Buffalo Rumblings regulars know the drill. But for the new Buffalo Bills fans circling the wagons with us, we’re about more than just football here. Need something exciting for this week’s game day chow line? Wingin’ It brings you a themed recipe for every regular-season and postseason Bills game. Like this one...
I know. I know. I had London right in front of me and I didn’t jump at it. Would it comfort you to consider this a form of cock-a-leekie soup? Yes I know that’s Scottish. Yes [insert joke about imperialism and appropriation here].
So why this? I’ve actually done at least one British classic. This is the third Jaguars game since Wingin’ It began. It will be the first time I’ve done something Jacksonville claims to be known for. The first outing I did a ton of research and discovered lots of locals admitting there was no food culture outside a sandwich with a semi-racist name. Literally just a sandwich. The second time I said the hell with it because of the time I wasted looking around before. So I did a second Kansas City recipe that caught my eye that year.
But here we are in 2023. The Jaguars have a good quarterback. And Jacksonville has decided it’s okay to draw inspiration from, well anything really, and create a local food scene. It turns out they’re turning to the little Spanish island of Minorca for ideas and I figured, maybe I should too. This Minorcan-style chowder replaces the seafood with chicken and a bit of a Buffalo twist. Like I often do with sharing-sized dishes, I keep the heat separate so you can customize.
Minorcan-style Buffalo Chicken Chowder
Serves: About 8
Active Time: 40 min
Total Time: 5-6 hours
1 quart chicken stock
1 cup water
3 oz. tomato paste
1 lb chicken breast, cut into half-inch cubes
1⁄2 lb pork*, shaved (see below)
Salt and pepper to preference
2 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp oregano
1 tsp rosemary
1 tsp thyme
1⁄2 cup finely chopped onions
1 bell pepper, finely chopped
1 cup diced carrots
1 cup chopped tomatoes
2 large potatoes, peeled and cubed to half-inch size
Weaponized mix-in sauce
1 datil pepper if you can find it (something else really hot if you can’t)
1⁄4 cup Frank’s RedHot® (for flavor authenticity)
2 Tbsp of your favorite “weaponized” sauce (here’s one of my faves)
1 tsp ground red pepper
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
1 Tbsp unsalted butter
You’ll need: Slow cooker, sauté pan, blender
- Set slow cooker to “HIGH”; add chicken stock, tomato paste, and water.
- Add olive oil to sauté pan; preheat on MED-HIGH. Add chicken and pork; season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle in garlic, oregano, rosemary, and thyme.
- Sear chicken and pork in pan, about 8-10 min until chicken starts to brown.
- Transfer chicken and pork to slow cooker, being careful to leave any rendered fat behind in the pan.
- Place onion, bell pepper, and carrots in pan with rendered fat (*add 1 Tbsp olive oil if you used lean pork). Sauté until carrots become translucent, about 5-7 min; transfer contents of pan to slow cooker.
- Add tomatoes to slow cooker; stir occasionally while cooking for approximately four hours.
- Add cubed potatoes to slow cooker about one hour before you’d like to eat.
- Prepare the mix-in sauce just before serving chowder: Place hot pepper (minus the stem), Frank’s RedHot®, weaponized hot sauce, red pepper, and vinegar into blender and purée.
- Add puréed sauce to a medium sauce pan on MED heat, stirring occasionally for about 5 min. Remove from heat and stir in butter.
- Pour chowder in bowl, stir in mix-in sauce to taste and enjoy/breathe fire.
Wingin’ It Tips and Prep Gallery
- For the pork, I used a tenderloin and started from frozen. This is a trick I learned when researching bánh mi recipes, and allows for a very thin cut (first picture in the gallery).
- I thoroughly coated the chicken and pork with seasoning and didn’t need any extra in the pot. After a couple hours of everything simmering in the slow cooker, it’s a good idea to taste the broth periodically and adjust accordingly.
- Slow-cooker recipes often end up somewhat... monochromatic. In our second picture you can see my first attempt to add color by going with the tri-color carrots. The next picture shows you what happens to those yellow guys when heat is applied. If you’re a fan of the Bunnicula series of books (which you should be) this should tickle your fancy as it did mine. And yeah, the next picture is me continuing my attempt to avoid ending up with “brown liquid with chunks.” The tomatoes in many colors are a staple in my house.
- One of my favorite philosophies for spicy cooking: My mantra that “Anyone can burn you, not everyone can convince you to do it twice.” I’m a fan of Melinda’s sauces as linked above because they burn good. Now you could just add your favorite weaponized sauce and call it a day. The mix-in sauce above will give you a ton of heat and steer it toward a wing sauce profile. You could also just use it as wing sauce if you want. You might not.
- There’s a close up of the amount of mix-in sauce I used followed by the full shot of the chowder. That made the entire bowl quite hot. It was maybe a teaspoon.
- Last but certainly not least, the pork tenderloin I purchased was a full pound — which was too much. Rather than try to refreeze the other half, I continued and shaved the entire other half. The smallest can of tomato paste I could find was 6 oz, which I think would have been too much for the chowder.
- Going full “dad mode” and not wanting to waste food, I combined the leftover pork, tomato paste, a couple tablespoons of soy sauce, a quarter cup of fruit juice, and some garlic powder to make bánh mi sliders (last picture). You can even use the pan from earlier right after you toss the chowder ingredients in.