Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Buffalo Chicken Soup

One of the greatest soups in the world is pictured here.
I love, love, love all things Buffalo sauce. Buffalo wings? Obviously. Buffalo chicken dip? Or course. Buffalo chicken mac 'n cheese? A personal favorite! Licking the plate clean after any of these? Well I do not want to waste food... So yeah, I love Buffalo chicken soup.

I should also point out I am a bit of an elitist on the subject. Ranch with your wings? Screw you, you heretic. Get off my blog and do not ever come back. Buffalo wings with the word BBQ anywhere near it are NOT Buffalo wings. They are chicken wings. Real Buffalo sauce has two main ingredients (cayenne pepper sauce and butter) with a few acceptable additives (garlic being the only really worth while one). I could go one, but I will not. 

I tell you these things not to offend, but to establish the emotional level I have when it comes to this type of recipe. When you get to my rant about flavor in the commentary, I hope you will take me seriously.

1/4 cup butter
2 bunches green onions, chopped
3 stalks celery, chopped
1/4 cup flour
3/4 cup milk (I used 2%)
3/4 cup chicken broth
2 cups diced cooked chicken
1/4-1/2 cup Frank's Red Hot Original (do NOT use wing sauce - see commentary)
4 ounces Velveeta cheese (cut into a few pieces)
1/2 teaspoon cayenne
1/2 teaspoon celery salt
1 clove garlic, finely minced

Sau the onions and celery in butter until as tender as you want (using medium heat).
Stir in flour until smooth.
Add milk and broth a little at a time. Stir until completely mixed before adding more.
Once all the liquids are thoroughly mixed in, add remaining ingredients. Reduce heat, simmer, stirring occasionally, until cheese has completely melted.

As noted I have strong options about all things Buffalo sauce, so please hear me out. Frank's Red Hot Original (or similar cayenne pepper hot sauce) is the best flavor for this recipe. I strongly suggest against using a "wing sauce". Cayenne pepper sauce is an ingredient and primary flavor of most wing sauces, but they tend to be "creamier" than Frank's. They might not have actual butter mixed in, but they taste like they do. The problem is this recipe has lots of creamy (milk, butter, Velveeta) mixed in. By doubling down on creamy flavor can really cut back on that main flavors: cayenne and vinegar which is key to true "Buffalo" flavor. If you think Frank's is too spicy, I beg you just to use less, not a wing sauce. 

As much as I love Bdub's (and I seriously do), this is not the time or place for their sauce.
Make sure you really give the Velveeta lots of time to melt. I would say at least 5-10 minutes after you do not see any chunks left. The smaller chunks are hard to distinguish from chicken, so even if you cannot see any they are probably still there. Just make sure you do not have the heat high enough that you are going to burn anything.

Speaking of it, I feel a little sick to the stomach every time I buy Velveeta. I do not know why, just something about a "cheese product" in a box a weirds me out. That said it is worth it for this glorious soup.

This is an easily customized recipe. The butter, flour, milk, broth, and Velveeta should not be significantly altered, but go nuts elsewhere. Want it vegetarian? Leave out the chicken. Love (or hate) the crunch of celery? Add or reduce as desired. I used a little bit less green onions in this batch just because they looked terrible at the local grocer. You can add all kinds of fun things to this recipe and it will be good.

What I felt like adding today.

This makes about two large meal sized bowls. It freezes very well so I have been known to made double and quadruple batches and eat it for the next week or two.

I will make again and again and again and again. Great for the winter since it is a thick, hot, spicy soup.

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