Buffalo Chicken Bites
When I was pregnant I refused all things chicken except this buffalo chicken wrap that was served at our neighborhood Irish Bar. It was, and still is so good. We moved across town so I’m no longer a frequent flyer but I have learned how to satisfy my buffalo chicken craving at home.
Just in time for the Super Bowl! These little bites are a great addition to any watch party menu. Buffalo chicken is always a crowd favorite – it comes in pizza, dip, wraps. These zesty bite size snacks are a perfect combination of all three of those and so easy to make.
For the base of these bites, I use my homemade pizza dough recipe below. I’m sure you can use store bought pizza dough as well. I did do a taste test with store bought canned crescent rolls and they turned out too sweet.
Homemade Pizza Crust
1 1/4 cup of Warm Water
1 packet of Instant or Active Dry Yeast (approximately 2 1/4 tsp of yeast)
(My favorite brand of yeast is Fleischmann’s)
1 tsp of Sugar
4 cups of All Purpose Flour
2 tsp Kosher Salt
1 TBSP of Olive Oil + enough to coat the bowl
You want to measure out 1 1/4 cup of warm water. I shoot for something around 110F in order to active the yeast. Yeast needs to be activated for it to have any chance in helping dough rise. If your water is not hot enough, it will not work and if your water is too hot (120F+) it will start to kill the yeast. If you don’t have a thermometer that’s okay, I usually just run the water until it’s luke-warm, not cold but also not hot enough to wash dishes, you want that annoying warm water that makes you think your water will never get hot.
In your measuring cup, add in the sugar and yeast- just sprinkle on top of the water (see picture below)
Let this sit for 5 minutes. The sugar will feed the yeast. Think of it this way, the warm water will wake up your yeast and the sugar is like it’s morning coffee, which is much needed before taking on the day of hard work (in this case, making pizza crust dough rise).
After 5 minutes you should start to see foam or bubbles.
Now it’s time to mix the ingredients together. I use a kitchen aid mixer with a dough hook. Kneading is an important step to the dough – scientifically, kneading helps the gluten strands grow making the dough rise. The benefit to a dough hook is that it helps to knead the dough, but this can also be by hand. If you want to see how to do this by hand check out my other pizza dough recipe, where show pictures of how to knead.
In your bowl, add in the flour, salt and your water with the activated yeast.
Start mixing it together, make sure to turn your mixer on slowly so that flour doesn’t pop out of your bowl, As it starts to come together you can turn the speed up faster.
While the mixer is still running, add in the TBSP of olive oil.
Let it mix for about 5 minutes. The high speed will also knead the dough for you. Sometimes it will form into a ball and other times it looks like this. If you get this, you can use your hands to form a ball, it should stick together pretty easily.
Drizzle a little olive oil in your bowl, and coat the sides. I use my hand to smear the oil around. Then place the ball of dough back in the bowl.
Cover it with a clean kitchen towel, place it is a warm area in your kitchen and let it rise.
It will take about an hour to double in size.
At this point, you will want to punch the dough down. This recipe makes two pizza crusts and you only need one for the buffalo chicken bites recipe below.
You can divide the dough in half and freeze the other one for some other day.
If you want to make this dough ahead of time you can mix together the ingredients and let it rise in the refrigerator 24-48 hours.
If you freeze the dough, defrost in the refrigerator, it usually takes a day to defrost.
When you are ready to make the dough, remove from the refrigerator for about 30 minutes to take the chill off. I will say it’s easier to roll out this way so even if I have my dough rise on the counter I pop it in the refrigerator just to have it slightly chilled to roll out.
Now onto the main attraction! Buffalo Chicken Bites.
Buffalo Chicken Bites
1 Pizza Crust (recipe above)
2 TBSP of Buffalo Sauce (I use Frank’s)
1 TBSP of Blue Cheese or Ranch Dressing
1 cup of cooked Chicken Tenders – diced
1 cup of shredded Mozzarella Cheese
1/2 cup of shredded Cheddar Cheese
1/4 cup of shredded Parmesan Cheese
Green onions to garnish
24 mini-muffin pan
I recommend using a chicken tender that has a crispy breading on the outside for a better crunch bite. For one cup it’s usually 3 regular size tenders.
You can also make 1/2 (12 bites) with blue cheese dressing and 1/2 (12 bites) with ranch dressing to please a crowd. The ratio of buffalo sauce to dressing should be 2:1 so you would do 1 TBSP of buffalo sauce to 1/2 TBSP of blue cheese or ranch dressing.
Preheat oven to 350F.
In a bowl mix together the buffalo sauce and blue cheese or ranch dressing until combined and set aside.
In another bowl, toss the shredded cheeses together so that they are evenly distributed and set aside.
Sprinkle corn meal in each the 24 min-muffin holes. The corn meal will help the dough form a crispy crust while baking.
On your counter, sprinkle down some corn meal and roll out your pizza crust. You want to roll out your dough so that it’s large enough to cut out 24 2-inch circles or squares. It should be about 1/4 inch thick.
I use a 2-inch biscuit cutter to cut circles for my bites. You can also use a pizza cutter to cut out 2 inch squares. Once you cut the dough it may try to shrink in size, just give it a little tug around the edges to stretch it back out. Place in the mini muffin pan.
If you’re using a biscuit cutter, to have enough dough, make sure keep your cuts as close together as possible, they can even be touching.
Fill in the entire muffin pan.
Fill in each cup with the buffalo sauce mixture, you will want to fill it about 1/3 up (approx. 1/4 tsp).
Fill each cup with your cooked diced chicken tenders.
Top with your cheese mixture.
Bake at 350F for 25 minutes.
Top with thinly sliced green onions and enjoy!