Easy Buffalo Chicken with a Ranch Salad

So last night, after spending the entire day with an infant that refused to be put down, even for a second, because he wasn’t feeling well I was at a loss as to what to make for dinner. All that screaming really did a number on my ability to think clearly. Since I had taken out some chicken to defrost I did the only sane thing I could think of: I started pulling ingredients out of my pantry to come up with a recipe. I really didn’t know how this was going to turn out, I just knew that I needed to get something for dinner on the table. And then when I finally tasted my little buffalo chicken salad concoction, I knew that I had created recipe gold. It honestly might be the best thing that I’ve ever made in my life. And it was so easy, you could make it any night of the week!

Start with your chicken – as much as you want. This is about the amount of two regular sized chicken breasts. Using a scissors, cut of any large pieces of fat. Then cut the chicken into chicken strip sized pieces and lay them out on a pre-sprayed cookie sheet.

Mix up the breading: 2 tablespoons of canola oil, 2 tablespoons of Frank’s Red Hot Sauce, 2 tablespoons of Ranch Dressing, 1/3 cup bread crumbs and salt + pepper to taste. You might need to make more of this depending on how liberally you apply it to the chicken and how much chicken you actually have. And if it gets too thick – which it might by the time you’re about halfway through – you can always thin it out a bit with equal parts red hot sauce and ranch.

Apply it to the chicken on both sides – it doesn’t have to be perfect! I used the measuring spoon from mixing up the breading (because I hate creating extra dishes!), but you could also do this with a spatula. Once they’re breaded, pop them in the oven for 25 minutes (or until crispy) at 425 degrees.

While that’s cooking, take some time to make your salad. I like to start with fresh greens – I don’t buy the pre-cut lettuce because I’m a money saving mama. I buy the full head of romaine and just cut it up as we use it. Add in 1/4 cup of dried cranberries, a can of mandarin oranges and a covering of shredded cheddar.

Now add your favorite brand of Ranch dressing and mix it all up! Looking at these pictures is starting to make me crave this meal again. I guess we’re having buffalo chicken this weekend…

When your chicken strips are nice and crispy, take ’em out of the oven and let them cool. You might notice that they smell SUPER spicy. And while they definitely will have a kick to them, they’re not crazy hot like they’re making you think they are.

Now serve up your salad on a plate and top it with a few pieces of the chicken. This was the hubs plate, and he likes a LOT of chicken. And he couldn’t get over how delish this meal is! Enjoy!

Buffalo Chicken with a Side of Salad

What you’ll need:

2 regular sized chicken breasts
2 TBSP Canola Oil
2 TBSP Frank’s Red Hot Sauce
2 TBSP Ranch Dressing
1/4 cup breadcrumbs
Salt + Pepper to taste
Fresh romaine
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1 can mandarin oranges
1/2 cup cheddar cheese
Ranch dressing

1. Preheat your oven to 425 degrees.
2. On a greased cookie sheet, cut up your chicken into strip sized pieces with a scissors.
3. In a bowl, mix the hot sauce, ranch, canola oil, salt + pepper and breadcrumbs. Apply to the chicken pieces using a spatula.
4. Bake for 25 minutes or until crispy.
5. While that’s baking, mix the rest of the ingredients for your salad.
6. Once the chicken is done cooking and cooled a bit, serve the chicken on top of the salad.
7. Enjoy!

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