The elusive buffalo chicken. Long ago a larger, tastier cousin of today's domestic chickens roamed the plains of the American midwest, foraging in massive flocks. Early American settlers, greedy for the buffalo chicken's spicy meat, hunted the species to extinction within mere decades of arriving on the prairies the majestic bird called home. It remains one of the greatest tragedies in American history.
You and I, dear reader, are left attempting to recreate the subtle flavor balance of the buffalo chicken. Luckily, years of working have nearly perfected the taste of yore. And the buffalo chicken flavor has begun to be combined with other cuisines, to great effect.
I first saw a variation of this recipe after my friend Emma wrote about it on MarcusSamuelsson.com. I decided that I absolutely needed to make these two-bite treats, and I needed to make them now. I made a couple tweaks -- switched pot stickers for wontons and pre-cooked the chicken -- and jumped in feet first.
Buffalo Chicken Wontons
48 wonton wrappers
1 1/2 lb ground chicken
1 red onion, diced
1/2 C hot sauce
ranch or blue cheese dressing
To start, cook up the ground chicken, breaking it up as the chicken browns until you're left with small crumbles of tasty meat. Mix that meat up with the red onion, hot sauce (I like Frank's Red Hot or Texas Pete, but any traditional hot sauce will do), and salt and pepper to taste.
When the meat is seasoned, take around a tablespoon worth and place it on a wonton wrapper. Fold the wrapper into a triangle with the meat inside, and use water or egg white to seal the wrapper shut. A few points here. First, expect that it will take a few tries to get the right amount of meat so that it doesn't squirt out the sides when you fold it over. You'll get the hang of it eventually. Second, don't worry about the wonton sealing completely all the way around. Sometimes, no matter how hard you press, small sections will pop open. That's fine. Do your best and you'll get an "A" for effort.
Next, bring the two far corners of the wonton together and fold the top over. Describing this process is more or less impossible using only words -- check out the photos if you need a hint. The package your wonton wrappers came in will probably have a little diagram as well.
Once you have all your wontons made, fire up a skillet to medium heat. Heat the wontons in batches, browning for a couple minutes on each side. Serve hot, with ranch or blue cheese (or both, go crazy!) for dipping. Absolutely scrumptious, and one of the best ways to honor the spirit of the buffalo chicken.