Thursday, June 27, 2013

Buffalo Chicken And Repeat Potatoes

I really was pretty sure about the potatoes, but the buffalo chicken turned out to be a great surprise. I've wanted to make buffalo chicken, but was afraid it would be too hot. After looking at several recipes, I discovered that most recipes seemed to be buy a bottle of buffalo sauce, LOL.

I suppose I shouldn't be surprised. I do as much cooking from scratch as I can and was disappointed not to find recipes for buffalo sauce right from my first google search. I really had to search it out to find out what was in buffalo sauce.

Then, it turns out, I'm out of Rooster sauce, my favorite go-to hot sauce. And, my bottle is not only empty, but totally gone. Oh well, but I had a hot Banana pepper from a few I purchased the other day hoping they weren't hot.

So, ideas start to form inside my head ...

Melt 2 Tbsp. butter in a small saucepan. Add a finely chopped hot banana pepper, seeds included. Saute briefly.

In a measuring cup mix 3 oz. tomato sauce, 1/2 a sweet purple onion chopped fine, 6 fresh basil leaves minced, 1 tsp. minced garlic, 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar, 2 Tbsp. molasses, 1/2 tsp. Hickory smoked salt, 1 tsp. mild chili powder, salt and pepper. Mix and add to saucepan. Heat through. Taste and adjust flavors.

For chicken, in skillet add 1 Tbsp. canola oil and heat. Add trimmed and sliced chicken breast. Cook on one side until just releases from pan, then cook on second side. Once browned on both sides, add buffalo sauce from pan, reduce heat and allow to simmer about 20 minutes.

I had a very large chicken breast. Somehow I though I'd pulled a pkg. with two, but, this one was very large. I wasn't sure it would be enough chicken for both the hubby and me, but I shouldn't have worried. I added 5 hot dogs to the pan, just in case.

I also made a repeat version of Cheesy Bacon Oven Potato Crisps.

Slice 2 large or 3 medium russet potatoes into 1 cup water with 1 tsp. salt in large glass measuring cup. Toss all potatoes in salted water. Put measuring cup into a microwave for 5 minutes and let rest.

Mince 5 fresh basil leaves, 1/4 of a sweet red onion chopped fine, 3 Tbsp. cooked bacon (like "real Bacon"). Chop basil, onion and bacon together and set aside.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Prepare large baking sheet with parchment paper and spray with cooking spray. Lay potatoes in a single layer on baking sheet. Top with basil bacon mix, making sure all potatoes have a little. Top everything with 1 cup Colby Jack grated cheese.

Bake potatoes for 20 minutes until crisp and cheese is melted. Serve Cheesy Bacon Potatoes with Buffalo Chicken and ranch dressing on the side.

This is a request repeat for the potatoes. I do have to admit that the first batch with real bacon slices fried and chopped on top had better bacon flavor. I made two baking sheets of those and had a small amount of leftovers, but they disappeared quickly. There are no leftovers today from either the potatoes or the chicken.

I'm looking forward to Hatch pepper season to give my Buffalo chicken a different twist. Meantime, I highly recommend putting some herbs in pots for your kitchen. I have used basil from my garden in three separate meals and the taste difference from dried is really pronounced.

Last week I made Potato Noodles (rather like egg noodles, but using leftover homemade mashed potatoes) with a fresh Basil pesto sauce. I had very little leftovers from that dish as well. The difference between fresh pasta, especially egg noodles, can make you wonder if the package of egg noodles you purchase from the store are even the same concept, or even from the same planet.

I know, the basic concept is that homemade noodles take a lot of time, but you could put the dough together on a Sunday in about 20 minutes, roll in plastic, and then simply roll the dough out on a week night and boil. Fresh pasta easy. And, once you do, you'll realize how really simple they are. Like the potatoes today. The microwave does half the work for you while you prepare the buffalo sauce.

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