Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Slow-cooker buffalo chicken drumsticks with blue cheese yogurt dip

This is a super easy recipe for a weeknight supper, and it makes for a lower-calorie alternative to buffalo wings. It's still a finger food and you get all the hot sauce yumminess, but these are slow-cooked instead of fried and drumsticks have a much more favorable meat-to-skin ratio than wings. You can use skin-on or skinless drumsticks, but if you use skin-on you will have to broil them afterward to crisp up the skin. I didn't feel like heating up my kitchen, plus I'm lazy, so I just took the skin off before cooking. You can do this easily by grasping the skin with a paper towel and pulling it off toward the bone. As I said, I am lazy, so I used bottled buffalo wing sauce but you can easily make your own if you'd prefer.

By the way, I created a visual recipe index on Pinterest, so you can view all of my slow cooker recipes here.

Serves 4 to 6

  • About 4 lbs chicken drumsticks, skin-on or skinless, your choice
  • 1 cup bottled buffalo wing sauce such as Frank's Red Hot or homemade (make your own by combining 1 cup hot sauce such as Crystal with 1/2 Tbs Worcestershire sauce and 3-6 Tbs melted butter or ghee. Use less butter if you like a hotter, more concentrated sauce; use the higher quantity for a more mild sauce.)
Spice mix (optional; you can just use salt & pepper, or a premade mix of choice such as seasoned salt, adobo, or chili seasoning)
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne (increase if you like super spicy wings
  • Salt to taste
  1. Combine the ingredients for the spice mix in a small bowl.
  2. Measure out 1/2 cup of wing sauce. Pour a small amount of it into the bottom of a large slow cooker. Arrange the drumsticks in the slow cooker (keeping them in a single layer if possible). Sprinkle with the spice mix and cover with the rest of the sauce. Shake the pot or stir them around a bit to coat evenly.
  3. Cook for 4-6 hours on low. If you will be out of the house for a while and will have the pot sitting on the "warm" setting for a while, set the timer for 4 hours.
  4. Remove the drumsticks from the crock pot.
  5. If using skinless drumsticks: Microwave the remaining 1/2 cup of wing sauce for about a minute to heat it through. Brush or spoon the remaining sauce over the drumsticks and serve.
  6. If using skin-on drumsticks: Adjust oven rack to upper-middle position. Place drumsticks, skin side up, on a wire rack set on a rimmed pan or a slotted broiler pan that has been sprayed or brushed with oil. Brush chicken with half of the remaining wing sauce (1/4 cup) and broil until skin crisps up and chars lightly, about 10-15 minutes. Flip it over, brush with remaining sauce, and broil for another 10-15 minutes. Serve.

I served this with homemade blue cheese and Greek yogurt dip. I know that a lot of my readers do not eat dairy. I think you just want some kind of cool, creamy dressing to provide a foil for the hot sauce, so I think that an avocado-based dip would work. Something like this dressing would work well, though I think I would substitute 1 Tbs minced chives or scallion greens for the herbes de provence, and perhaps some fresh or dried dill for a bit of a ranch dressing flavor. Or, if you eat dairy, this is a great recipe. If you want a bottled alternative Marzetti Simply Dressed has a decent ingredient list.

Makes about 2 cups

  • 1 6-oz container plain Greek yogurt
  • 2 oz (weight; about 1/2 cup) crumbled blue cheese
  • 1 Tbs mayonnaise (I used olive oil mayo)
  • 1 Tbs cider vinegar
  • Juice of half a lemon (about 1 Tbs)
  • 1/8 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp honey, agave, or other sweetener of choice
  • Salt and pepper, to taste (I like LOTS of fresh black pepper in this)
  1. Mash the blue cheese with the mayonnaise.
  2. Stir in the Greek yogurt, then the other ingredients. Serve cold.


Erin E Lyon-GF Fitness said...

Total genius with the paper towel trick. In the crockpot now!

Erica said...

Awesome! I got the paper towel trick from Cook's Illustrated, my favorite cooking magazine :)

Tiffany C said...

These were scrumptious!

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