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Slow cooker buffalo chicken for sliders - need some input

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I've currently got about 8 pounds of chicken breasts cooking in the crock pot on low (for 8 hours).... I did a garlic powder/onion powder/dill/black pepper 'rub' and then dumped a bottle of franks red hot in there....

My game plan is to remove the breasts, shred the meat, drain and reserve the stock, and then add the breasts back to the pot and add another bottle of frank's red hot and a bottle of ranch.

What I'm wondering is:

1) if I should do a version of Bonnie's Buffalo Dip and throw in some cream cheese (I think I have about 5 oz at home - a far cry from the 16oz it usually calls for) and also some jack cheese.... but am thinking that since it's for sliders and not just a dip that might be too creamy? Then, on the other hand, the cheese might balance the heat.

2) Do I do anything with the reserved stock? Most recipes I'm reading online seem to imply you'd leave it in so the shredded chicken absorbs it. I'm thinking about doing what I do for my pulled pork - which is to reduce it a bit and then add back in as needed.

Thoughts?

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  1. I have done Bonnie's, my version uses a mix of cheddar and jack

    I use the stock in other dishes, but I make 2 lbs, use the stock as needed

    And diced celery works too

    1. If you're going to stick with the slider idea, after shredding the chicken to taste and see how hot it is. If okay, add another bottle of Frank's but do not add the ranch dressing.

      When serving, have a good ranch dressing that people can spoon over the chicken in the sliders. Cheese on the side to offer if you want.

      I think your idea about the reserved stock is a good one - if it needs more moisture add it.

      This is my opinion for the sliders only - the dip is a whole different ball game. If you do the sliders - I'd like to hear about the results!

      4 Replies
      1. re: Jeanne

        Oh man, which I saw your post about an hour prior... I was planning on just using sauce, but it seemed to dry and already so salty, that I dumped in a bottle of ranch. It was STILL to dry, so I added some stock. And, then, you guessed it - too dry - so I went out and got more Frank's (had to go to 3 stores to find it!! - all out of stock) - and decided to add more ranch and cream cheese.

        All the stirring has turned my shredded chicken into mush and while I still am going to serve it (having a party with a slider's bar).

        I didn't add any Jack cheese (I always thought it gets too greasy when I do Bonnie's) and the end product is not as creamy as Bonnie's (I cut back on the cream cheese). Hopefully some of the sauce soaked in over night and when it's rewarmed it will be slider ready. Thanks for your ideas for sides!

        1. re: The Oracle

          Chicken breasts cooked like that in a crock pot are going to be very dry and disintegrated.

          Perhaps poach them next time.

          1. re: C. Hamster

            Usually I poach the chicken but thought I'd take this 'shortcut'. Jokes on me. The chicken isn't dry, but complete mush. :(

            1. re: The Oracle

              Yeah, if you had posted earlier, I would have chimed in with the fact that chicken breasts in a slow cooker for 8 hours is about 6-7 too long. :(

              Can you convert your chicken into just a dip?

      2. Whenever I am making shredded meat in a slow cooker or pressure cooker, I prefer to just cook it in water or some stock and let the cooker do it's magic tenderizing everything, then drain all the excess liquid, shred the meat, then add in all my sauces and other flavorings and heat it through. It prevents it from becoming too diluted, soupy and bland.

        On a side note, dill sounds rather interesting with the hot sauce, I may need to give that a try soon!

        6 Replies
        1. re: Atomic76

          my misstep was adding some of the stock back :( the real test is tonight when I do the reheat and serve.

          I thought about the dill because most online recipes for buffalo chicken in the slow cooker called for a packet of Hidden Valley Ranch dry mix - it's basically dried buttermilk, parsley, garlic powder, onion powder, dill, black pepper (might be missing a few or adding the pepper in there by mistake)

          1. re: The Oracle

            I think your misstep was cooking chicken breasts in a crock pot. They destroy lean white meat chicken. Dries it out totally.

            I'd poach them in flavorful liquid until just done and then simmer at slow bubble for awhile in the sauce.

            1. re: C. Hamster

              lots of missteps, that's for sure. I'd do it differently, if there's a next time. Thankfully, it was a huge amount of chicken, so I'm hoping it's salvageable.

              1. re: The Oracle

                Even if it's disintegrated, if it's tasty? Then it's all good! :-)

                1. re: C. Hamster

                  Yep - it was still tasty and while a little too spicy for some - others were raving and wanted the recipe. Go figure! I'd definitely do some things different next time, (poach vs crock pot - no adding cooking liquid, less Frank's) but, otherwise, it was a hit!

                  1. re: The Oracle

                    I use a crock pot, but just until the chicken is cooked, less than 2 hours. I also use canned chicken stock/broth. I freeze the stock after cooking.

                    But reading other posts about poaching on the stove, I may try that next time. IIRC, I use the crock pot to avoid boiling.

        2. I'd do a bit of cream cheese and maybe some ranch or blue cheese dressing to keep the chicken thinner. I don't think I'd add the stock back in if you are using creamy stuff like cheese, cream cheese, and/or salad dressings. I don't think it would combine back in all that well.

          1. If there is a next time and you still want to use the crockpot for convenience, start with still frozen chicken breasts and cook on low for just 4 hours. No need to add a lot of extra seasonings, just a bottle of Frank's Red Hot. Remove the chicken shred it and return to the crockpot with enough of the cooking liquid to moisten. Add a few tablespoons of butter and more Frank's Red Hot until it comes to the right level of spice and moisture. Turn the crockpot on warm until ready to serve. Do not add anything else...no cream cheese, ranch, dill, jack cheese, blue cheese, celery, onions or anything else. Make a slaw or just sliced celery/onions and some homemade blue cheese and ranch dressings to serve on the side for topping the sliders.

            As for the stuff you already made, I would have probably found a way to make it into "meatballs' or use it as a filling for empanadas. Not something to serve as a slider.