It’s no secret that I adore anything and everything “buffalo chicken.” I’ve already made a fantastical buffalo chicken dip that is so easy and so delicious it’ll knock those thick winter socks you have on right now straight off. However, I decided recently that I needed a main dish that incorporated my love of buffalo chicken that didn’t include the word “wrap” or “sandwich” and also didn’t have the word “breaded” in it. Turns out I’ve found a keeper.
It’s called Buffalo Chicken Chowder. It’s from Closet Cooking and I absolutely love it.
Now here’s a secret about me: I’m terrified of making soups. Or was, until recently. For some reason, soups intimidate me. There’s something about the stock and the flavors and the whole…process…that make me fear the tastes will never come out right. However, this recipe alleviated all fears I ever had and now all I want to make are soups. Make it in these cold winter days we’re having and feel happy completely. You’ll thank me later.
First, here’s the gang: chicken, hot sauce (Texas Pete is my choice when Cholula won’t quite fit the bill, such as buffalo recipes), chicken stock (32 oz.), half and half (recipe calls for cream, but I think half and half* is just fine), 1 potato, celery, carrots, garlic, and missing from the picture is 2 tablespoons of flour and blue cheese (which I thought I had in my fridge and didn’t…life went one).
*I don’t want to get preachy, so please ignore this if you want, but I will say one thing about half and half: DO NOT BUY THE NONFAT STUFF. It’s not real. Do you want to know what it is? It’s junk. It’s pure chemicals. It’s skim milk and then a bunch of thickening agents (read: unpronouncable chemicals) that your body has no idea how to process. The idea of half and half is that it is half cream (read: fatty, yes) and half milk. You cannot make cream nonfat. It is literally against the definition of the stuff. Any “benefit” you would get out of it being nonfat are negated by the fact that you’re inputting the food equivalent of dish soap. I won’t sit here and claim that I eat only organic, whole foods…but some things just simply go too far. Nonfat half and half is one of those things. Do your wellbeing a favor and buy the real stuff. If your half and half has more ingredients than 2 (cream and milk), put it back. End rant.
Deep breaths. Let’s get on with it. Sorry.
First, chop up the onions (it says, 1 cup, which I interpret as 1 onion)…
1 cup of carrots, which for me was about 3 carrots, peeled…
And celery…which was about 2 stalks.
I put all of those into a bowl together and put them aside.
Then I cut up the chicken into bite-sized pieces and put a little salt and pepper on said pieces.
So then in my cooking extravaganza, tragedy stuck. You see, I have this animosity toward nonstick cookware. I hate it. Here’s why. When you cook with regular cookware, flavor sticks to the bottom of the pan, which you can then deglaze and return to the food. Also, the food actually browns and sears. With nonstick cookware, neither of these things happen. So I dutifully pulled out my large pot with which I cook soups/chilis/what have you, started to melt the 2 tablespoons of butter….and then learned that somehow, some way, my precious pot had cracked. Melted butter was all over the bottom of the burner…my heart was broken. And, worse, I realized that the only other pots I have of that size are nonstick. Sigh.
After I sighed a little more and melted about a tablespoon-ish of butter on medium heat and cooked my chicken. It should be cooked in about 8-10 minutes.
See how the chicken doesn’t have any brown on it? Sigh.
But, as we know, life always goes on. So put in the carrots, celery and onion you chopped up earlier! It’s about to get tasty up here in this nonstick pot!
Stir this around and cook it about 10-15 minutes. The larger you cut your veggies, the longer it’ll cook. You want them tender at the end.
Now that the veggies are all tender, you’re going to put in two cloves of chopped garlic…
And 2 tablespoons of flour (I used whole wheat).
The whole mixture should get pretty gooey. I may say gooey, but I really mean “this is where all the taste comes from.” Here’s what I mean.
Yum. So once you start smelling this after around a minute, pour in the chicken stock. I just poured in the entire 32-ounce box of stock.
Here is where you would “deglaze the pot,” which really means that you take your mixing spoon and scrape off all the flavor on the bottom. So pretend that I’m not using a nonstick pot and that I got to do that. Because then, my most most most favorite part of this recipe arrives. The hot sauce. The recipe calls for 1/4 cup, which is a good place to start.
But since I’m all rebellious and all, I put in more. And then some more after that. Really, just make it to your taste.
Stir it all around, turn the heat up to high, and make this entire mixture boil.
Oh my gosh. Seriously. Wow. It’s going to be so good.
After it’s boiled, turn the heat down to low, cover it, and wait about 30 minutes…or more. You know, however long you really want.
When it’s done, pour in the cup of half and half, the 1/4 cup of blue cheese, let the cheese melt, and then immediately take the pot off the stove.
Pour it into bowls, sprinkle with lots and lots of pepper, and enjoy!
This recipe makes plenty of leftovers and is delicious the next day too! Enjoy it in these cold winter days ahead. Seriously…you’ll thank me.
Here’s the original recipe from Closet Cooking (my changes in italics).
Buffalo Chicken Chowder
A hearty and creamy chowder with all of the flavors of buffalo wings!
Servings: makes 4 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 60 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
- 2 tablespoons butter (About 1 tablespoon-ish)
- 1 pound chicken, cut into bite sized pieces
- 1 cup onion, diced
- 1 cup celery, cut into small pieces
- 1 cup carrot, cut into small pieces
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 3 cups chicken stock
- * hot sauce to taste (I used 1/4 cup Franks Red Hot sauce)
- 1 large yukon gold or other boiling potato, peeled and cut into bite sized pieces
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 cup heavy cream (half and half)
- 1/4 cup blue cheese, crumbled
- Melt the butter in a large sauce pan over medium heat.
- Add the chicken and saute until golden brown, about 8-10 minutes.
- Add the onion, celery and carrots and cook until tender, about 10-15 minutes.
- Add the garlic and flour and cook until fragrant, about a minute.
- Add the chicken broth and deglaze the pan.
- Add the hot sauce and potatoes, bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 20-30 minutes.
- Season with salt and pepper, mix in the cream and blue cheese and remove from heat when the cheese has melted.