Secret Recipe Club: Buffalo Chicken Lettuce Wraps

Day 201:  I spoke too soon.

Because the moment I complained about the lack of summer weather, Chicago was hit with 90+ degree temps.  Of which I was unfortunately out of town for but heard about nonetheless.

Looks like Mother Nature got the last laugh.

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Which brings me to this month’s SRC assignment, The Avid Appetite, and the ever so refreshing Buffalo Chicken Lettuce Wraps to remedy the scorching temperatures.

Rachel, the author of The Avid Appetite, began her beautiful [newly designed!] blog as many of us do: as a way to journal her adventures in cooking.  However, as the years have gone by, her blog as blossomed to encompass all facets of her life: foodfamilypop culture, and traveling.

And while I found myself distracted from my assignment with Rachel’s fun reads, such as Five Things Friday, I did manage to narrow down a list of delicious dishes for my potential SRC post: [Easy] Cheesy Enchiladas, Snickerdoodle Dip, and Fudgy Cookie Dough Brownies.  But the hubby and I  both set our sights on those wraps.

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And what a choice that was!  Have I mentioned not only how quick and easy they were to put together, but also how refreshing, balanced, and beautiful this dish is?  Because it’s that and so much more.  A summer recipe that will forever be on my list.

Yet another successful SRC month, thanks to Rachel, her lovely blog, and comforting recipes.  Until next month!

Cheers to all things scrumptious!

Side note, you may notice my pictures are a little ‘blah.’  Unfortunately my favorite [and only] camera died on me a couple of weeks ago, so I’ve been using my iPhone.  Boo…


Baking Level: Easy.  The only trick is getting that chicken cooked correctly, but being patient and attentive will get you there.

Flavor: A chilled, refreshing piece of lettuce nestles a hearty portion of a slightly spicy, classic homemade buffalo chicken mixture.  It’s dang good.

TextureThe tender chicken encased in the creamy buffalo mixture is a perfect pairing with the crisp, cold lettuce.  That hot and cold combination on that hot summer day is just what the doctor ordered.

Would I Make It Again?Ab-solutely!  Believe me when I say this is a summer dish perfect for any gathering.  Incredibly easy but with an eloquent presentation you don’t even have to try for.  Make it.  Now.

Helpful Tips:

  • The chicken is the star of this dish, so use the best quality you can afford.  I used bone-in chicken breasts from Whole Foods that were easily the best, plumpest pieces of chicken I’ve ever had.  Still not sure what that store does to their produce but I’m lovin’ it.
  • When mixing the cream cheese mixture together, I found I had a lot of chunks of stubborn cream cheese.  But once you add the warm chicken, the mixture combined together smoothly.

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Buffalo Chicken Lettuce Wraps

Ingredients:

3 chicken breasts, bone-in with skin

1 tbsp. olive oil

Salt and Pepper, to season

1/2 tsp. paprika

1/2 tsp. dried thyme

4 oz. cream cheese

1/2 c. hot sauce

1/2 c. crumbled blue cheese

1/3 c. blue cheese dressing

1-2 heads butter lettuce, trimmed and washed

Directions:

  1. Heat oven to 425°F.  Line a baking sheet with foil and spray with cooking spray.  Place chicken breasts evenly on pan.  Brush with olive oil and sprinkle both sides with salt, pepper, paprika and thyme.  Bake 25 minutes or until cooked through.  Remove pan from oven and let chicken cool slightly.
  2. When cool enough to handle, cut chicken into small cubes (discard skin and bone).  Set aside until ready to use.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, cream the cream cheese until mostly smooth.  Stir in hot sauce, blue cheese crumbles, and blue cheese dressing.  Add chopped chicken and stir to coat thoroughly.
  4. Place full pieces of lettuce on a serving platter and dollop a helping tablespoon (or more) of the chicken mixture in each piece. Serve with extra blue cheese crumbles for topping.

Yield: 10 wraps (per lettuce head)

Recipe adapted from The Avid Appetite