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Wingin’ It: Cheesy Buffalo Chicken Nachos

They have nothing to do with Kansas City but we’re doing it anyway

You like football. You like food. So do we! So much so, in fact, that we smash the two together to bring you a Buffalo Bills-inspired recipe each week. Whether it’s a take on an opponents’ fave or some real mad scientist **** coming your way, Wingin’ It is the spot to watch. This week we’re prepping for the Kansas City Chiefs!


Wingin it cheesy chicken nachos

We’re back with the wing sauce elements in our recipes, which means Wingin’ It is full-steam ahead. Yes I’ve done cheese sauce before. Yes I’ve done nachos. This is a little different. And if you tell me there’s such a thing as too many cheese sauce or nacho recipes I might have some swear words for you. The focus this time is the combo sauce/protein that makes this snack eat like a meal—and these are REALLY good!

Cheesy Buffalo Chicken Nachos

Serves: 4-8
Active Time: 15 min (add extra time if you need to cook chicken too)
Total Time: 45 min

Ingredients

1 Tbsp unsalted butter
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp garlic powder
1 Tbsp flour
1 cup milk, warmed
16 oz cheese (see below)
1 lb cooked and chopped chicken (see below)
Hot sauce to taste (start with 2-3 Tbsp and work from there)

  1. Melt butter in medium saucepan on MED.
  2. Stir in onion, garlic powder and flour. Continue to heat until browned (see below), about 3-4 min.
  3. Reduce heat to MED/LOW; stir in milk a little at a time. Allow mixture a little time to reheat between adding milk. (When in doubt, low and slow.) Continue until all of the milk has been integrated.
  4. Add cheese in large chunks, stirring occasionally until melted in, about 30 min.
  5. Stir in chicken and hot sauce; adjust to taste.
  6. Serve over your favorite chips, and add whatever toppings you like.

Wingin’ It Tips and Prep Gallery

I know I’ve already shown a roux in progress once this year, but I wanted a better look at it. And besides, now you don’t have to look for it. The first picture is right after adding the flour to the butter and it’s pretty light. A slight yellow tinge from the butter is most of the coloration. The second picture is the point I considered it browned enough to start adding milk. You can also do it by smell. For this one it should smell like roasted garlic rather than “hot flour.” If you know what I’m talking about the smell test makes this pretty easy.

A lot of cheese sauce recipes call for smaller cubes that melt in faster. That saves time on the cheese melting side, but you also want to reduce the water content from the milk. So those “other” recipes usually ask you to allow the milk/roux mixture to simmer a bit and reduce. My method (third picture) of throwing in larger chunks helps you time out both steps more easily. I used a combination of sharp cheddar, gouda, and Monterey Jack. One word of caution, really sharp cheddars seem more prone to a little graininess in the final product. Usually it’s not discernible when being eaten with something but just a quick caution there.

I didn’t give instructions on the chicken but since I’m sharing tips here’s one from me (fourth pic) on speeding things up. Invest in a 99-cent bamboo flat spatula. I toss the chicken breast in on MED/HIGH and chop as they’re cooking. It speeds up the overall times. It’s more work to chop this way than using a knife (before or after cooking). So if you’re more worried about time than effort, this is the way to go.