Thursday, September 22, 2011

Tailgating Thursday!

I have way too much on my mind lately. Today marks exactly 1 month until I say "I do!" to my awesome guy and I couldn't be more excited! As you can imagine there isn't much else on my mind. Morning, Noon and Midnight my brain is in full bridal mode... it's exhausting. Football is actually my one refuge from the topic of glitz, glamour and centerpieces. Don't get me wrong planning this event has been amazing but having a couple hours, 2 days on the weekend to be a "normal sports loving girl" is awesome. Other than watching actual games I haven't had time to watch a stitch of ESPN or know about anything happening in the sports world other than scores, or BCS / NCAA standings when Mike tells me about them each Monday morning for the SEC. If not for him I'd be rather lost in a swirl of bridal registrations and pinterest boards. [I'm obsessed!].

Let's get down to business and why I am writing this entry. While I haven't been to many tailgating sessions that involve sports [mostly concerts] it's hard for me to speak from experience. That being said, I know one of the most important aspects of a great tailgate isn't just the company you keep but the food you eat! I've been to exactly one sports oriented tailgating session in my life and that was the opening season game for Alabama in 2010. That was all it took. I was hooked and dying to go back to Tuscaloosa again as soon as I could. It's been over a year but Mike and I have plans to make that happen as soon as we are back and rested from our wedding and honeymoon. Since we were traveling and new to tailgating we weren't able to bring food to the tailgate party we were invited too, and instead brought booze and some snack food in bags. In hindsight I now know and see how you can bring food and hook it up for your fellow party friends. I am looking forward to being able to participate in making food this season. Since there is one main duty bestowed upon me for game day I thought I'd share that with you. I'm in charge of the food for most game days here at home unless it requires a grill, then it's Mike's job to cook it, and mine to prep it. Who's says you can't tailgate at your house, right? We tend to make weekends of football, mostly Saturday's an event. We invite a few friends over to watch the game, cook something delicious, stuff our faces and scream at the tv. All American grand fun! And there's beer too, golden right?

Since we treat every game as a reason to tailgate in our own home, I wanted to share with you all my easiest, fail proof recipe that I get the most requests to make again and to share the recipe for. This recipe is prepared in the oven but it can just as easily be all transfered into a slow cooker, melted and kept warm if you're on location doing actual tailgating and/or want to set it and forget it until your guests arrive.

Buffalo Chicken Dip
  • 2-3 chicken breasts (fresh, uncooked or you can use rotisserie chicken as well)
  • 2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup Ranch dressing (or Blue Cheese, your choice!)
  • 3/4 cup pepper sauce (such as Frank's Red Hot®) OR 3/4 cup of your favorite Buffalo Wing Sauce, I often use Moore's Wing Sauce for this recipe, it's not as hot but just as tasty.
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese (you can also mix in mozzarella as well)
  • DIPPERS: Tortilla Chips, Celery Sticks, Carrot Sticks (or ones cut into "chip" shapes), and the best thing I've discovered recently Chicken Biscuit Crackers! ZOMG! SO good! I can't believe I had never discovered these sooner but I'm glad I didn't. I ate a whole box almost by myself the last time I purchased them! EEP!
  1. Pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Put whole chicken breasts in a heavy pot and fill pot with water (just enough to cover the chicken breasts). I usually add some Weber's Kickin' Chicken spice to this, I'm obsessed with this stuff and use it on just about everything that I make with chicken. You can also add hot sauce to the pot if desired.
  3. Bring pot of water to a boil and let breasts cook for approximately 20 minutes. You will want to test them to be sure they are cooked through by cutting small slice in the breast. If it's still pink, boil for a little longer. (SKIP ALL THIS IF YOU ARE USING AN ALREADY COOKED BIRD).
  4. Pull breasts from pot once cooked and allow them to rest on a cutting board for at least 10 minutes.
  5. In mixing bowl combine softened cream cheese, your hot sauce/buffalo sauce and ranch dressing until creamy and well blended. Mix in half of your cheese mixture as well. (At this point you'll want to do a shot of the wing sauce, trust me, do it. I won't judge you because I do the same, every, single, time!)
  6. Once chicken has cooled take 2 forks and tear the meat up into small pieces. This will give you pulled chicken and make it easier to incorporated the meat into the dip, as well as give more meat per scoop for each guest.
  7. Mix the meat and the cheese mixture together and spread into an oven safe, greased casserole dish.
  8. Cover mixture with the remaining shredded cheese.
  9. Bake mixture until warm and bubbly - the top of the cheese will become a little brown, approximately 20 minutes.
  10. Serve straight out of the baking dish with the above mentioned dippers and enjoy.
Note: This recipe is great the next day if you have left overs - it warms  up perfectly in the microwave. And for some of you college readers, it's great cold too. Just like pizza.


For more Tailgate recipes feel free to visit the archives of my other blog for game day treats! As always I hope you all have a great weekend! Mine will be filled with wedding stuff, engagement session photos and hopefully time to sit and ENJOY some football!



  2. This sounds delicious! I need to get someone to make it for me;) Kidding, I could probably handle this one on my own. Except for the cooking chicken part. I'd probably under-cook it and poison everyone.

  3. Cathy just get a chicken that's already cooked from the deli and take off the skin, shred it up and toss it in the mix... EASY! :)

  4. My dream came true!! I attended a party Friday night and they had this! OMG it was fantastic!

    I will be making it, with a pre-cooked chicken.