The Kitchen Corner: Super Bowl Satisfaction

Super Bowl XLVIII is upon us. The Seattle Seahawks and the Denver Broncos are sure to provide an excellent game, but between the terrific touchdowns and the hotly debated fouls is that which we eagerly anticipate — hilarious, well-done advertisements and fantastic food. For your party, you don’t want the grabbed-it-off-the-shelf snack. You want the treat that temporarily distracts from the game; the recipe that causes even the most die-hard fan to divert his gaze, momentarily overwhelmed by the sheer grandeur of this edible. For that, I offer you the unexpectedly uncomplicated, crowd-wooing recipe for Buffalo Chicken Nachos. Grab a post-it note and jot this down:

1 bag of blue corn chips

2 boneless chicken breasts

2 bags of shredded cheddar cheese

1 bottle of Franks Red-Hot Buffalo sauce (12 oz.)

That post-it note is your grocery shopping ticket to victory.  Fellow supermarket shoppers will curiously, competitively, even trepidatiously, peer into your cart, wondering what you are scheming.  What plans could you possibly have for four simple ingredients?  And you will laugh — because you have no idea.  But I do, so read on!

The first task is to cook the chicken. I have found a considerable number of people have an aversion to raw meat. Perhaps it’s the texture; perhaps it’s simply the idea. If you find yourself one of these people, I encourage you: it’s not an alien waiting to be discovered, and it does not bite. Cooking meat is a valuable skill, and will save you money by boosting your kitchen-crafting confidence, rather than relying on pre-packaged or ready-made foods.

1.       Preheat your oven to 325°F. Place the chicken breasts in a lightly-oiled pan. Flip them over and back, coating the meat lightly. Sprinkle a little salt and pepper, add a generous inch of water to the pan, and place it in the oven. Let it cook for around 45 minutes. The simplest way to check chicken for doneness is by cutting a few inches in, and seeing what color the juices run. Clear, and you’re golden. Pink, and give it another ten minutes and re-check. If the flesh/juices are still pink, keep cooking it in increments of ten minutes until done, then set aside to cool. There you have it. Now you can create coconut chicken curry, chicken enchiladas, white-bean chicken chili and chicken alfredo. The possibilities are endless!

2.      Next, heat a saucepan on a temperature little bit lower than medium-low.  Add around half the bottle of Franks, and half the bag of shredded cheddar cheese. Stir, and keep adding cheese and Franks until you’ve finished both bags of cheese, and the bottle of sauce. If the consistency is clumpy, adding spoonfuls of plain yogurt or splashes of milk will help smooth it out.

3.      As your delicious nacho sauce warms, chop the chicken into small pieces. Add them, stirring well to coat those babies in cheesy goodness. This is the moment where you want to let it sit.  Let the aroma waft into your living room, signaling goodness is to come.

4.      Serve warm with corn chips, and sour cream/salsa if you so desire.

Finally, sit back and enjoy the praise as your guests taste the marvelous kitchen magic you have just created.  Here’s to a great game!