites are easy to make AND they taste delicious! OK, so putting them together and getting them ready to cook is a little time consuming, but it's really worth it. Plus, they're baked, not fried, so you can clean up while they're in the oven and feel good about serving your guests something that's moderately healthy.

I made these back at the beginning of football season and I haven't had a chance to make them since.  Mostly, Joe doesn't really like buffalo chicken, but he liked these. Well, liked them enough to eat a couple, but he didn't like them enough for me to justify making 30 of them.  They're crunchy and spicy and the ranch dressing pairs perfectly (you can use blue cheese if you like that better, I'm personally not a fan).  They heat up decently in the microwave and make a tasty lunch the next day, though, so don't worry if you have leftovers.

Note that the recipe calls for using crushed up corn flakes instead of regular breadcrumbs.  If you have regular ones you can definitely use them instead, but the balls will be less crunchy.  At the very least, I would suggest panko crumbs so that you can get some of that crunch.  If you have a food chopper/processor or a blender, crushing the corn flakes is really easy.  If you have a child and/or someone who likes to smash things, it's also really easy - just put the cornflakes in a sealed plastic bag with all the air out, hand them a rolling pin and let them go to town!

Also, a note on the shredded chicken: I used 2 chicken breasts, boiled them in water until they were cooked through, then used two forks to shred them.  If you're short on time, you can use one of those store-bought rotisserie chickens, instead.  If you go that route, you'll just want to remove the skin first.

Now that the intro's out of the way, let's get down to business.

Baked Buffalo Chicken Bites
To print this recipe, click here

3 cups cooked, shredded chicken
1/2 cup Frank's Original Red Hot (more or less to taste)
3 1/2 oz. brick cream cheese, softened
2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1/4 cup green onion
1 cup flour
4 eggs, lightly beaten
4 cups crushed corn flakes

Preheat oven to 350°F.  Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.  Set aside.

In a large bowl, mix the chicken, cream cheese and hot sauce until combined.  Stir in the cheddar cheese and green onions.

Roll the chicken mixture into 1 1/2-2 inch balls.  Put them on a plate or a separate, unlined baking sheet until ready to dip.

Set out the flour, eggs and corn flakes in three separate bowls.  Dip each chicken ball into the flour, then the egg, and then the cornflakes.  Place them onto the prepared baking sheet.

Once all of the balls are dipped, bake for 20-25 minutes, until golden brown on the outside.  Serve warm with ranch or blue cheese dressing on the side for dipping.

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