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Buffalo Chicken Tacos

February 2, 2018

I'm married to a Buffalo boy and that whole wings thing is kind of sacred, but we live in California, and I do believe I updated this Super Bowl Sunday staple in a very western way.  My secret ingredient is the Smoky Paprika. I think it really makes the flavor both traditional and fresh. Buy your favorite tortillas.  I like corn but the rest of the clan likes flour.  Either will be great.  I like to buy the ones I can finish cooking on my grill for a fresher feel, but grab what you want.  If you are serving these on Super Bowl Sunday, then you want to think very little and enjoy a lot.  The beauty is you can make so much ahead and then lay it out for everyone to assemble with toppings and sauciness as they like.

Here goes!

 

 

 

The Sauce!

 

1 c.       Butter (2 sticks)

3/4 c.  Frank's Red Hot Sauce (not very spicy, so switch if you like it hot!)

3/4 c.  Tomato sauce

3/4 t.  Cider Vinegar

3/4 t.  Worchestershire sauce

1 T.      Smoky Paprika

salt and pepper to your liking

 

Melt butter in small saucepan.  Whisk in all the other ingredients and simmer low for 3-5 minutes.  Don't let it boil.  Set aside till chicken is ready for assembly. (You can make this ahead and just reheat slowly.  It will separate a little ('cause of the butter and vinegar) but just whisk it back together.

 

The Blue Cheese Drizzle

 

1 c.      Blue Cheese, crumbled

3/4 c.  Mayonnaise

3/4 c.  Sour Cream

1 T.     Lemon Juice (to taste)

2T.      Half and Half (optional, to think)

salt and pepper

 

I smashed this all together with a fork.  You could use a food processor and then add in some more crumbled cheese. I'll do anything not to wash another dish, so I did it all in one bowl.  You choose! Don't forget to taste it.  I like a strong cheese.  You might like it more mild or creamier so don't be afraid to add in more sour cream.  Or add some half and half to thin it.  Be brave! Now put this in the fridge till you're ready to assemble.  You can make this hours ahead or even the day before.

 

The Extras

 

Chopped red onion, cilantro, parsley, cherry tomatoes, and CELERY!  The celery is that nod to tradition and also gives a really nice coolness and crunch.

 

I'd say...

1/2 red onion, finely chopped

1/2 c. cilantro, chopped

1/2 c. parsley, chopped

1 c.     cherry tomatoes, cut in half

whole small head of celery heart or 3 stalks from large head, chopped.

sliced red pepper for garnish... if you want more veggies or color

 

Chicken!

 

6 chicken breasts, trimmed, skinless and boneless

 

Toss with salt, pepper and enough olive oil to coat.  I like to cook these in my ridiculously heavy Staub grill pan.  You can do it in the broiler, your favorite pan, a cast iron skillet.  The key is to put them in hot skillet, let them cook enough that they want to release from the pan easily and not stick.  Then flip them.  Probably about 5 minutes each side, depending on your thickness.  You're going to dice the chicken afterward, so don't be afraid to take one out of the pan, slice it in half and see how it's doing.  It should be cooked through. Make sure it's not pink inside, okay? 

 

THE FUN PART!

 

Assembly... 

 

1.    Dice your chicken into 3/4 inch cubes.  Toss with wing sauce to coat.  Don't drown it.  You're going to have extra sauce leftover so that everyone can add if they like more.  Put it in a gravy boat or pitcher on the side.

 

2.    Warm your tortillas.  Grill them, microwave them. Be you.

 

3.    Sometimes I just lay out the extras on the chopping board where I cut them.  See above laziness re dishwashing.  I actually happen to think this is colorful, resourceful and pretty.

 

4.    Call everyone in from watching the half-time show.  Justin Timberlake can wait on pause.  

 

5.    Tortilla+Sauced Chicken+celery and fixings+blue cheese drizzled on top.  Let everyone ooh and ah.  

 

Add more sauce as needed.  Go Team!

 

 

 

 

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