BUFFALO CHICKEN SALAD thanks to Rachel Ray (and my tweaks)…

I want to be sure I give TOTAL credit for this idea and recipe to Rachel Ray.  Just happened to catch her show after the Kitchen one day.  When I saw this recipe my mind went Bazooka!  Of course I can make this as she did it, but just think of the FUN ideas you can do for a big salad at a party!  We did it for Father’s Day this year.  Along with steaks, Twice baked potatoes and some wonderful beverages, we had another great party.    My daughter, Christian, commented about how easy the salad was to serve.  Not too juicy, and easy to gather up with tongs.

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start with a nice mix of greens, LIGHTLY tossed with a lite vinaigrette.

BUFFALO CHICKEN SALAD (Method and Recipe below)

Begin with some kind of plank for the bottom.  Of course you could also cover a card table or small table with butcher paper, Parchment paper, Foil or other food safe cover.  The whole idea of this wonderful salad is NO bowl!  Presentation is the key!  ( I added a layer down the middle of Saran Wrap.)

 

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Laurie and Steven gave me this wooden plank a few years ago as a gift.  I’m probably the only Gramma in the world who’d rather get something like this instead of a blender or flowers!  Thanks guys!

I covered the plank with Parchment for food safety, vinegar stains on the wood,  and for convenience.  Prepare a large salad of greens and LIGHTLY dress it with a lite vinaigrette, because you are going to drizzle ranch (or your choice of dressings) over it all.  Sprinkle with olives, chopped scallions, and any other little topping you like (corn, beans, tomatoes, etc.). Make the Buffalo chicken (recipe below) ahead of time.  You will slightly warm it when you put it on the salad, but don’t make it too hot, or you will wilt the lettuce.

Now Drop the Buffalo Chicken in chunky spoonfuls over the greens.

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A diligent Kitchen worker sprinkling black olives on top of the Buffalo Chicken.    This wonderful employee  needs a raise!

BUFFALO CHICKEN (my way….Not Rachel’s)….but there are literally hundreds of recipes on line.  Mine is fattening, unless you are on lo carb.  Everything in it is lo!

2-4 cups cooked, shredded or cubed chicken (this is a recipe where you can use Rotisserie chicken leftovers, chopped)

Melt one stick butter in a large skillet

Add:

2-8 oz. cream cheese blocks (cutting it up helps it melt faster)

1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

1 cup tabasco or wing sauce (I used Frank’s, pictured below, hidden behind the chicken soup). But you can substitute almost any great hot sauce!

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1 can Cream of Chicken soup

1/2 – 1 cup sour cream or “crema” pictured above

Mix all until you have a smooth sauce and stir in all the chicken.  Heat about 5 minutes.  YOU’RE DONE!  Now set it aside for putting on top of a salad, or using as a dip, or filling tacos or enchiladas…..Great for so many things!

Finish your salad presentation with a topping of Nacho cheese chips.  (Christian said she’d rather have Ranch chips, and Laurie likes Frito’s…..what a bunch of dissidents I have in my family!)

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NOW JUST THINK ABOUT THE VARIATIONS OF THIS SALAD (Debra will!)

How about Italian meats and cheeses all over the top of a great Vinaigrette-dressed salad?

Taco meat with all the taco condiments????

BBQ Beef with BBQ Potato chips on top?

Curry?  Italian sausage with sauce?  Omigosh…..I gotta go cook!

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