Buffalo Chicken, Reconstructed

I’m back and with a delicious recipe!  My boyfriend and I have been watching Top Chef.  One of their challenges inspired me.  They were asked to deconstruct a popular dish.  Now, I certainly wouldn’t call this dish “deconstructed”, but it does take an interesting slant on a classic dish – buffalo chicken.

Instead of sticky bar food, I came up with a decadent and classy replacement.  This dish is 3 parts, the quinoa base, a buffalo chicken main dish and a blue cheese sauce.  Each component is a part of the traditional buffalo wing meal.  The base has your celery, the blue cheese sauce mimics blue cheese dressing, and the buffalo chicken explains itself. It is a little more complicated than my past dishes, so I’m going to post it in increments.

First off, I should let you know, this dish serves 3.  Odd, I know.  It just ended up that way.  If you have a family, I’d advise doubling it, because believe me, you’ll want leftovers.

The chicken is lying on  a bed of quinoa.  I will, undoubtedly, be posting more quinoa recipes.  It is a delicious grain that is very high in protein and packed full of vitamins.  I use it in lieu of rice or pasta, as it is healthier and (in my opinion) tastier.  It is extremely forgiving and incredibly easy to make.  The taste is somewhat like rice, only a little nutty.  It is a little difficult to find, but most places that sell organic foods have quinoa.  Whole foods sells it for only a few dollars a pound.

Quinoa base:

1 cup of quinoa

2 cups chicken broth

1 Tablespoon of olive oil

2 ribs of celery, chopped

1 small onion, chopped

1 1/2 teaspoon garlic, minced

salt and pepper to taste

This is really a great, simple recipe for anyone ready to try quinoa – plain or in this recipe.  Start by heating the oil in a small saucepan.  Once oil is hot, add chopped onion and celery.  Salt and pepper liberally.  Once onion and celery become translucent, add garlic.  Mix and cook until garlic is fragrant.  This should only take a minute.  Remove vegetables from pan.

Add quinoa and chicken broth to pan.  Turn heat to high until mixture begins to boil.  Then turn heat down to a simmer.  Let simmer until quinoa has absorbed nearly all the liquid.  This should take approximately 15 minutes.

When there is only a little liquid left, add vegetables back into saucepan.  Heat through until all broth is absorbed.

For the buffalo chicken, I took an easy approach.  I simply marinated 3 chicken breasts buffalo sauce for a couple of hours, then baked them the oven.  Nothing fancy.

This blue cheese sauce is not my recipe.  I used the Pioneer Woman‘s recipe.  And let me tell you – this Sauce IS DECADENT.  I don’t even have words.

1 large onion

4 Tablespoons butter

1 cup heavy cream

1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese

Slice onion.  Don’t make any weenie mince or chop, either.  Go ahead and slice, they’ll cook down.  Melt butter in a pan over high heat.  Add onions.  Cook until caramelized.  They will look dark and brown.  Reduce heat to simmer and pour in cream. Cook for 3 to 5 minutes, or until reduced by half. Stir in blue cheese until melted.

Assembly is delicious.  Place some quinoa on a plate.  Lay chicken on top.  Pour sauce on top.  Eat and ponder how wonderful life is.

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