Monday, July 16, 2007

Better than Buffalo Wild Wings

I was browsing the various food blogs I watch through Google Reader and stumbled across a wonderful looking dinner in Mary Ellen's blog. I've been craving spicy, but didn't really want Mexican, so her buffalo chicken bites seemed like a good choice. I was right!

Her recipe was more a technique, so I've turned it into approximated measurements, but I got the idea from her blog. Along with her bites, she served a Blue Cheese Orzo that she found on It was really good! The absolute perfect combination. What goes better with buffalo wings than blue cheese? The dinner was quite tasty.

I changed the orzo a little to my liking, but pretty much stuck to the recipe. I'll comment in the recipe where I deviated.

As a little side note, this recipe ended up adding another cooking related injury to my depressingly expanding list. I've cut myself plenty with my knives when not paying attention and have burned myself on everything from a hot onion to the edge of the oven, but this injury was a new one. As I was sliding my fingers under the lid on the blue cheese crumbles, I managed to slice open not one, not two, but three of my fingers. I told my husband what I did and had him bandage my bleeding fingers, after which he looked at me and said very simply (but accurately!), "Linda, you stupid."

Buffalo Chicken Bites
from Mary Ellen

2 chicken breasts, cut into chunks
1-2 c hot sauce (Frank's Red Hot is what Mary Ellen used, but I used the grocery store brand)
1 c plain breadcrumbs
1 T cayenne pepper (less if you don't like it hot)
1/2 T garlic powder
2 T red pepper flakes (all seasonings can be adjusted for taste)
Place chicken and approximately 1 c of hot sauce in Ziploc baggie. Make sure the chicken is covered with the hot sauce and marinate in the refrigerator for a few hours (I marinated mine for about 20 minutes because I didn't think far enough ahead).
Combine breadcrumbs and seasonings in a bowl or shallow plate. Pour additional hot sauce into another bowl. Dip each chicken chunk into the hot sauce and dredge in the breadcrumb mixture. Place in baking dish. Bake for 15 minutes in 375 degree oven for 15 minutes, turning once halfway and turning the broiler on for the last 2-3 minutes.

Serve with additional hot sauce, if desired.

Caramelized Onion and Blue Cheese Orzo

1 pound uncooked orzo pasta
2 tablespoons butter (I only used 1 T, but they didn't caramelize very well, so next time I'll use it all)
3 tablespoons olive oil (I only used 2 T, but see above)
4 onions, sliced (I used one HUGE red onion, and that seemed like enough)
6 1/2 ounces blue cheese, crumbled
3 1/2 ounces mascarpone cheese
2 cups shredded spinach (I only used 1 c since hubby is not a fan of spinach)
salt and pepper to taste
(I also added pine nuts to the orzo and I really liked the texture it added to the recipe)

Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until al dente; drain.
While pasta is cooking, heat butter and oil in a large skillet over low heat. Cook onion in this mixture until golden brown, 20 to 30 minutes. Remove from pan with a spoon and drain on paper towels.
In a large bowl, combine blue cheese, mascarpone and onion and mix well (this is where I mixed in the pine nuts). Toss cheese mixture with spinach and pasta, season with salt and pepper and serve.


Meredith & Eric said...

What the little chef you are! Sorry about the fingers, though. That truly stinks!

I love, it's the best!!! I've also used before, so you might want to take a look at that one.

DeborahSW said...

I gotta try these, they look delish! :)

Jeff, Jana, and Emma said...

Of COURSE you would have a food blog! How fabulous! You're such a connaiseur...however it's spelled. I'm glad you found me so I could find you!

Renea said...

That looks great! I really need to try those chicken bites.

Erica said...

Hi! Just found your site & printed out this recipe. Thanks for sharing...I'm also a wannabe chef!