A Healthy Take on Buffalo Chicken

When Jacob and I moved in together for the first time, there were many things each of us had to learn about sharing a space together. From me learning not to kick him off the bed in my sleep to him getting used to my new-found love for HGTV — constantly. It’s been almost 10 months to date since we settled down into our first home and while we’ve gotten accustomed to each of our own habits, we still learn new quirks about one another every day. As it turns out, one of these just so happens to be food.  Making something to eat for myself is one thing, but when cooking for two, I find myself coming up with dinners I would never have thought to create on my own. One of Jacob’s favorite foods is anything buffalo chicken. From wings to pizza, if it has poultry, buffalo sauce and a bonus of ranch dressing, he’s sure to try it. And it’s what inspired me to try something new and create my own take on a healthy-conscious breaded buffalo chicken breast.

buffalo chx

INGREDIENTS
● 4 chicken breasts (skinless and boneless)
● Buffalo sauce
● Ranch dressing
● Panko bread crumbs
● Shredded parmesan cheese
● Olive oil

DIRECTIONS
buffalo chxbuffalo chx1. Preparing the chicken. One of the most important things to note when preparing chicken is cleanliness. Make sure to use a separate cutting board that’s solely for chicken. This will help to eliminate the spread of cross-contamination in making other foods. Once you take the chicken out of its wrapping,  wash it off under cool water, pat it dry and set it on your cutting board. You’ll need to trim it of any excess fat or cutlets you don’t want included in your final product. To watch a video of how to cut a boneless chicken breast, watch a video here. Once you’re finished, place all the breasts in a large plastic bag and set aside.

buffalo chx

buffalo chxbuffalo chxbuffalo chx2. The buffalo ranch dressing. When it comes to creating the sauce for our chicken, I didn’t include any measurements because this mixture is up to experimentation. I tried to not have an overwhelming flavor of buffalo sauce so I added a little more ranch to the mix. However, if a spicy sauce is your preference, just add more buffalo sauce instead. The important thing is to taste before you finish it. Make sure it’s something enjoyable to your palette before mixing it with the chicken (note the gorgeous swirls above that’s created by mixing these two colors together — couldn’t help but snap a shot). Once you have a buffalo sauce you like, add it into the plastic bag with the chicken. Seal the top and massage the sauce into the chicken, making sure every inch is covered in the bag. Place the buffalo chicken in the fridge for a half-hour to 2 hours to properly marinate.

buffalo chxbuffalo chx3. The breading. Once again, I didn’t include any measurements for the breading since I don’t really think it’s necessary. Pour some of the Panko bread crumbs into a shallow bowl that will fit our chicken breasts. Using Panko bread crumbs instead of normal bread crumbs creates more of a crispy layer and crunch on the outside of the chicken. For a little added flavor, shred some parmesan cheese and add that to the mixture. The cheese will help the sauce stick to the bread crumbs and give a nice taste to the final product.

buffalo chxbuffalo chxbuffalo chx4. Putting it all together. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Before you get the chicken ready, take a baking sheet and line it with aluminum foil. Then, place a cookie rack on top of the foil. This will help the chicken not stick to the baking sheet and ensure everything is cooked through. After the chicken has marinated long enough, take one piece at a time and add it to the bowl of bread crumbs. Make sure the entire chicken is coated in the mixture and place each breast on our layered sheet, giving the chicken enough room in between each other. Drizzle a little bit of olive oil over the top of each chicken to give the crust a nice, golden brown look. Once your oven is heated, place the sheet on a middle rack for 40 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through and the crust is crispy.

buffalo chxAnd there you have it! Not to shabby for my first time making buffalo chicken — and a healthy kind to boot. Stay tuned for more new, delicious recipes to come.

buffalo chx

To see the original version of this recipe, visit my Pinterest page here: http://www.pinterest.com/pin/110478997084924312/

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