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Tailgating recipe: Buffalo chicken dip

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Let's get this out of the way: This week's recipe is not health food. It's not foodie food. And it's not particularly pretty food.

But this warm Buffalo chicken dip is hearty, rich, comforting, and it's got just enough hot-sauce afterburn to help warm you up during a chilly tailgate party. In short, it's perfect football food.

Made as directed, you can serve it in a crockpot if you've got a plug in the back of your vehicle. You can also heat it in a 350-degree oven in a casserole dish until the cheese melts and bring it on over to your event. Or, if you use a slow-cooker liner, you can lift it right out and into the 10-inch square casserole dish for transportation purposes.

Serve with chips, crackers or celery, and get the Buffalo wings flavor minus the mess.

sarah.kelber@baltsun.com

Buffalo chicken dip

Makes: about 6 cups

2 1/2 cups cooked chicken (or two 10-ounce cans chunk chicken, drained)

2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened

1 cup ranch dressing

3/4 cup pepper sauce (I used Frank's Red Hot, but pick your favorite)

1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

1 bunch celery, cleaned and cut into 4-inch pieces

crackers or chips

Heat chicken and hot sauce in a skillet over medium heat, until heated through. Stir in cream cheese and ranch dressing. Cook, stirring until well blended and warm. Mix in half of the shredded cheese and transfer the mixture to a slow cooker. Sprinkle the remaining cheese over the top, cover, and cook on low setting until hot and bubbly. Serve with celery sticks and crackers or chips. (Alternatively, transfer to a casserole dish, sprinkle remaining cheese on top and heat in a 350-degree oven until hot and bubbly.)

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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