Let me start by saying, I love buffalo-flavored anything. Ever since I was introduced to it in college, I haven’t been able to get enough. When a cafe around the corner from my work began offering a buffalo chicken chowder every now and then, I was stoked. Buffalo Chicken…in a soup? Two of my favorite things combined into one? Yes please! I was then on a quest for the perfect recipe.
Now, I’m not creative in the kitchen. I will never be that person who creates a recipe from scratch to give to all of you. I wish I was, but I’m just not. I always second guess my own cooking, even following a recipe exactly.
I decided last night that I wanted to attempt a buffalo chicken chowder, instead of making my normal turkey chili. Something a bit different, but something that would be delicious and hearty, especially as the cold weather starts to set it (not today…70s!). I settled on this recipe from Food.com. I liked that it used real ingredients and it looked like it would be a pretty simple recipe to throw together on a Tuesday evening.
I doubled, well kind of doubled the recipe, to make more than we needed (as always). Here is the recipe and what I did (in bold).
Serves 6 (Even though I doubled this, we probably get 6 servings out of it because that’s just how we roll)
- 2 tablespoons of butter (I stuck with the 2 tablespoons. 4 tablespoons looked like a lot. I also used Kerrygold.)
- 1 small onion, chopped (I forgot the onion… whoops. I’m okay with it because I don’t like onions.)
- 4 celery ribs (8 ribs)
- 2 garlic cloves, minced (I used minced garlic out of the jar… we have a Sam’s Club container of it)
- 1/4 cup flour (1/2 cup of whole wheat flour)
- 3 cups skim milk (5 1/2 cups 1% milk)
- 3/4 – 1 cup buffalo wing sauce (I used Frank’s Red Hot Cayenne Pepper Sauce, instead of wing sauce. And I used 1 1/2 cups)
- 1 1/2 cups frozen corn (2 cans of corn)
- 2 cups of diced cooked chicken (I used Purdue Fit&Easy Tenderloins. Already small and no need for all the trimming. I probably ended up with 3 cups once I was done chopping)
- 8 ounces of cream cheese (I used around 12… reduced fat)
- crumbled blue cheese (for topping!)
Sauté onions and celery in butter in a large pot until tender. Since I didn’t have the onions it was just celery sauteing in the butter. I like my celery to stay crunchy, so I only sauteed for about 5 minutes.
Add garlic and cook for another minute.
Reduce heat and stir in flour, cook for 1-2 minutes. Do not brown. This was confusing… the flour didn’t really seem to absorb and instead stuck to the bottom. I’m thinking it was because I didn’t have enough butter. But it turned out find in the end.
Add milk, wing sauce, corn, chicken and cream cheese and bring to a simmer. Cook until cheese is melted and soup has thickened. It will look like a giant mash of nothing. The cream cheese will just be a giant brick. I turned the heat up to med-high (probably higher than it needed to be), to get it melting more. It says to let it simmer, but I ended up stirring quite a bit to make sure the cream cheese stirred in and the flour wasn’t chunky. Needless to say, I was pretty much questioning if this would even be edible in the end.5. Serve topped with bleu cheese crumbles.
Verdict: I was pretty darn proud of myself once it was done. The chowder ended up pretty thick, just like it should be, and it really resembled a chowder. It had the perfect about of buffalo-taste to it, and the chicken ended up softening even more in the soup and almost started to shred. I was skeptical about using cream cheese, but maybe that’s the norm in chowders?, but it definitely gave it that yummy creamy flavor and helped to thicken it.
One word of advice. Make sure to have the chicken cooked before you decide to start cooking the chowder. That chowder only took about 20 minutes, but the chicken took 20 minutes by itself. If you have the chicken pre-cooked in the fridge, it will save you a HUGE step.
Needless to say, I can’t wait to devour more of this for lunch today. Such a hearty soup!