Ladies and gentlemen, it is officially fall. Now, since I’m originally from Florida this news tends to make me weep with sadness knowing that my residence in the northern tundra of North Carolina will soon consist of 6 months of cold, rainy, miserable weather.
However, there is one fantastically amazing part of fall.
No, it’s not pumpkin spice lattes.
It’s certainly not the cooler weather. (Please see above re: Florida girl)
It’s football season.
Football in the South is more than a sport. It’s a gosh darned religion, and we’re proud of it. I’m lucky enough to live in the city of my alma mater and get to go to the tailgates almost every home game. And as such, I get to make tailgate food.
This time I decided to take a risk and make something that I have never made before: buffalo chicken dip.
Success cannot even begin to describe the popularity of this dish. I wanted to get a picture of it in progress being eaten, but it was gone almost the second I put it on the table. People, if you want to make friends and influence people I will tell you this: make. this. dip.
I found a recipe on The Bitten Word a little while back and have been looking for a reason to make it. If the first tailgate of the year isn’t a good reason, well, I just don’t know what is. This recipe baffled me a little bit with its mix of blue cheese and ranch. I had previously (incorrectly) been under the assumption that you are either a ranch person or a blue cheese person and there was no hope of crossover. It was one of life’s great debates of who you are as a person. Ranch or blue cheese. Chocolate or vanilla. Pulp or no pulp OJ. (LSB likes ranch, I like blue cheese. He likes no pulp in his OJ and I like mine nearly chewable. There was almost no hope for us until I found this recipe!)
“My theory is that when it comes to important subjects, there are only two ways a person can answer. Which way they choose, tells you who that person is. For instance, there are only two kinds of people in the world, Beatles people and Elvis people. Now Beatles people can like Elvis and Elvis people can like the Beatles, but nobody likes them both equally. Somewhere you have to make a choice. And that choice tells you who you are.”
Name that movie.
It’s Pulp Fiction. I have no patience.
Side note on the side note: I’m a Beatles person.
Anyhow, let’s move on. Here’s the cast of characters: Texas Pete buffalo sauce (a good ‘ol NC choice every time) , ranch dressing, blue cheese dressing, blue cheese crumbles, a block of cream cheese, and, even though the recipe calls for 2 cups of shredded rotisserie chicken, Harris Teeter was out of rotisserie chicken, I was forced to use 2 12.5-ounce cans of chicken instead. (Pictured is only 1 can, but please use your imaginations.)
Publix wouldn’t have been out.
I miss Publix.
This recipe is embarrassingly another one of what I like to call “plop” recipes, where there’s no real work involved other than “plopping” the ingredients together and stirring them up. You can even just mix it all up in the baking dish you’re going to use to bake it! Genius.
(Preheat your oven to 350°.)
First the cream cheese.
Then the buffalo sauce.
Then the ranch dressing…
And the blue cheese dressing…
(I’m still amazed these two are mixing and the apocolypse hasn’t occurred…)
And the blue cheese crumbles…
Then mix it up and be surprised at the salmon color it turns.
Then drain your can of chicken and plop it on in.
Here’s something I learned: one drained 12.5-ounce can of shredded chicken is exactly 1 cup of chicken.
Plop in the 2nd can, this time without a measuring cup due to your recent discovery.
Mix it in and plop it in the oven, uncovered, for about 25 minutes.
Just kidding, don’t plop it in the oven. Place it. There’s no reason to messy up your oven just because I got plop-happy. I’m done now.
Now it’s 25 minutes later, and the dip is READY.
It might not look like much, and you may know how little effort it took, but holy cow. Nobody else will care. They’ll be too busy cramming their faces with buffalo chicken dip to even consider caring.
Serve with scoopy tortilla chips.
So there you have it! An instant hit that takes almost no effort at all.
Happy tailgating! Here’s the original recipe from The Bitten Word again:
Buffalo Chicken Dip As Made by The Bitten Word
Adapted from Frank’s RedHot
8 ounce package of cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup ranch salad dressing
1/4 cup blue cheese salad dressing
1/2 cup buffalo sauce or buffalo style barbecue sauce
1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese (shredded mozzarella cheese can be substituted)
2 cups shredded meat from a fully cooked rotisserie chicken (I used 2 12.5-ounce cans of chicken, and it was still good.)
Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F. In a deep baking dish, mix cream cheese, salad dress, buffalo sauce, and cheese. Stir until combined. Stir in chicken.
Bake uncovered for 20-25 minutes, until the dish is heated through. Serve with crackers, pita chips, sliced bread or vegetables.
NOTE: Depending on your tastes and the ingredients on hand, you can use 1/2 cup ranch or blue cheese salad rather than 1/4 cup of each. Similarly, you can mix blue cheese and mozzarella, or use portions of each.