Sunday, October 14, 2012

Cheesy Buffalo Chicken Bread

So I've been all about the easy stuff lately, at least when it comes to the kitchen.

At the grocery store, I recently found this refrigerated, roll-out pizza crust with whole grains- which I am super excited about!  It's by Pillsbury, called Artisan Pizza Crust.

Ok ok, I know it's still not as good (or good for you) as homemade, but at least it's a slightly healthier, convenient option.

Now somewhere deep in the dusty annals of my brain lay a recollection of this taco ring that we made in Home Ec in high school, where we braided dough around a meat & cheese filling.

Do not ask me how I remembered this, considering I have to write myself notes to remind myself of pretty much everything these days - but I did.

That, in turn, gave me the idea to do a braided stuffed bread.  And what better to stuff bread with than buffalo chicken and cheese (especially when your husband is Mr. Vittles?)

By the way, I apologize for the atrocious photos - it's not that I'm regressing back to the early days of V&B, but rather that I made this for dinner and there was zero natural light available.  And the aforementioned lazy factor prevented me from getting out my special indoor light.

So deal, ok?  You get the idea.

Cheesy Buffalo Chicken Bread

  • 1 can refrigerated roll-out pizza crust (I recommend Pillsbury Artisan crust)
  • 1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breast, cooked & shredded
  • 1 T. butter
  • 1 t. garlic, minced
  • 1/2 C. Frank's Red Hot sauce (or hot sauce of your choosing)
  • 1/4 C. blue cheese dressing
  • 3/4 C. shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1 egg white, beaten
  • sesame seeds, for garnishing (optional)

Unroll pizza crust onto a cookie sheet that's been greased or lined with nonstick foil.  Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.

Place shredded chicken in a large bowl.  In a small frying pan, melt butter over medium heat until foaming.  Add garlic and saute about 30 seconds until fragrant.  Pour butter mixture over chicken in bowl, and add hot sauce.  Mix well to coat chicken evenly.

Turn the cookie sheet with the crust so the short side is facing you.  Evenly distribute chicken mixture down the middle of the crust, vertically.  Using a sharp knife or kitchen shears, make a horizontal cut in the middle of each side of the crust, to within a 1/2" of the filling.

You will now have 4 squares of crust surrounding the chicken.  In the very middle of each of those squares, make another cut to within a 1/2" of the filling.  You will now have a total of 8 strips surrounding the chicken.

In the center of each of those strips, make another cut to within a 1/2" of the chicken so that you have a total of 16 strips (8 on each side of the chicken).  See diagram below (the tan color is crust, the peach is the chicken, and the dotted lines are the cuts you need to make):
Once you have all the cuts completed, drizzle top of chicken with blue cheese dressing.  Sprinkle with mozzarella cheese.  Then, using two hands, alternate pulling the strips across filling to cover.  At the ends of the braid, pinch any holes together so none of the filling comes out.

Brush the beaten egg white over the top of your braid, and sprinkle with sesame seeds (if desired).  Bake in preheated oven 12-15 minutes, or until top is browned.  Let sit 5 minutes on sheet before cutting and serving.  Serves 4.

Original Recipe

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