By now, we’ve all had it, the now infamous Buffalo Chicken Dip inspired by the wings from upstate New York. When I first received this recipe it had about 5 ingredients and 4 steps. It was good, but I knew it could be better. Over the last 3 years or so that I’ve had this recipe, I have continuously been tweaking and modifying it, and, while all results were a crowd pleasing treat, the recipe below reflects what we believe to the best, and ultimate, in buffalo dip experiences. I avoided using “real” chicken breasts, because I thought the canned was just fine, which is was, but when I tried using one of our favorite seasonings on the chicken, I knew I could never go back to the can. Also, even though I knew the separation of the dip and hot sauce wasn’t grease, I still didn’t find it very appealing, and wanted to figure out how to keep it from occurring. Using much less than most recipes call for corrected this problem, but still gave a true buffalo flavor. You might find the use of a Mexican canned salsa an odd addition, but I discovered that it lends a nice layer of flavor and smokiness that stands in place of the fried chicken skin you get with each bite of a real Buffalo wing. Is this a little more effort than you will find with most Buffalo chicken dip recipes? Yes. Is it worth it? Most definitely!
- 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, or the equivalent of chicken tenderloins
- 2 tsp Seasoned Salt (I like Penzey’s Spicy 4S Special Seasoned Sea Salt)
- 2 Tbsp olive oil, divided (optional)
- ¼ cup chopped onion
- ¼ cup chopped celery
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 7 oz. can Salsa Ranchera
- 16 oz. cream cheese, 2 blocks, room temperature
- ¼ cup Frank’s Red Hot sauce
- Tabasco, to taste
- 1 cup Ranch dressing (I like Marzetti’s)
- 2 cups cheese, shredded (I like Monterey jack and cheddar)
- ¼ to ½ cup of blue cheese crumbles (depending on taste)
- Celery Sticks
- Carrots Sticks
- Zucchini Slices
- Red Pepper Strips
- Ciabatta Slices
- Tortilla Chips, the thicker the better. This is no time for a wimpy chip!
- Celery Sticks
- Season chicken and sauté in pan over medium-high heat until cooked through, about 4 minutes on each side. If your pan tends to sick, I would recommend using 1 Tbsp of the olive oil, but if you have non-stick cookware, you can skip the added fat. Set chicken aside to cool.
- In same pan, heat 1 Tbsp olive oil, and sauté onions, celery, and garlic over medium heat for about 5 minutes. Turn heat down to low-medium, and stir in salsa. Add in cream cheese, and stir until melted into salsa and vegetable mixture.
- Meanwhile, chop chicken into small pieces. Add chicken to now melted cream cheese mixture. Once combined, add in Frank’s Red Hot and ranch dressing. This is where you need to taste, and adjust heat to your liking. I add about 6 to 8 drops of Tabasco, but you might find you don’t like any or want more.
- Transfer mixture to casserole or oven proof serving dish. Top with cheese, but do not mix in.
- Bake at 350⁰ for 20 minutes, or until bubbly. Let rest for about 10 minutes, and then stir in shredded cheeses. Add in desired amount of blue cheese, and stir once more.
- Serve hot with your choice of dippers.