When I was in college, I worked for the athletic department handling digital media and occasionally helped with in-game statistics calling. I met two guys in my Spanish class who were on the lacrosse team, and we instantly became buds, and I soon became their house mom, tutor, relationship advisor, and chef.
I found a recipe for Buffalo chicken dip that required it to be baked and it had breadcrumbs and I made it and I was just not satisfied. The dudes were. But as I'm sure you can imagine they have low standards for grub when they're coming off the field. So, I went back to the drawing board and developed this recipe that is inspired by Alfredo sauce. It starts with an easy béchamel, made of flour, butter and milk, and the rest is easy to follow along.
Making this recipe is always a hit. These days, I make it for friends who are going to pot-luck style dinners, big sporting events at my apartment, or just a Tuesday night. It can definitely serve a good crowd of people, as it fills a 13x9 baking dish a little more than halfway. But I don't blame you if you don't want to share.
Even though I don't really eat a ton of meat and cheese anymore, I go above and beyond to use the best ingredients for this recipe. I have nothing against bagged stuff, but the shredded cheeses are a shortcut that come with a ton of other ingredients. I highly recommend spending the extra money it will cost to get cage-free chicken, good cheddar, good jack, good cream cheese and good whole milk for this recipe.
Real-Deal Buffalo Chicken Dip
Prep Time: 10 minutes | Cook Time: 30 minutes | Yield: Depends If You Share/8 servings
- 1-1 1/2 lbs skinless, boneless chicken tenders
- 2 tbsp olive, safflower or coconut oil
- 1 tsp + 1 tsp paprika
- 1 tsp + 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp + 1 tsp onion powder
- 1 tsp + 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1 tsp + 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 2 tbsp salted butter
- 2 tbsp whole wheat flour
- 5 oz cream cheese
- 1 cup whole milk
- 2 cups sharp cheddar cheese from the block
- 1 cup pepper jack or Monterey Jack cheese from the block
- 1/2 cup Buffalo sauce (I love Frank's RedHot®)
- 1 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
- Toss chicken in oil, 1 tsp paprika, 1 tsp garlic powder, 1 tsp onion powder, 1 tsp salt and 1 tsp black pepper. Bake on a lined sheet with parchment paper at 375° Fahrenheit for 15 minutes.
- In a large skillet over medium-heat, create a roux by combining the butter and flour until completely mixed. Stir in cream cheese and whole milk for 1-2 minutes. Mixture should be completely smooth before moving on to the next step.
- Add in both cheeses, lower heat to medium-low and continue to stir for 7-10 minutes, until cheese is fully melted.
- Once chicken is cooked, cut into bite-sized pieces or shred with two forks. Stir chopped chicken into dip mixture. Make sure to add the leftover oil/spices to the mixture as well. This is where a ton of flavor will come from.
- Add remaining spices and Buffalo sauce. Remove from heat and keep stirring until all is combined. Taste for salt.*
- Transfer to serving bowl, top with parsley, and serve with your favorite chips.
*Always important to do before serving. Some chips are saltier than others, so the dip needs less salt. Personalize the recipe according to your preference!