By Kelly Bogard
The time has come again for the “Big Game”—the peak of another season of professional football. The players are dressed in their uniforms and the fans in their team colors. But for me (and probably some of you), there’s as much excitement around the commercials and the food as the game.
Oh yes, the food. I don’t necessarily understand the whole love affair between football and food, but I sure do enjoy it. The Texas teams didn’t make it to the last dance this year, but that doesn’t mean we won’t be watching. And, I’ll be showing good ol’ southern hospitality by having as many people over as I can fit in my house. So when my colleague, Jim Sartwelle, gave me the recipe for Buffalo Wing Dip that he got from Christy Lilja at the American Farm Bureau Federation, I just had to share it.
For Buffalo Wing Dip, you will need…
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 bottle “Frank’s” hot sauce
2 (8 oz.) pkg. cream cheese, cubed
2 cups ranch dressing, prepared
1 cup celery, chopped
2 cups Monterrey Jack cheese, shredded
Christy’s recipe turns these ordinary ingredients into an amazingly extraordinary appetizer fit for a crowd. If you think about it, it’s everything you could want from Buffalo Wings, just without the messy fingers or the bones.
First, boil your chicken until cooked through. This can take anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour, depending on the size of the chicken breasts. Set aside to cool. Next, combine the cubed cream cheese and ranch dressing in a large sauce pan over medium heat. Simmer until everything has melted and combined. Make sure to stir frequently to prevent scorching. Add in the chopped celery.
Then shred your chicken. You can shred it by hand in the bottom of a 9-by-13-inch baking dish if you want large chunks of chicken, or you can throw the chicken in the food processor for smaller pieces. Pour the entire bottle of hot sauce over the prepared chicken and press to the bottom of your baking dish.
So this Sunday for the Big Game, may your house be crowded with friends and family enjoying everything that goes with football—especially the fun, food and company.
Thanks again to Christy and Jim for sharing this wonderful recipe. Don’t forget: you can drop me a line anytime with one of your favorite recipes. I love hearing from our readers and trying new things.
From all of us at Texas Table Top, enjoy!
Recipe: Buffalo Wing Dip
Summary: Classic football food turned into an extraordinary dip
- 4 chicken breasts
- 1 bottle “Frank’s” hot sauce
- 2 (8 oz.) pkg. cream cheese, cubed
- 2 cups ranch dressing, prepared
- 1 cup celery, chopped
- 2 cups Monterrey Jack cheese, shredded
- In a large pot, boil chicken until cooked through.
- Set aside to cool.
- In saucepan, melt cream cheese and ranch dressing until well combined. Add chopped celery.
- Shred the chicken and combine with hot sauce.
- Move the mixture to the bottom of a 9-by-13-inch baking dish, spreading evenly.
- Top with cream cheese and ranch mixture.
- Sprinkle with shredded Monterrey Jack cheese.
- Bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes or until bubbly.
Prep time (duration): 45 minutes
Cooking time (duration): 15-20 minutes
Number of servings (yield): 15
Tip: You can make everything ahead of time and let the dip set in the refrigerator to prevent the cream cheese and ranch mixture from getting soupy. Then place in oven for 30-35 minutes.
Adapted from a recipe provided by Christy Lilja at the American Farm Bureau Federation.