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No birds in a can please: crowd-pleasing buffalo chicken dip

By Marisa Nadolny

Publication: theday.com

Published February 05. 2012 2:19PM   Updated February 06. 2012 9:32AM

Want to impress the hell out of your Superbowl party host tonight? (Or, as the case may be, your significant other and dog?). Check out this recipe for buffalo chicken dip.

My cousin has brought this app to a few family functions, and the stuff disappears like it's 1999. It's tangy, cheesy, and filling in the best possible way (see also: cheesy). After a very short search online, I found about a zillion recipes for buffalo chicken dip.

Problem: most of those zillion recipes call for canned chicken, and this cowgirl ain't eating canned bird. Not doing it. Also on the no-way list are Vienna sausages, Spam, and any other manifestation of potted meats. It's just wrong. The vegans in the house might argue that it's ALL wrong — even free-range, butcher-packed, nice and sterile stuff that resembles its maker — but we omnivores get to draw some lines in the sand too. There's meat-eating and then there's ew (I'm looking at you McDonald's).

After a revised search ("buffalo chicken dip chicken breast") I selected the recipe below. My dip is in the oven now, and preliminary tasting suggests it shan't make the party we're supposed to hit this evening. It's pretty much idiot proof; the most labor intensive part being shredding your REAL chicken after it's boiled. Still, it's quite manageable and muy impressive (even for me, who also Googled "how to boil chicken"). Strong flavors courtesy of Frank's Red Hot sauce, cream cheese, and ranch dressing (bordering on ew, but man is it tasty) make this dish nuanced and addicting. If you need a quickie-ish dish to bring to a party tonight, bring this dip and you'll leave the party a winner.

The Best Buffalo Chicken Dip Recipe

By Mike Fuller*

1 pound chicken breast

1 cup of Ranch dressing (Fuller recommends Hidden Valley, Kraft, or Wishbone)

1 cup of Frank's Original Red Hot (Fuller: do not substitute this please)

1 8-oz block of cream cheese (Fuller: do not use fat free, 1/3rd less fat OK)

2 cups fancy shredded sharp cheddar cheese

Green onions (optional)

Boil chicken breasts on the stove in a medium to large sauce pan, on medium heat about 30 to 45 minutes or until cooked all the way through and preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

While the chicken is boiling cut the cold cream cheese into cubes and place them into an 11.5" x 8" x 2" Pyrex-style baking dish lightly misted with butter flavor cooking spray (I used canola, and all's well).

Evenly sprinkle the fancy shredded cheese on top of the cream cheese cubes.

Pour the 1 cup of ranch and the 1 cup of Franks Red Hot on top of the cheesy mixture and place the dish into the oven uncovered for 7 to 10 minutes

Stir the mixture after about 7 to 10 minutes and put it back in the oven and bake an additional 7 to 10 minutes and stir until mixture and cream cheese is well mixed.

While the mixture is baking and your chicken is done boiling, shred your chicken. The best way to do this is by putting the pan into the sink and running cold water over the chicken to speed up the process, once cooled you may hand-shred the chicken into a bowl.

After the cheesy mixture is done baking and mixed together well, add the chicken; simply pour the chicken on top of the mixture, carefully stir the mixture well and cover with aluminum foil and bake an additional 20 to 30 minutes.

Once baked you can carefully pour into your serving bowl, garnish with green onion and serve with your favorite chips.

*This recipe appears on Fuller's blog, http://mikefuller.hubpages.com/hub/The-best-buffalo-chicken-dip-recipe.

Follow me on Twitter: @TheMDesk

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