Given that the Patriots won’t be playing this Sunday in San Francisco, the main focus of your Super Bowl party will probably be the food and the drinks (get a beer hat, so fun and festive!). Because sometimes the only way to deal with heartbreak is to consume your way through it.
When it comes to food for your football-viewing guests, Buffalo chicken dip may be the perfect option: Your favorite spicy chicken, just in a more scoopable, even better tasting format. Not serving this delicious mix of creamy, tangy, meat-y warmth would be like New England taking the field without Brady: a stupid idea. So, in order to make sure that the star of your game is in the best shape possible, we asked the Belichick of Buffalo chicken dip, chef Jason Santos of Back Bay Harry’s and Abby Lane, for some coaching.
Santos normally doesn’t serve this dish at his restaurants, but, in honor of this weekend’s big game, will be offering it at Abby Lane all weekend. He says it’s Lombardi material due to his stealth weapon, a cheese not often found in standard recipes.
“I would imagine most recipes on the internet are about the cream cheese,’’ he said. “This uses a little, but mascarpone is my secret ingredient—in this and in a lot of things. It gives fantastic flavor, texture, and an umami taste that’s creamy and rich.’’
If you’re feeling ambitious, Santos also included his recipes for homemade Buffalo sauce and ranch dressing, because in his words, you could put his Buffalo sauce “on a flip-flop’’ and it would be good. You can, of course, use a store-bought sauce or opt for a ranch-in-the-bottle situation. But when it comes to the Super Bowl, you might as well make as super a bowl of dip as possible (sorry).
Without further ado, here’s Santos’ recipe. He recommends making it in a cast-iron pan the evening of the game, but you can also make it ahead of time in a casserole dish and warm it up before kickoff.
For added salt, cry tears of disappointment into it as the Broncos and Panthers take the field.
Chef Jason Santos’ Buffalo Chicken Dip
Makes about 4 cups
4 ounces of mascarpone cheese
4 ounces of cream cheese, softened
½ cup ranch of dressing (see below)
½ cup of Buffalo sauce (see below)
1 ounce of mozzarella cheese, shredded
1 ounce of provolone cheese, shredded
1 pound of chicken breast, cooked & shredded
2 tablespoons of chives, minced
1 tablespoon bacon bits
¼ cup of your favorite blue cheese (Santos likes Moody Blue, a smoked blue cheese)
cracked black pepper
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Whisk cream cheese and mascarpone until smooth.
3. Stir in the dressing, hot sauce and cheeses. Mix in the chicken and pour into a cast iron pan or casserole dish and bake for 20 minutes, or until the chicken mixture is hot and bubbling.
4. Garnish with fresh chopped chives, blue cheese, bacon bits, and cracked black pepper.
Chef Jason Santos’ Buffalo Sauce
Makes about 1 ½ cups
1 medium sized spanish onion, sliced
2 cloves of garlic
½ pound of butter
½ tablespoon of chili powder
½ tablespoon paprika
1 teaspoon of cumin
1 ounce of white wine
¾ cups of Frank’s RedHot sauce
1 ½ ounce of light brown sugar
honey to taste
salt and pepper to taste
1. Sweat the garlic and onion in ¼ pound of butter in a saucepan.
2. Add spices and cook for 30 seconds, then deglaze with white wine.
3. Add the hot sauce and brown sugar.
4. Puree with the remaining butter and season with honey, salt and pepper.
Chef Jason Santos’ Buttermilk Ranch Dressing
Makes about 2 cups
1 cup of mayonnaise
½ cup of buttermilk
1 tablespoon of red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon of Italian (flat-leaf) parsley, chopped
1 tablespoon of minced chives
1 tablespoon of fresh dill, chopped
½ teaspoon of garlic powder
1 tablespoon of onion powder
½ tablespoon of celery salt
pinch of cayenne
salt and pepper to taste
1. Mix all ingredients together.
2. Season with salt and pepper to taste.