It’s National Chip and Dip Day…and, well, you know how I love a reason to celebrate anything food related! And since Friday nights have been a sort of traditional appetizer night in the Saucy household, I thought how perfect it would be to celebrate! With a new appetizer…but lightened up a tad.
Now, I love Buffalo Chicken Wings. My love for them is long and abiding. And I’m rather picky
this will come as no surprise to many of you about Buffalo Wing Sauce.
You see, back in the 80’s, when Buffalo Chicken Wings were first all the rage, I still lived in Nashville; I’d spend my Sunday afternoons curled in a ball on the floor of my living room with the New York Times, some fresh bagels and cream cheese and a pot of coffee. I’d drool over the Food Section every week and figure out what new thing I needed to try in my own kitchen.
One such Sunday, there was a recipe printed in that food section which purported to be THE original Buffalo Wing Sauce from the Anchor Bar (the origin of the Buffalo Chicken Wing), in Buffalo, New York.
If you think this greedy-for-Buffalo-Wings-little-Southern-girl didn’t immediately jump up and grab a recipe card and copy that sucker down, you don’t know much about greedy-for-Buffalo-Wings-little-Southern-girls.
Ever since then, whenever a hankerin’ for true-honest-to-Pete-Buffalo-Chicken-Wings knocks me over the head, I pull out that recipe card, make up some of that sauce and fry us up a batch of wings.
Since it IS a holiday and all…well, I couldn’t resist the dip recipe that Farm Flavor posted for Buffalo Chicken Dip. I did make a few changes, just to lighten it up a tad. I’m kinda set on keepin’ Mr. Saucy around for a long, long time
we’ll be celebrating our 18th wedding anniversary real soon, so I modified, just a bit, to make him not feel so guilty about scarfin’ down about half of it on his own.
I accomplished lightening it up by making the blue cheese layer out of a Greek yogurt that I jazzed up like blue cheese dressing, rather than using a store-bought dressing. I make this dressing all the time, and I’ve never had a single person detect that it was yogurt based, rather than mayonnaise.
Also, I used a mixture of lower fat cream cheese and low-fat ricotta for the bottom layer. If I hadn’t known what I did, I wouldn’t have been able to detect that it wasn’t full on cream cheese….the creamy deliciousness was still there.
Then, I reduced the amount of cheese used on top; rather than mozzarella, I used a farmer’s cheese that was made from skim milk. It was still bubbly and creamy and delightful.
If you want the full monty version, please visit Farm Flavor’s site and use their recipe. Here’s my version.
- 1½ pounds chicken tenders, baked, finely shredded
- FOR THE BUFFALO WING SAUCE:
- 4 tablespoons butter, melted
- 1 tablespoon white vinegar
- 5 tablespoons Frank's hot sauce
- salt and pepper, to taste
- FOR THE BOTTOM LAYER:
- 8 ounces Neufchâtel (American version = ⅓ less fat cream cheese)
- 8 ounces low-fat ricotta
- FOR THE BLUE CHEESE DRESSING:
- 8 ounces Greek style yogurt
- 3 ounces blue cheese, crumbled
- juice from half a lemon (about 2 teaspoons)
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- cracked black pepper to taste
- 1 teaspoon white vinegar
- ⅛ teaspoon garlic powder
- ⅛ teaspoon onion powder
- a drizzle of honey
- FOR THE TOPPING:
- ½ cup shredded soft white cheese
- FOR THE GARNISH:
- 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped
- 2 tablespoons green onions, chopped
- Wrap the chicken tenders in a foil pouch, place on a baking sheet and bake in a 350 degree F oven for about 35 minutes.
- Remove from oven, using two forks, shred the chicken pieces and place shredded chicken in a bowl.
- In a separate small bowl, combine the butter, white vinegar, Frank's hot sauce, salt and pepper.
- Place the bowl in a microwave and cook for about 45 seconds, or until the butter is completely melted.
- Pour this mixture over the chicken and stir.
- Allow the sauce to marinate with the chicken for about 30 minutes.
- In another bowl, combine the yogurt, blue cheese, lemon juice, white vinegar, salt, pepper, garlic and onion powder and honey and stir with a fork until all the blue cheese crumbles are smushed (a technical term) and the mixture is well combined.
- Spread the cream cheese/ricotta mixture on the bottom of an oven-proof skillet.
- Spread the Buffalo sauced chicken on top of the cream cheese/ricotta layer.
- Spread the blue cheese dressing on the top of the chicken layer.
- Sprinkle on the shredded soft white cheese.
- Bake in a 350 degree F oven for about 30 minutes, or until bubbly and browned on top.
- Remove from oven, garnish with parsley and green onions, if desired.
- Serve with blue corn tortilla chips and celery sticks.