Sunday, January 8, 2012

Shuffling off to Buffalo

So I've had a taste for all things Buffalo recently.  Pizza, wings, you name it and I've been willing to try it.  Some things are better than others.  But what I haven't been able to get out of my head is the soup I ate at the beginning of December.

Not far from my work is a meat shop, with a large, well attended hot lunch.  Sometimes when I forget my lunch, that's where I end up...usually grabbing a plain spicy chicken sandwich.  But early in December, I went in and they had Buffalo chicken soup on the menu.  So I tried it, and it was pretty good.  Too sweet for my tastes, but good.  Last week, I started thinking about making my own.

In looking for a recipe, I discovered a problem.  Most of the recipes out there use a base of Velveeta (bleh) or condensed cream of chicken soup (blargh).  I saw one from Better Homes and Gardens, but wasn't sure it was really what I wanted.  Then I found this on

  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 3 stalks celery, diced
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup half-and-half cream
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 cube chicken bouillon
  • 2 cups cubed cooked chicken
  • 1/4 cup buffalo wing sauce, or more to taste
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. Melt the butter in a large pot over medium-high heat; cook the celery and onion in the melted butter until tender, about 5 minutes. Add the flour and allow to cook until absorbed, about 2 minutes more. Slowly stir the half-and-half and water into the mixture. Dissolve the bouillon in the liquid. Stir in the chicken, buffalo wing sauce, and Cheddar cheese. Season with salt and pepper. Reduce heat to medium-low. Stirring occasionally, allow the soup to simmer until the the cheese has melted completely, about 10 minutes.
 So I made it, with a couple of small refinements.  I had no celery.  I added garlic to the onion, and used less butter (probably 3 Tbsp?  I hacked a piece off from the stick in the butter keeper).  I kept the flour the same, and made a thick roux, which I kept when adding the chicken stock...people complained of the soup being "thin".  I used a can of evaporated skim milk to enhance the creaminess without the fat, doubled the wing sauce because we like the heat, and I don't add salt to anything.

Here's the roux, with onion and garlic:

I almost burned it...but thankfully didn't.  I also ended up taking the whole pot off the heat when I realized I hadn't defrosted the chicken and I was going to have to do that if I planned on chopping it.

Here's the final product:

The final verdict?  Good.  J was glad I didn't add any more hot sauce to it, but I was happy. If it was more than just us, I might garnish with sour cream, or blue cheese (something we don't eat here because J doesn't like it), or chopped green onions.  I'm betting it will be even better in my lunch tomorrow. 

The best part of soup on Sundays?  Leftovers Mondays.

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