There is just something so magical about the spicy, tangy, savory, zing of buffalo sauce. I don’t know what it is, but it’s good on just about everything. Perhaps that’s why Frank’s Red Hot Sauce boasts the slogan “I put that S#*t on everything!” Although mildly offensive, it’s marketing genius. So with the Super Bowl coming up this weekend, my mind is already racing through my repertoire of game day comfort foods. Buffalo Sauce is obviously going to be a big part of the menu. But, since patience and delaying gratification have never been strong virtues of mine, (I almost had to be hospitalized after burning my mouth on brownies right out of the oven and I used to sneak peeks of my Christmas presents until about oh..age 20) I decided I needed something buffalo-y mid-week to tide me over till Sunday.
Last week we ordered dinner from Energy Kitchen, a super healthy and super cheap takeout joint. I ordered a buffalo chicken burger and it was pretty good, a little dry, but zip of the hot sauce combined with the creamy blue cheese and crunchy celery was oh so satisfying. Last night I came up with the idea to make buffalo chicken meatloaf, but I was concerned about the lean chicken making the meat loaf way too dry.
Then I remembered a little meatloaf trick from my girl Ree, over at thepioneerwomancooks.com. When she makes meatloaf, instead of using dried bread crumbs, she takes sandwhich bread, soaks it in milk, then “moshels” (that’s my mom’s word for how you combine meatloaf) it all together with the meat and other ingredients.
So I thought I’d use that technique to make the buffalo chicken meatloaf more moist. It worked…sort of. Once I had combined the ground chicken, chopped celery, blue cheese, egg, buffalo sauce, and milk-soaked bread, the whole thing was sort of…gloopy. I didn’t think it would stay in a loaf shape once in the oven.
So then I thought…I could take a page out of the mini mac and cheese book and spoon the meatloaf mixture into muffin tins. Not only would it hold it together, but they would look so cute! They smelled amazing in the oven and tasted even more amazing once they came out. They best part? They were super low cal. I mean you’ve got lean chicken, zero cal sauce, healthy celery, and whole wheat bread. And even though there is cheese inside and on top, a little bit of blue cheese goes a long way because it’s really pungent, so that minimize the fat in the dish. It’s a good thing…because I’m saving up my calories for game day.
Buffalo Chicken Meatloaf
3 pieces whole wheat bread
1/4 cup milk
1 lb. ground chicken
2 tbsp. buffalo sauce (I like Frank’s Red Hot Sauce)
1 bunch celery, finely diced
8 oz. blue cheese crumbles
Non-Stick cooking spray
In a large bowl pour milk over the sliced bread. Allow the milk to seap in, discard excess milk. Using your hands “moshel” the bread until it’s a a smooth meal. Add the chicken, sauce, celery, 4 oz. of blue cheese and the egg. Mix with your hands to combine. Spray a muffin tin with non-stick cooking spray. Spoon meat mixture up to the top of each tin. Top each with a few crumbles of blue cheese and a few shakes of hot sauce. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 30 minutes until the chicken is no longer pink in the middle.