Special thanks to The Motherhood and Naturally Fresh® for partnering with me today. It’s always a joy to get to spread the word about delicious products my family enjoys. All thoughts and opinions are my own, as always.
You know, I’m not very interested in “the BIG game” that gets played in a few weeks’ time. I am VERY interested, however, in the commercials, the fun half-time show, and most of all, the food. Super Bowl food is all about going big or going home. It’s a fun opportunity to take your dishes to the extreme in the flavor department.
One of the most popular Super Bowl menu items is buffalo chicken wings. I have a confession to make about this particular dish: I only like it a little bit. As in, if someone else made chicken wings I would eat 1 or maybe 2, and the part I would enjoy the very most would be that awesome bleu cheese dressing. Most wings are just too hot for me to handle, and too messy for me, as well.
But when I learned that Naturally Fresh® had a lite bleu cheese dressing available, I honestly couldn’t stop thinking about it. I wanted to try it, and I wanted to create some sort of a recipe where the bleu cheese dressing could justifiably be eaten in large quantities. (What?! Don’t judge me until you’ve tried it!). So I knew that I needed to revisit the buffalo chicken wing issue and bring some heat to the table in a new way.
I present to you the Buffalo Chicken and Bacon Wedge Salad. While a wedge salad might not seem appropriate for the Super Bowl, this particular one is ready for the challenge. First, it’s got 2 different types of meat on it, and second, the meat AND the dressing are all loaded down with great flavors. So it eats much more like a main dish than a side, if I do say so myself!
- 1 1/2 lb bone-in chicken thighs
- 1/3 cup hot sauce of your choice
- 4 Tbsp butter
- 1 Tbsp vinegar (white or go wild like me and use apple cider)
- 1 tsp garlic salt
- 1/4 tsp pepper
- 1/4 tsp Worcestershire sauce
- 1 head iceburg lettuce
- 1 tomato
- 1 package bacon
- 1 jar Naturally Fresh Lite Bleu Cheese Dressing
In a slow cooker, add hot sauce, butter, vinegar, garlic salt, pepper, Worcestershire sauce and chicken wings. Place the slow cooker on low for 5 1/2 hours. After 1 hour, briefly open up the slow cooker and give the contents a good stir so that the sauce gets coated on the chicken. Return the lid and resume the slow cooking process.
Meanwhile, cook the package of bacon in whatever way you prefer to cook it. My style is to line 2 baking pans with foil, add the bacon, and cook them for 15-20 minutes (start watching at minute 15) at 400 degrees. After it cools down a bit it should be easy to crumble (you can always cut them up with kitchen shears!).
When the chicken is nearly done cooking, prepare your salad wedges. Simply cut your head of lettuce in half, and then cut each half again.
Now take your cooked chicken out of the slow cooker. Careful, as it is going to just fall off the bone. You want to remove any obvious bits of fat that remain, and of course remove all the bones. Shred the meat by using two forks. It will be easy-peasy. I recommend leaving the shredded chicken out of the slow cooker, but adding back to it approximately 1/4 cup of the sauce it cooked it to help ramp up the flavor a bit. You want moist, but not sopping wet shredded chicken.
Now it’s time to put it all together!
Simply place a wedge on your plate, and then generously drizzle it with that yummy Naturally Fresh Lite Bleu Cheese dressing. Look at those delicious chunks!
Add your tomatoes and your bacon, and then put the buffalo chicken around the edge. This makes it easy to grab a hunk of buffalo chicken each time you cut into your salad and take a bite.
While it takes a while to make the chicken, it is pretty much effortless and the end result is well worth it. I thought the chicken had some heat, but it wasn’t as intense as more traditional buffalo chicken wings. But the marriage between the flavor it had and the Naturally Fresh Lite Bleu Cheese dressing was perfect in every way! I ate this exact meal 3 times in a row after making it because I loved it so much! I probably would have kept going, but I ran out of wedges! 🙁
If you haven’t tried Naturally Fresh products yet, you are really in for a treat. These products are free of artificial flavors, colors or preservatives. They also leave out MSG and artificial thickeners. Truly they have captured the flavor of great, homemade dressings! And if you are wondering if the lite version of the bleu cheese is lacking (as lite dressings sometimes are) I can tell you that it doesn’t taste lite at all. The company uses a nonfat buttermilk to achieve that rich flavor without as many calories.
In addition to Bleu Cheese and Lite Bleu Chesse, the company also offers a Ranch and brad new to the scene this month, Lite Ranch (half the calories of the original!). You can find these products in the refrigerated section of the store at Kroger and Publix.
Win it!: FIVE lucky Stuff Parents Need readers will win one coupon each for a free 12 oz. bottle of Naturally Fresh dressing!
Be sure to enter my other current giveaways, found on the right sidebar.