Buffalo Chicken Sloppy Joes

Disclaimer: This is a Rachel Ray recipe that I have altered to my liking

Craving Buffalo wings? Love a messy sloppy Joe? Want something a little healthier with and whole lot less guilt? This is your dish! The first time I made this for my husband, he had 3 sandwiches and enjoyed the leftovers the following day. It’s a little spicy, a little sweet, and whole lot of flavor packed into a meal that literally takes 20 minutes to prepare. Try this recipe, of Rachel Rays’, that I have altered to be less runny, a couple less ingredients, but just as delicious!

 

Buffalo Chicken Sloppy Joes

Serves 6-8

 

  • 1 1/2 lbs Ground Chicken
  • S & P to taste
  • 1 tbsp Vegetable Oil
  • 1 cup Carrots (diced)
  • 1/2 cup Celery (diced)
  • 1/2 cup White onion (diced)
  • 2 Garlic cloves (grated)
  • 2 large Whole Pickles (diced-optional)
  • 1 medium can Tomato sauce (10-16oz)
  • 1/2 cup Chicken stock
  • 3 tbsp Brown sugar
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4-1/2 cup Franks Hot Sauce (1/2 cup-Medium heat)
  • 6-8 Hamburger buns
  • 1 cup Blue cheese crumbles
  • 1/2 cup Blue cheese dressing (optional)

 

First, preheat a large and deep skillet on medium to high heat. Add the ground chicken and season with S & P to your liking. As the chicken begins to cook, break into small pieces (like taco meat) and turn the heat to medium. Cook the chicken thoroughly.

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Add in the chopped carrots, celery, onion, and garlic. Season again if you would like. Cook for about 5-7 minutes or until the veggies have started to soften. Stir frequently. If the veggies are approximately the same size, they will all cook perfectly together.

 

Once the veggies are cooked and meat has started to brown a bit, combine the tomatoes sauce, brown sugar, worcestershire sauce, hot sauce, and chicken stock into a bowl. Pour over the ground chicken and veggies and turn the heat to medium low. Stir and cook for another 5 minutes. Add additional hot sauce to make the sloppy joe spicier and/or tomato sauce for a runnier texture.

 

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Serve on toasted buns. (5 minutes at 400°, in the oven) Add blue cheese dressing to the buns and pour on the chicken sloppy job mixture (about 1/3 cup) onto the bun. Add chopped pickles and blue cheese crumbles. Serve and enjoy! This is a very messy meal but it is totally worth it!

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Miranda’s Tips and Tricks

ATTENTION: Informational post, no pictures.

Since I have had several requests for tips and tricks when I am cooking/faking, I figured I’d better start brainstorming. First off, I’m sure these aren’t all of tips and tricks but these are the ones I use pretty frequently. Secondly, they all work! I will never share something that isn’t of use or won’t work when you try it but with that being said; follow the instructions. Many of mine will be up for debate until you try them for yourself. I’ve tried alternatives that I have come across through the internet and through others. If there is a tip you are questioning or one you don’t see on my list, feel free to ask me below in the comments. I’d be happy to test them or may have a direct answer for you!

