Buffalo Chicken Dip is Pa.'s favorite Super Bowl dish: Here's how to make it
BETHLEHEM, Pa. — The fans have spoken.
When it comes to Super Bowl appetizers, Pennsylvanians go wild for Buffalo chicken dip, according to Google Trends.
With these valuable tips, there's no need to stress come Sunday.
Score a touchdown with your family and friends on game day with these chef-approved dip tips.
Braise it beforehand
Historic Hotel Bethlehem's executive chef Rodney Rivera has a quick and easy recipe with little clean-up required.
The secret to making Buffalo chicken anything, is to buy boneless.
He finds that method results in tender and flavorful chicken.
"I always use boneless chicken breasts or thighs, especially for dips because it's easier to shred the meat and braise the chicken," he said. "Plus, it makes less of a mess."
He fries the chicken for one minute on each side and then braises it for an hour in a Dutch oven (or other safe pot) mixed with water, fresh garlic, thyme, bay leaves and carrots.
After the chicken is braised and cooled off (about 10 minutes) toss it into a pan and fry on medium heat for about eight minutes.
"The chicken should break up easily, so then you can start adding in all the other flavors like the honey and cheese," he said.
Rivera's Buffalo Chicken Dip Recipe
2 cups shredded cooked chicken
1 package cream cheese, softened
1 teaspoon honey
½ cup Frank's RedHot Original Cayenne Pepper Hot Sauce
½ cup ranch dressing
½ cup blue cheese crumbles
Preheat oven to 350°F and mix all ingredients in a large bowl then spoon into a one-quart baking dish.
Top with shallots and blue cheese crumbles.
Julie Marble, head chef at Levy Restaurants at ArtQuest, is big on brining the chicken before making the dip.
If you have the time, slow cook your dip.
"After it's cooked, I like to add Parmesan cheese and mozzarella cheese on top of it and kind of brown it and give it some color," she said.
Vegans can enjoy the dip, too.
"I would suggest for a vegetarian to do the same thing, but instead substitute soy-based chicken products like the brand, Morningstar, which is really good."
Compliment your appetizer with a side of veggies and handmade crackers.
"If you want to go for like a healthier snack, carrot sticks, celery, any type of vegetable with a crunch to it," Marble said. "Then I prefer to make a crostini. If you slice bread, like a French baguette, and dry it out in the oven. Coat it with a little oil and pepper and bake it in the oven at 350 [degrees] for eight minutes.
While the buffalo dip reigns as the state's fave, it just wouldn't be the Super Bowl without a plate of crispy chicken wings on reserve.
Marble's wing advice: Brine the chicken beforehand (see recipe below) so the wings are cooked all the way through
"It really holds the moisture inside," she said. "Then when you drop the wings in the fryer, it crisps them up and gives them that color that you need."
Marble's Buffalo chicken dip recipe
Note: Vegan recipe calls for Daiya dairy-free cheese and no ranch dressing.
8 oz. light cream cheese, room temperature
½ cup ranch dressing
½ cup hot wing sauce
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
2 cups shredded chicken (or soy-based product)
1 cup Parmesan cheese
Fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves or onions, chopped for garnish
Cook in a slow-cooker on high for 90 minutes to two hours or until heated.
Stir until well-mixed; top with remaining 1/2 cup cheese mix and sprinkle with green onions.
Cover. Cook 15 minutes longer or until cheese is melted.
Marble's chicken wing brine
1 quart water
1 tablespoon Black Pepper
1 tablespoon garlic, granulated
1 tablespoon onion, granulated
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
¼ cup apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
¼ cup sugar, granulated
½ cup salt
Brine chicken for 24-48 hours (the longer the better, Marble says).
Drain wings, and then roast at 350 degrees F for 25 minutes or until internal cooking temperature is 165 degrees F.
To crisp the wings, put them in the fryer for about two minutes or air fryer at 390° F for 5-7 minutes.
Choose your favorite sauce, toss, and enjoy.