I love buffalo chicken wings. That hot, spicy tang of hot sauce goes great with chicken, and is perfectly cooled by a nice creamy blue cheese dressing. I could eat buffalo wings any time, any day. Just to show you how much I love them: once, I had to have a 2-hour root canal (that tooth was pretty ganky). And it got infected. So they gave me some medication, but it didn't help much and the infection grew to a big ole abcess. Yes, not something one would usually want to read on a food blog... But, anyway, point of story: I was on a liquidy diet for several weeks while dealing with that whole mess, and when I could finally have solid food, the first thing I did was go out for buffalo wings. Best. Meal. Ever. And that is how much I love them.
That being said: I am trying to eat better, not so much with the fried/fattening stuff. Which, one would think, would not include buffalo wings. But oh! I was cruising Heather's Core Recipes Blog, and found a buffalo chicken chili recipe (with blue cheese dressing to boot!). I had to try it. And it didn't disappoint in the least: this bright red "chili" has that great heat and taste one gets with buffalo wings, without the frying. And you still get the blue cheese! I have a feeling that I will be making this a lot this coming winter.
Buffalo Chicken Chili
1 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
2 lb. all-white meat ground chicken breast (I used shredded cooked chicken)
1 large carrot, peeled and finely chopped
1 large onion, chopped
3 ribs celery, finely chopped
5 large cloves garlic, chopped
1 Tbsp. smoked paprika
1 bay leaf
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 c. low-sodium chicken broth
1/4-1/2 c. hot sauce, depending on how hot you like it
1 (28 oz.) can crushed tomatoes
Fat free blue cheese salad dressing, for topping
Place a large pot over medium-high heat; add the oil. Once the pot is hot, add the ground chicken. Brown it, using the back of a wooden spoon to break it up in to small pieces, about 5-6 minutes. (If you use cooked shredded chicken, like I did, you can skip this step.)
Add the carrot, onion, celery, garlic, paprika, bay leaf and some salt and pepper to the pot. Cook, stirring frequently, for about 3-4 minutes (add shredded chicken at this time, if using). Add the chicken broth and scrape up any brown bits on the bottom of the pot. Add the hot sauce and crushed tomatoes, and bring up to a bubble. Simmer for 8-10 minutes to let the flavors come together.
Top each serving with a dollop of fat free blue cheese dressing.