  1. Hard boiled eggs– Completely cover in cold water. Add 3 tbsp white vinegar and cover. Bring them to a boil on the stove, lower to a simmer for 5 minutes. Turn the heat off and leave covered for another 5 minutes. Place the eggs in an ice bath for 5 more minutes. The skins should remove easily in the ice water and the yolk is perfectly cooked with no gray ring.
  2. Pasta water– Bring water to a roaring boil and place 1-2 tbsp salt in the water. Add the pasta and wait until the water is boiling again. Stir the pasta and turn the heat down at least half way. The water will continue to boil just not as frantic. Cover and with a low boil, the water does not boil over.
  3. Cutting onions-Refrigerate the onion a couple hours prior to cutting and place knife in the freezer 5 minutes before chopping. It may not stop you from completely tearing up but it will minimize the effects.
  4. Thickening soups, stews, etc.– Gravy: 2 tbsp corn starch and 1/3 cup of warm water. Mix until smooth and no lumps. Soups and stews: 2 tbsp flour and 1/3 cup warm water or milk. Mix until smooth and no lumps. Macaroni and cheese: always use flour to conduct the rue. Cornstarch does not act the same and you will have a much thinner consistency.
  5. Fresh herbs-chop small enough to fit in ice cube trays. Fill with olive oil or melted unsalted butter. Freeze and use in different recipes such as oven baked chicken or pot roast.
  6. Tomato based foods– for soup, sauce, or any tomato filled dish; store in plastic containers or zip lock bags. Steel or aluminum will break down after the acid in the tomato is on it for so long. Wooden bowls will begin to absorb the tomato and it makes it almost impossible to remove that tomato stain.
  7. Excess cookies or brownies– freeze in air tight containers or zip lock bags for up to six months.  I freeze all of my Xmas cookies so I can enjoy them months later. (you’re welcome 😊)
  8. Cast iron pots and pans– never, ever, EVER put them in the dishwasher. Always wash by hand with warm soapy water and oil after every use. This will ensure that they remain a true cast iron with no rust. Put a couple drops of oil in the dried pan and rub the pan with a paper towel.
  9. Bacon– Yup! Let’s talk bacon! Bake it, don’t fry it! Why? More crispy, completely flat, little to no mess. Line a baking sheet with non stick foil. Preheat the oven to 375° and bake until crispy (about 20 minutes). You’ll never go back to pan frying ever again.
  10. Prepping fruits and veggies– Why? It makes for a quicker and smoother transition when cooking a meal. How? Chop, dice, peel, etc. to the same size. They cook evenly and look pretty when serves.
  11. Prevent fruit and veggies from turning brown– toss in 1 tsp or lemon/lime juice or vinegar. It won’t flavor anything but it will keep it from turning brown and looking old. Also, sanitize the same way. Add a cup of water with the lemon/lime juice or vinegar. Toss the veggies/fruit in and place on paper towels to air dry.
  12. Melons– how to tell if they’re ripe? Cantaloupe and watermelon should have a yellowish color on the skin. A watermelon will have no smell but a cantaloupe will have a sweeter smell to the skin. Pineapples will not be bright green. They will be starting to turn yellow and if you gently pull on a leave it should easily come loose.
  13. Buttermilk– if you can’t make it to the store, just combine 2 cups whole milk, 2-3 tbsp white vinegar, 1 tsp cooled melted butter. Stir it together and place in the refrigerator for 1 hour. It should thicken a bit.
  14. Sinking chocolate chips or berries– toss them in 1 tbsp of flour and add them to the recipe. They won’t sink to the bottom.
  15. Hot peppers– place the peppers in an ice bath for at least 15 minutes prior to cutting. This will help with watering eyes, or in my case, choking from the spicy fumes. Remove all the seeds since they contain additional heat. Wash your hands with antibacterial soap and lemon juice. Avoid contact with eyes for at least an hour.
  16. Small lemons and limes– place them in the microwave for 10 seconds and roll with your palm. This with allow you to get as much juice as possible from them.
  17. Garlic– if raw garlic is too strong, roast a couple cloves in the oven. Place the cloves in tin foil with a drizzle of olive oil and salt. Form a packet and bake it for 20 minutes and 350°. The garlic will be less intense, a little sweet, and just squeeze out of its skin.
  18. Restaurant style home fries– bake the potatoes for 25 minutes at 350°. Cut them into squares and fry. Season with seasoned salt and they will taste like diner style home fries. You can freeze them after they are cooked for a quick breakfast during the week or for additional filling for burritos.

 

I hope these tips, tricks, and ideas help you in the kitchen as they have myself. Please, leave me comments of you have questions abut any you see here or any for the future. As always, enjoy!

Stinger Mac n’ Cheese

 

So here’s the thing! It’s almost impossible to add ingredients to a basic mac n’ cheese recipe and screw it up. My advice? Add what you like and make up names as you go. This recipe is my take on a stinger sub from my hometown in New York. It’s easy to make with minimal prep work and awesome results. Give it a try for your next get together or for dinner one night this week!

 

Stinger Mac n’ Cheese

Makes 6 Servings

  • Mama’s Mac and Cheese Recipe-archived (January)
  • 5 pieces of SteakUm Steaks or uncooked skirt steak
  • 2 cups Chicken fingers (cooked and diced)
  • 1 Red pepper (de-seeded and sliced)
  • 1/2 White onion (sliced)
  • 2 Garlic cloves (grated)
  • 1/2 tsp Ground mustard
  • 1 tsp Butter
  • S & P to taste

 

While making the cheese sauce for you mac n’ cheese, in a large skillet, melt the butter and sauté the sliced peppers and onions on medium heat. Once they have begun to soften, add the grated garlic, S & P, and ground mustard. Keep on the heat for about  a minute and then pour the pepper and onion mix into a bowl to cool.

Add the SteakUm or skirt steak pieces to the hot skillet and cook completely. Add the pepper and onion mix back into the skillet and stir until combined. Finally, pour this into a casserole dish. Add the diced chicken fingers, cooked macaroni, and cheese sauce. Stir until mixed completely and add any additional cheese. Cover and bake for 30 minutes at 375°.

