Buffalo chicken wings and blue cheese dressing is a top tier flavor combination in my opinion and it turns out that it isn’t that hard to make either component. According to the National Chicken Council, the early version of the concept that became Buffalo wings was invented in 1964 at the Anchor Bar in Buffalo, New York. Blue cheese dressing’s origin story is a little more complicated but it seems that we’ve had a form of blue cheese ever since a distracted shepherd accidentally left cheese behind and later discovered blue cheese in a cave outside of the village Roquefort, France in the 7th century.
The combination of buffalo sauce and blue cheese dressing is very popular in sandwich form and you can tell this from its appearance on thousands of menus across the United States. I get really excited about buffalo chicken wings and am interested when I get the opportunity to move those flavors into sandwich territory. A buffalo chicken sandwich is an experience that I crave when I see it on a menu.
It’s time to start this business and I hope you’ll follow me along the way as I make a couple of buffalo chicken wing inspired sandwiches. Please grab three or five napkins and join me.
The bun I used this week was the King Arthur Baking brioche bun recipe. This recipe is a good one but you need to know in advance that it’s an overnight rest/rise recipe. This just means you need to start the bun recipe the day before you need buns.
You also MUST have a stand mixer or bread maker for this unless you’re ready for 25 or 30 minutes of solid hard core stirring. For the first 20 minutes of my stand mixer churning at a solid 4 speed, it looked like I was making a cookie dough. But somewhere around the 20 minute mark my dough started coming together and pulling off of the side of the bowl.
One of the biggest lessons I learned during this process was found in the accompanying brioche King Arthur blog post (these accompanying posts are the best). They suggested when you’re putting the buns onto the parchment for the final rise, you should flatten the dough balls. Their technique was to use a bench scraper or a large measuring cup to evenly push down the dough and twist it to help with making the ball circular.
This was fantastic advice and it helped me make very smooth looking buns. I probably would never have thought of this on my own, but looking back it makes so much sense and I will be applying it to my future bun bakes, brioche or not. You should buy a good bench scraper like this one (Amazon affiliate link) if you don’t already have one. If you’re buying a bench scraper and not using this link, make sure it has measurement lines on the edges. When I’m baking biscuits and using my bench scraper, I can use the measurement marks to get consistent heights on my biscuits it also helps when shaping 5 or 6 inch long sandwich rolls.
Two ingredients and you’re done. Boom. I don’t need to say much more here. Frank’s RedHot will give you the buffalo flavor you’re probably most used to, but you can use your favorite hot sauce too. Go nuts.
Blue cheese dressing
In my opinion, blue cheese dressing is 100% required if you’re making Buffalo sauced meals. Some folks will say they prefer Ranch, but they are wrong. The flavors just blend so well that I can’t imagine one without the other. This is a super easy recipe and it’s very similar to my Ranch recipe.
Grilled buffalo chicken sandwich
I made both a fried and grilled version of the buffalo chicken sandwich. For my grilled version I decided to make some slaw and since I had a lot of blue cheese dressing, I chose to use that instead of mayo as the creamy part of the slaw recipe. This slaw could be made with store bought blue cheese dressing too. If you’re using store bought, be careful when adding the dressing – add it slowly to make sure you don’t use too much. Just incorporate a little at a time and stir until you get the slaw dressed the way you like it.
The prep for my grilled chicken was really simple. I didn’t go complicated with seasoning, since I was going to dunk the chicken into my buffalo sauce. I simply seasoned a boneless, skinless chicken thigh with salt and pepper and grilled it. On this occasion, I used a grill pan in my kitchen, but you can obviously grill it however you want. 4 or 5 minutes per side and you should be golden. An instant read thermometer like this one (Amazon affiliate link) will help you if you’re not sure when your chicken is fully cooked. I’m also a big fan of the ThermoPop at around thirty five dollars.
Flamin’ Hot Cheeto crusted buffalo chicken sandwich
I bought a few small bags of Flamin’ Hot flavored snacks (Fritos, Cheetos and Funyuns) and we had a little sampling at home (Funyuns were the best). I took the leftover Cheetos and figured I would use them to crust fried chicken thighs. Then I coated it in buffalo sauce, which was undoubtedly overkill, but I still did it. The Flamin’ Hot flavor didn’t stand out as much, but the crunch and texture really did. This was a winner. The cheetos stood up to the sauce and kept most of their texture and snap.
I’ve included the full recipe for my Flamin’ Hot Cheeto crusted buffalo chicken sandwich below. Give it a try and let me know how yours works out! Check back again next week where I’ll be trying my hand at more sandwiches.
Spicy but not overwhelming flavors along with the cooling blue cheese dressing leave you with a flavorful piece of still crunchy fried chicken. Get extra napkins.
- 4 chicken thighs or breast pieces
- 2 large eggs
- 1⁄4 cup buttermilk
- 1 1⁄2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 1⁄2 cups crushed Flamin' Hot Cheetos
- peanut oil for frying
- buffalo wing sauce (link to recipe)
Season both sides of your chicken with salt and pepper.
Get three bowls, plates or pans that are large enough for a piece of chicken to lay flat.
Make seasoned flour by combining flour with the salt and pepper in a bowl or pan.
Prepare another bowl or pan and add 2 eggs and 1/4 cup of buttermilk. Season with salt and pepper. Stir well to combine.
Add your crushed Flamin' Hot Cheetos to your third bowl or pan
Using one piece of chicken at a time dredge in the seasoned flour mixture until thorougly coated on all sides. Then coat in the egg and buttermilk mixture. Make sure chicken is fully coated. Then place chicken into the Flamin' Hot Cheetos and firmly press until chicken is heavily coated. Place fully coated chicken onto a piece of parchment or the rack of a sheet pan to rest.
Heat 2 inches of peanut oil in a skillet to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
Fry each piece of chicken for 6 to 7 minutes or until it reaches 165 degrees internal temperature. If your chicken is really thick you will likely need a little more time. You'll probably want to fry for 3 minutes on the first side and then flip it to make sure you're getting the level of browning that you want. Continue cooking on the other side.
After frying, place finished chicken on a cooling rack over paper towels to drain some of the oil away.
Toss fried chicken pieces in buffalo sauce and place each chicken piece on a bun. Top each buffalo sauce coated thigh or breast piece with blue cheese dressing, lettuce and tomato (if desired).
And since you made it this far I have another sandwich to look at. This one was fried AND slaw’ed.