I am obsessive compulsive about many things–namely paper and handwriting. In college, I wrote in the same kind of pen for the first three and a half years. I decided to rebel for my final semester, for reasons that can only be explained by my prioritization of burritos, beverages, and future teaching career (scary!) over my note-taking. I was most certainly that girl that came home from class and rewrote her notes if they weren’t pretty enough. I didn’t like to let others borrow my notes–not because I didn’t like sharing–but because I didn’t want the metal rings to get bent. (My blood pressure is rising just thinking about ever having a sloppy notebook.) To this day, I won’t purchase a book if there are bends in the cover or on the pages. I still take pride in perfecting my handwriting and take great pleasure in rewriting notes. I think I was destined to be a teacher just because I could write on the white board at my leisure.
Another obsessive compulsive issue of mine has to do with my hands. They always have to be clean–not from germs necessarily (but that is nice), but from gunk. (Exception: dirt…I love having dirty and muddy hands. It means I was either having fun or working hard–oftentimes both.) I hate having to touch gooey, messy, or sticky things. Dirty fingernails gross me out as much as stinky feet. My worst nightmare is sticking my hand in a sink full of dirty dishwater. Also, it is not ok to clip your nails in ANY PLACE but the privacy of your own bathroom. I like clean, dry, well-moisturized hands. You get the picture.
I have no idea where my OCD issue with clean hands started, but for the reasons outlined above, I don’t like to eat messy foods with my hands either. Insert: buffalo wings. They certainly do taste great, but the fact that I have to repeatedly choose to get my hands slimy, sticky, and gooey over and over again in order to eat them always leads me to choose another appetizer or tailgate treat. I am sure there were many years where my parents were concerned whether they were going to end up with a civilized daughter (I mean, I did ride my bike in the rain with a shower cap on for years), but they should be proud to know that I love using my utensils.
Because buffalo wings are tasty and I love utensils, I wanted to combine to the two. The result: Mess-LESS Buffalo Chicken. All the tastiness of your traditional buffalo wing without any of the mess. Add more liquid and make it a soup, add less and turn it into buffalo chicken grilled cheese. We served it over rice one day and that was our favorite.
The bottom line: delicious, juicy, flavorful, succulent buffalo chicken while maintaining the cleanliness of your fingers (and your face). Your friends (and your date) will appreciate it!
Mess-LESS Buffalo Chicken:
- 2ish tablespoons olive oil
- 4-5 celery stalks, diced
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- a very generous 1/2 cup of flour (however, this will vary greatly depending on your desired consistency and amount of liquid, chicken, and veggies)
- chicken stock (we used 4 cans, and it was very liquidy so then I started adding other things to thicken it again. I think the magic number is somewhere between 2 and 3 cans.)
- cayenne pepper sauce (we used the whole bottle of Frank’s but then had to compensate because it was essentially like drinking Frank’s straight from the bottle.)
- 3-4 breasts of shredded chicken
- 1 cup plain Greek yogurt
- milk (again depends on your desired consistency and desired proportion of heat to creaminess)
- rice or bread if you want or grilled cheese if you please
- (next time I am going to add diced tomatoes)
- In a large stock pot (we used a Le Cruset dutch oven and almost ran out of room), heat olive oil over medium heat. Saute celery and onions over medium heat for 5-7 minutes, until softened.
- Add garlic and saute for another minute or two.
- Stir in flour and cook until the flour is absorbed.
- Add the chicken stock and shredded chicken.
- Add the pepper sauce.
- Cook until all ingredients are hot.
- Add Greek yogurt and milk. Cook on low until desired heat.
- Serve with rice, bread, or in grilled cheese form.