Remove the stinger mac n’ cheese from the oven. Cool slightly and serve. As always, Enjoy!

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Authentic Chicken Wings

As a native of Buffalo, NY, I know my chicken wings. They are never, ever called Buffalo wings! That is just the sauce that is applied. With that said, chicken wings can be fried, baked, or grilled and be absolutely delicious. I have had many people tell me they want a recipe for authentic chicken wings and this one delivers! They are crispy, saucy, and pack just enough heat to make you crave them over and over. They are easy to make and be reheated just as easily if you want to make them ahead for a party. Give them a try! You’ll love them!

 

Authentic Chicken Wings

Coating Mix

  • 1 1/2 cups AP flour
  • 3 tbsp Corn starch
  • 1 tsp (each) S & P
  • 1/2 tsp Garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp Onion powder

Sauce

  • 1/4 cup Franks Wing Sauce (mild) or Hot sauce (medium to hot)
  • 6 tbsp Unsalted butter

Other Ingredients

  • 24 Chicken wings (drumettes preferred)
  • 1 large container of Vegetable oil (frying oil)
  • Blue cheese dressing (dipping sauce)
  • Carrot and Celery sticks

** Deep fryer is recommended**

First, turn your deep fryer to 375° and let it heat up completely before adding the wings. Next, wash and completely dry off the chicken wings. Take 6-7 wings and put them in a zip lock bag with the coating mix. Completely coat the wings, shake the wing off to remove the excess flour and place in the deep fry basket.

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Deep fry the chicken wings for 8-10 minutes or until the green light turns on. This indicator let you know they are done. Remove the chicken wings and place on a sheet pan and place in a warm oven. The excess grease will evaporate. Continue cooking the remaining chicken wings.

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Once the wings are all fried, place them in the oven and begin the sauce. The sauce will only take about 3 minutes to make. In a sauce pan, heat the butter and hot sauce to a low boil. Whisk the sauce until it is combined. Remove from heat and set aside.

Pull the chicken wings from the oven and place them in a container that you can toss the sauce and wings together. A tupperware container works great. Add the sauce and close the container. Shake to coat all of the wings. Plate the wings. Serve with blue cheese dressing (not ranch), celery, and carrots. Enjoy!

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Chicken Wing Soup

Two staples in the Buffalo, New York area are chicken wings and soup. With Buffalo being the city with the best known chicken wings and an area that measures snow in feet, this soup totally makes sense as to why it’s popular there. I spent the first 25 years of my life growing up in a suburb of Buffalo. So, I consider myself an expert in chicken wings and their flavor. This soup is perfect for any sporting event you are tailgating at, any party, and definitely any evening you want an easy but delicious soup.

 

Chicken Wing Soup

Serves 4

  • 4 Chicken Thighs (seasoned and cooked)
  • 4 cups Chicken stock
  • 2 Celery stalks (chopped)
  • 2 Carrots (chopped)
  • 1 Medium onion (chopped)
  • 2 tbsp Butter
  • 2 Garlic cloves (finely diced)
  • 2 tbsp Ranch dressing
  • 1 tbsp Fresh parsley (chopped)
  • 1/2 tsp Garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp Onion powder
  • S & P
  • 1/4 cup Franks Wing Sauce + extra for topping
  • Blue cheese crumbles (topping)
  • Blue cheese dressing (topping)
  • Rue for thickening (1 tbsp flour and 6 tbsp water, mixed)

 

First, preheat the oven to 400° and place the cleaned chicken thighs in a baking dish. Sprinkle with S & P and  bake for 35-40 minutes. Let the chicken cool completely. De-bone the chicken and chop into bite size pieces. Set them aside.

While the chicken is cooking in the oven, in a large pot, place the onion, carrots, celery, garlic,and butter. Cook on medium high heat for about 8-10 minutes. Stir frequently, so nothing sticks and everything begins to cook evenly. Add in half the parsley, S & P, garlic powder, onion powder, chicken broth, and hot sauce. Turn the heat to medium low, cover, and let the soup come to a boil.

 

Once the soup is boiling, turn the heat down to a simmer. Add the chicken and ranch dressing. The dressing will almost look like its curdling but it isn’t. It has lots of oil in it, so it is separating. Stir until it has dissolved into the soup. If you choose to thicken the soup, add in the rue and stir. You can thicken it as much as you would like but just be cautious, this isn’t a stew. Let this cook for another 5-10 minutes.

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Ladle the soup and top with wing sauce, blue cheese dressing and crumbles, and parsley. Keep in mind, there is hot sauce in the soup but you can decrease or increase that amount if you choose and the additional on top gives an extra kick. As always, enjoy!

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