{recipe} Hot, Melty Buffalo Chicken Dip

My friend Christen has excellent taste in everything – decor, wine, food, clothes, and so forth. So when she tells me something is good, I tend to believe her. In this case, I was extremely skeptical. Hot Buffalo chicken dip? Seriously? It sounds like a Midwestern mayonnaise nightmare. But as I mentioned, the woman has great taste- and she was totally right. This stuff is really delicious.

hot dip

Now imagine my surprise when she told me she had used low-fat and light versions of the ingredients, and that it tasted good if you dipped celery in it. What the what? I could feel my skepticism rising again. So she finally made it for me, and with the first bite, I was completely won over by the dip. And it actually is good with celery in it, for the record. But pita chips are a close second.

I think you can eat this for dinner because it’s got most of the food groups involved anyway. In fact, I ate it for dinner last night. But I can see how most people would view it as a hearty appetizer. I picture people eating it while watching important sports games like a biathlon or curling match. Or, like, the Super Bowl or World Series if you want to be all mainstream about it. If you use the low-fat and light ingredients, and eat it with celery, and eat about an eighth of the dip, it’s only around 200 calories. I’ve tried it with full-fat ingredients and the lighter ones, and it looks and tastes the same. (But I will caution against using mayonnaise that is not Hellman’s/Best Foods – I tried it with Trader Joe’s mayo and it was a greasy, nasty mess.)

One more question I’m anticipating: is it really spicy? Despite having a fourth cup of hot sauce, it is not really spicy. I think it’s the perfect amount of spice, which is just a little bit. But if you want more of a kick you could stir in some chili flakes before baking it.

Recipe: Hot, Melty Buffalo Chicken Dip
serves 3-4 as a tacky dinner or 8 as an elegant appetizer

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 cups cooked boneless, skinless chicken, shredded (I boil breast meat in water and shred it. You can also use leftover chicken or shred part of a rotisserie chicken.)
  • 1/4 cup Frank’s Red Hot sauce
  • 1 cup Best Foods/Hellman’s mayonnaise (can be light version)
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese (can be low-fat)
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 bunch green onions, finely chopped, white and light green parts only
  • 1/4 cup crumbled mild blue cheese

METHOD:

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  • Pour hot sauce over chicken and stir to coat thoroughly.
  • Add mayonnaise, cheese, lemon juice, and salt and stir together well.
  • Reserve a few green onions for garnish and stir the rest into the chicken mixture.
  • Scrape mixture into a shallow 1 1/2 quart baking dish or casserole dish. Sprinkle evenly with blue cheese crumbles.
  • Bake uncovered for about 20-25 minutes, until bubbling. Sprinkle with reserved green onions to garnish.
  • Let sit five minutes before serving. Serve hot with celery and/or pita chips.
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