Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Buffalo Style

I absolutely love good Buffalo chicken wings. When I was at university in Austin, TX, there was a place (Wing Zone for all you with access) that had the best wings I could find. And they were close and fast and I swear I ordered from them so much, they probably knew my name and order by heart ('Oh, hi, Niki! 10 Medium wings with potato wedges and ranch dip, right?').

I've had a hard time since moving away from my beloved Wing Zone to find a chicken wing of equal caliber. Hot but not too hot, fresh and really, really saucy. So I've gone without for a while but every so often, the craving rolls around. Usually it's when I see the words "buffalo chicken"... This just so happened when I was browsing chicken recipes the other day and came across this one.

I'd never stuffed anything before so it was a mystery to me but I was more concerned with cooking the meat all the way through than the cheese melting out everywhere. Of course, the bleu cheese taste was practically lost in all this melting away cooking process and I only cooked the minimum amount of time. Were I to make this again, I'd probably skip the stuffed part and just add a side of homemade bleu cheese sauce/dressing. Then I could drench the chicken in the buffalo sauce and be good to go because the sauce? Awesome. I did add a little more hot sauce than it called for but that's my personal taste and you'll have to decide for yourself when it comes to that. But I definitely liked how that sauce came out. It brought (awesome) teardrops from my eyes.

Adapted from George Duran via Food Network

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/4 cup blue cheese
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 stick unsalted butter
4 tablespoons hot sauce OR to taste (recommended: Frank's Hot Sauce)
2 tablespoons white vinegar
Celery, sliced thin, to serve

Heat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Using a sharp knife, cut a pocket into each chicken breast. Stuff 1/2 of the blue cheese into each breast. Secure the openings with toothpicks and season with salt and pepper. Heat the oil in a nonstick, oven-proof skillet over medium heat and sear the chicken on both sides until browned, about 3 to 4 minutes per side. Put the chicken into the oven until it is cooked through, about 8 to 10 minutes.

In a small pot, add the butter, hot sauce, and white vinegar and cook over medium heat until bubbling. Pour half the sauce over the hot chicken and cook over medium heat for 1 minute. Remove the toothpicks and serve with extra sauce garnished with sliced celery.

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