Buffalo Chicken Chili

With tons of snow in the forecast for this week, we decided to plan ahead with regards to our meals for this week – we wanted to maximize the comfort level while minimizing the cost and/or effort. To that end, we picked up a big box of rotisserie chicken meat from Costco – for like $10, you can get a box of 2 lbs (like 3 whole chickens worth) of breast meat, which can yield more than a couple of meals. This was one of the first we made this week.

The recipe comes from another food blog, called Cooking for Engineers. The format in which he writes his recipes appeals to my inner geek, and we’ve been consulting it quite often lately. To serve on the side, we made some copycat Cheddar Bay biscuits, which paired nicely. The recipe for the biscuits made just the right quantity to go with the batch of chili.

The chili was just beautiful – not too hot, not too mild, not quite buffalo chicken, not quite chili, but a nice fusion of both. I sprinkled mine with a few blue cheese crumbles.

Buffalo Chicken Chili and Cheddar Bay Biscuits

Buffalo Chicken Chili
recipe from Cooking for Engineers

1 tbsp. olive oil
1 lb. ground chicken
salt & pepper
2 tbsp. unsalted butter
3 celery ribs, chopped finely
2 carrots, chopped finely
1 medium onion, chopped finely
1 red bell pepper, chopped finely
5 garlic cloves
2 tbsp. chili powder
2 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. ground coriander
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 rotisserie chicken, shredded
12 oz beer
1/2 c. cayenne pepper hot sauce (I used Frank’s Red Hot Buffalo Wing Sauce)
15 oz. can tomato sauce
14.5 oz. can diced tomatoes

Starting with a store bought rotisserie chicken, shred the chicken from the bones (discarding the skin), and temporarily store the meat in a bowl. If you feel the eed to roast your own chicken go for it, but in this case, a store bought chicken saves a lot of time and energy.

For the aromatics, start with 2 carrots, 3 celery stalks, 1 red bell pepper and 1 medium onion. The addition of diced jalapeno peppers is optional for extra heat. Cut the vegetables into a fine dice. Next, mince 5 cloves of garlic.

For the spices, you will need 2 tbsp. of chili powder, 3 tsp of ground cumin, and 1 tsp. of ground coriander. Add additional spices (plus salt and pepper) as your taste desires when the chili is completed.

Start by cooking the ground chicken meat in a medium high heated pan with a little olive oil. Use a stainless steel pan if possible so that the meat will form little browned bits that will stick to the bottom of the pan and provide lots of concentrated flavor later on. Season the meat with salt and pepper. Make sure the meat gets good and brown (browning=flavor). When the meat is cooked, reserve the chicken for later use.

Use the same pan to brown the vegetables in the next step, in order to get the browned bits released from the bottom of the pan. Add 3 tbsp. of butter to the pan and cook the vegetables over medium high heat, for at least 10 to 15 minutes, until the vegetables are soft, tender, and the onions start to brown. Once again, add some salt and/or pepper. With a wooden spoon, scrape up all of the brown bits from the cooked meat which will add intense flavor to the chili. Browning equals flavor, so do not rush this step.

Add the cooked chicken and vegetables back to the pan and clear a spot in the center of the pan to cook the spices for 30 seconds. Add about 1 tbsp. of olive oil to the center of the pan then add the garlic and spices. Stir around and cook for about 30 seconds.

At this point, the bottom of the pan will be very brown with food and spices sticking. Add 12 oz. of a good beer to the pan and stir with a wooden spoon to deglaze the pan, and dissolve all of the brown bits stuck on the bottom. Finally add the tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, and hot sauce. Simmer to the desired thickness that you prefer. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Add additional spices if desired. Garnish with your favorite condiments (I sprinkled it with blue cheese crumbles) and serve.

Copycat Cheddar Bay Biscuits
recipe adapted from Recipezaar

2 1/2 c. Bisquick baking mix
4 tbsp. cold butter
1 c. sharp cheddar cheese, grated
3/4 c. cold whole milk
1/4 tsp. garlic powder

To brush on top:
4 tbsp. butter, melted
1 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. dried parsley flakes
(I additionally used hand-ground garlic salt)

Preheat oven to 400F. Combine Bisquick and cold butter. Don’t combine too thoroughly. There should be small chunks of butter about the size of peas. Add cheddar, milk and 1/4 tsp. garlic powder. Mix by hand until combined, but do not over mix.

Drop by 9 equal portions onto greased cookie sheet. Bake for 15-17 minutes or until tops are light brown. Melt butter in a bowl. Stir in garlic powder and parsley flakes. Use a pastry brush to spread garlic butter over tops of biscuits. Finish by grinding additional hand ground garlic salt over top.

3 thoughts on “Buffalo Chicken Chili

  1. wine blog

    This chili looks intense! Makes me crave spicy and flavorful food. I've been eating way to many dang sandwiches lately and need a hearty meal. Cheers!

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