Food & Drink

RECIPE: Buffalo Chicken Cheese Balls

by Brittany Temple

The Super Bowl is an extremely exciting day for me. Because of the football? No. The fun parties? Contributing factor. The finger foods? You better believe it.

I love trying new recipes and Super Bowl is a great time to give a new appetizer a whirl. When I came across the recipe for these Buffalo Chicken Cheese Balls I was instantly hungry. If you have read any of my other posts, you are most likely aware that I love foods in ball form and also have an affinity for anything buffalo style. Additionally, the ingredient list was minimal and most of the items were already in my kitchen! Sold.

The original recipe can be found here but my version below is modified.

Buffalo Chicken Cheese Balls
Yields 15 to 20 cheese balls, depending on size

1 store-bought rotisserie chicken
1/4 cup of Frank’s Red Hot Buffalo Wing sauce
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 3/4 cups sharp Cheddar
3 eggs, lightly beaten
2 cups panko bread crumbs*
1 cup all-purpose flour
Vegetable oil

*You can also use regular breadcrumbs. I tried both to taste the difference and in my opinion, panko breadcrumbs gave a much better crunch and I made the rest of the batch strictly panko.

Blue Cheese Dip

3/4 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup Ranch dressing
1 small container of crumbled blue cheese
1 teaspoon hot sauce (you can also use the Buffalo sauce mentioned above)
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 lemon, juiced
1 clove of chopped garlic

The only ingredients that I actually needed to purchase. I already had everything else!

The only ingredients that I actually needed to purchase. I already had everything else!

Directions:

I opted to make the dip first so that it would be ready when the cheese balls were hot and ready.

To make the dipping sauce, simply combine all the ingredients in a bowl and adjust the flavor to your liking. I threw in a few extra dashes of Buffalo sauce for added spice. Refrigerate while you are cooking the cheese balls.

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Onto the cheese balls…

1)   Pick the meat from the chicken and remove the skin. In a large bowl, combine the chicken, Buffalo sauce, pepper, and Cheddar cheese. Using a fork, stir ingredients until well blended. Roll the chicken into 2-ounce balls, which is about the size of a golf ball.

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2)   Put the vegetable oil in a pan and set the heat to medium—you will want the cheese balls to cook through slowly without burning the exterior. I put about a half-inch of oil in the bottom of the pan and opted to roll the cheese balls around to cook each side evenly. You can make it deeper if you’d like.

3)   Place the flour, eggs, and breadcrumbs in three separate bowls. First roll each ball in flour, then dip it in egg, and finally roll through the breadcrumbs. Do this to all the cheese balls and set them aside.

4)   When the oil is hot, place them in the pan. Giving each side about 2 minutes, roll the cheese balls around cook their entire surface evenly.

5)   Once the entire surface is browned to your liking, carefully remove them from the stovetop and onto a paper towel to drain the excess oil.

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7)   Let them sit for a minute and serve them up with the dipping sauce!

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They came out perfect with a delicious crispy outer layer and a melty, cheesy buffalo chicken mix-up inside. If you are serving these at a party you can stick little toothpicks in them to make them easy to grab and eat. Dress the toothpicks up or use colored ones for a festive touch. This recipe is wonderful as-is but leaves room for creativity and customizations. Best of all, you don’t have to spend a lot of time or money at the grocery store hunting down ingredients. And if you are pressed for time, nix the dipping sauce and use a store-bought ranch or blue cheese. Impress your friends, keep your bank account happy, and get your Buffalo chicken fix–the trifecta of recipe success. Enjoy!