Friday, April 15, 2011

Crockpot buffalo chicken sandwiches

I know I say this all the time but this is one of the simplest recipes I've ever made.  I am a big fan of throwing something together and waiting for it to get delicious all on it's own accord with no more effort from me.  Thus, my love affair with my crockpot.  I have a fancy schmancy red one with a timer on it so I can set it to start when I want it to, although I will admit that I don't know how to run that function and Justin is in charge of manually pushing the start button most of the time.  He had a white one before we met, and his mom got me the coolest double crockpot EVER for Christmas this year.  So when we have parties, I load up my 4 crockpots with dips, wings, meatballs, ribs, whatever strikes my fancy.  Just wait till we start having parties this summer, and I will post some party foods on here as well....

Anyway, I got off track there...the meal I made last night was crockpot buffalo chicken sandwiches, which I got from the blog of a friend of a friend (thanks Amanda!).  This was such a hit that I think Sam (our dog) was upset that there were no table scraps whatsoever for him to devour like there usually are when the crockpot is out.  There's usually just enough in there to not want to waste but not enough to save, and he loves all the juice and drinks it like water so when he sees the crockpot, he knows he's got a treat coming.  Not this time.  Curt ate three, yes, I said three sandwiches and Justin ate two (mind you, one was on a brat bun and twice the size of the buns I had).  So after I took my one down, Sam was left with nothing but juice...but that's neither here nor there, the dog eats better than most people, it's not going to kill him to eat Kibbles for one night.

Here is the original recipe:

4- boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 packet - Dry Ranch Dressing Mix
1 - Small Yellow Onion(sliced)
4 TBs - Butter
10 oz bottle Buffalo Wing Sauce*
Bleu Cheese Crumbles
Provolone Cheese
Sandwich buns

I omitted the butter (don't tell Justin), as well as the bleu cheese crumbles, and used 2% swiss cheese slices instead of provolone and large wheat rolls.  Once you have everything, this recipe is easy as pie (or I guess you could say it's easy as a crockpot buffalo chicken sandwich, but pie is shorter).  Slice the onion up and layer in the bottom of the crockpot, layer the chicken on top of that, sprinkle the ranch packet on top of that, add the wing sauce on top of that.....and that's that (that was a lot of that's, huh?). 

Oh I almost forgot, I added about a cup and a half of diced celery to the mix an hour before all this was done cooking.  I've had buffalo chicken pizza with some crunchy celery on it before and it just made my I thought some celery couldn't hurt.

Cook on low for 4-6 hours, and with 1 hour left of cooking time - shred the chicken, add the bleu cheese (optional) and/or celery (optional) and continue cooking for additional hour.  Here is the shredded chicken:

By the way, if you've noticed before, I buy crockpot liners to use every time I cook with one.  I've been to the point of wanting to throw out a crockpot and buy a new one before because the cruckas (no, that word is not in the dictionary but I'm sure all of you can imagine what I mean when I say it) was so baked on from some concoction....these were the answer from the crockpot gods! I had never heard of them until my friend Cynthia brought something over to our house in a lined crock before...its like a dream come true.  They sell them in the same aisle as ziplocks and saran wraps at most stores. I seriously have a few boxes at a time at home, like if something bad in the world would happen and all grocery stores shut down I would still have my crockpot liners.  They're that important. 

But I digress....I toasted the buns in the oven and in hindsight, I wouldn't repeat that step.  These are better with soft, untoasted bread to soak up the yummy (really the only way to describe it without slobbering to you) juices.  Throw a piece of 2% swiss cheese on there and BOOM:

In case you were wondering, the broccoli is just steamed with cracked pepper and salt, as well as the I Cant Believe Its Not Butter spray (calorie and fat free) since we were out of parmesan cheese.  That's about it....enjoy your weekend peeps!

I am heftily (is that even a word?) estimating each sandwich to be 400 calories but could be more like 350 depending how heavy you load it with chicken.

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