Kicking Buffalo Chicken Legs with Creamy Blue Cheese Dressing

IMG_20130203_192407The spicy heat of Buffalo Chicken Wings and cooling affect of Creamy Blue Cheese Dressing have never tasted so good! A truly American creation. Traditionally the wings are seasoned, deep fried, and then tossed in vinegary hot sauce and melted butter. A really good pairing of two flavors. I had a taste for this combo during the Super Bowl, but I didn’t want to pay the high price for chicken wings, do any frying, or deal with messy fingers for such little meat in return.

Being raised in a large family I learned the art of frugality early in my life. It is amazing that folks will pay a premium price for something that once was very inexpensive such as chicken wings. Clearly the demand for wing have driving up the prices over the years as the popularity of “wings” of all sorts has grown.

So what do you do when you want Buffalo chicken “wings,” but don’t want to pay the higher prices? Turn to those other parts of the chicken that get no glory, chicken legs and thighs. This pass Super Bowl, I chose chicken legs. Priced at $0.88 cents a pound verses the $2.99 a pound for chicken wings. The other benefit beyond the cost savings of chicken legs is that they stay moist and tender through out the cooking process and hold very well in a the oven or chaffing dish while you and your guest enjoy them during your event. With the money you save purchasing the chicken legs you can then buy the best blue cheese possible. I love Maytag Blue Cheese. Just the right balance of acid, salt, creaminess, and richness to counter balance the heat from the spices on the chicken.

I’ve bumped up the flavors by adding a rub to the chicken before it is oven roasted and repeated the individual ingredients in the Buffalo Sauce. Another option if you don’t want your guest licking their fingers and needing a bowl for the bones.  Use boneless chicken breast or thighs on wooden skewers and grilling instead of oven roasting the chicken skewers.

Equipment:

  • Cutting Board
  • Knife
  • 2 Quart Sauce Pan
  • 1/2 Sheet Baking Pan
  • Heavy Duty Aluminum Foil (Reynolds)
  • Non-stick Cooking spray
  • 8 Quart Mixing Bowl
  • 1 Quart Mixing Bowl
  • Heat Proof Rubber Spatula
  • Fine Microplane Grater
  • Serving Platter and Bowl

Kicking Chicken Wings Dry Rub

  • 1 Tbsp.        Kosher Salt
  • 1 Tbsp.        Granulated Sugar
  • 1 Tbsp.        Sweet Hungarian Paprika
  • 1 tsp.          Fresh Ground Black Pepper
  • 1 tsp.          Ground Cayenne Pepper
  • 1 tsp.          Onion Powder
  • 1 tsp.          Garlic Powder
  • 5 lbs           Chicken Legs or Thighs (Rinsed in cold water and pat dry)
  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. for at least 20 minutes.
  2. Combine the Kosher salt, granulated sugar, black pepper, paprika, cayenne pepper, onion powder, and garlic powder in a 8 quart mixing bowl.  Stir to combine.
  3. Add the chicken to the bowl and toss to coat.  Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 20 minutes.
  4. Prepare the sheet pan by lining with aluminum foil and spraying with non-stick cooking spray.
  5. After 20 minutes.  Remove the chicken from the refrigerator and place onto the aluminum lined sheet tray.
  6. Place into the 400°F. preheated oven and roast for 30 to 35 minutes.
  7. While the chicken is roasting prepare the Buffalo Sauce and Blue Cheese Dressing.  (Recipes below)
  8. After 30 minutes the chicken should be tender and golden brown.  Remove the chicken from the oven.
  9. Place the hot roasted chicken into a clean 8 quart mixing bowl and then pour the  thickened Buffalo Sauce over the chicken.  Tossing the chicken in the sauce to coat.
  10. Place the coated Buffalo Chicken on a warm serving platter or in a chaffing dish. Place the Creamy Blue Cheese Dressing in a small serving bowl.  Add celery and carrot sticks on the side if desired.
  11. Enjoy!

Kicking Chicken Buffalo Sauce

  • 1 1/2 cups    Hot Sauce (Franks or your favorite hot sauce)
  • 1/4 cup         Cider Vinegar
  • 1/4 cup         Fresh Lemon Juice
  • 1 tsp.            Sea Salt
  • 1 tsp.            Ground Black Pepper
  • 1 tsp.            Ground Cayenne Pepper
  • 1 cup            Unsalted Butter
  1. In a 2 quart sauce pan add the hot sauce, cider vinegar, sea salt, black pepper, cayenne pepper, and unsalted butter.  Stir together.  Bring to a boil over medium heat and then turn down to a simmer over medium low heat, stirring occasional with a heat proof rubber spatula.  Simmer for 12 to 15 minutes or until the sauce is reduced and thickened.

Creamy Blue Cheese Dressing

  • 1 cup           Daisy Sour Cream
  • 1/2 cup        Hellmann’s Mayonnaise
  • 4 oz.            Maytag Blue Cheese (Crumbled)
  • 1/2 tsp.       Sea Salt
  • 1/2 tsp.       Ground Black Pepper
  • 1 tsp.          Grated Onion (Microplane)
  • 1/2 tsp.       Grated Garlic (Microplane)
  1. In a 1 quart mixing bowl, combine the sour cream, mayonnaise, crumbled blue cheese, sea salt, black pepper, grated onion, and grated garlic.  Stir to combine. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to serve.
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