No Messy Buffalo

It's not hard to figure out why hot wings are popular. They pack an amazing kick that, when paired with bleu cheese dressing, can be cooled as desired. They are rich and satisfying. And, let's face it, they are fun. But they are also messy. And hey, when the weather turns warm and inviting, I'm all for having a wing party in my backyard where the mess can be tamed or at least corralled. But what about now, when that yard is muddy and cold and about month away from being something closer to inviting? Well, how about finding a way to tame that buffalo?

Enter fried gnocchi. Add sautéed chicken and veggies. Swirl in a spicy sauce and melt bleu cheese over the whole thing. Suddenly, the flavors you've come to crave on wing night are in a bowl of delicious that will give you permission to enjoy, even if you aren't graced with a place for messy wings.

I love pairing this dish with a bright, fresh salad and breadsticks, for sopping up the amazing sauce that inevitably finds itself pooling in the bottom of your bowl. And, just like wing night, a good cold beer or two will help wash it all down.

Buffalo Chicken Gnocchi

  • 1 T. cooking fat of your choice
  • 1 large or 2 small chicken breasts, chopped
  • ½ yellow onion, diced
  • ½ large red pepper, diced
  • 1 (16 oz.) package gnocchi
  • 1 c. buffalo sauce (I used Sweet Baby Ray's)
  • ½ c. heavy cream
  • 4 oz. crumbled bleu cheese

Heat the cooking oil until hot in a 10-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and sauté for 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the diced onion and pepper and continuing sautéing, stirring frequently, until the chicken is cooked through and the vegetables are softened, another 5-8 minutes. Remove to a plate and keep warm.

In the same skillet, fry the gnocchi until browned on the edges. If needed, add a bit more cooking fat to the pan to help it brown.

Return the chicken and vegetables to the skillet and stir well to combine. Add the buffalo sauce and heavy cream and set the heat to medium and warm, stirring frequently, until everything is warmed through.

Sprinkle the top of the skillet with the crumbled cheese and set under the broiler for 2-4 minutes or until the cheese is melted and bubbly. Serve immediately.

  • Yields: 4-6 servings
  • Preparation Time: 20 minutes

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