2010 bites

I’m not going to waste your time Auld Lang Syne and all that jazz. If you’re going to a New Year’s party tonight, and need a little snack for the guests, you’ve come to the right place: buffalo chicken bites.

There’s ne’er a party in my circle of friends that doesn’t offer buffalo chicken dip as part of the spread, and while I’m grateful we’ve embraced such a delicious dip, I’m always looking to switch it up. These bite-sized beauties are crispy and spicy, take no more than 40 minutes total and should cost you only about $10 to accommodate a decent amount of people. (And, as part of that unspoken who-brought-the-best-dish-to-the-party competition, you’ll definitely take first place.)

♦3 c. shredded cooked chicken
1/2 c. hot sauce
3-1/2 oz. cream cheese, softened
1-3/4 c. shredded cheddar cheese
1/4 c. sliced green onions
1 c. flour
4 eggs, lightly beaten
3 – 4 c. corn flakes cereal, crushed

Combine chicken, cream cheese and hot sauce, then mix in green onions and cheese. Make 1-inch balls out of mixture, and set aside. In three separate bowls, place flour, egg and corn flakes. Dip each ball into each bowl (in that order), and place on a greased baking sheet. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes at 350 degrees. Check on them periodically to make sure they don’t semi-explode.

Total time? 20 minutes prep, 20 minutes bake. (Note: I foolishly didn’t realize until halfway through that I could and should roll these more than one a time, so my prep time could have been a little shorter. Doh!)
Cost? $2.50 corn flakes (you won’t use even close to the entire box), $4 chicken, $1.99 shredded cheese, $1 green onions, 79¢ Texas Pete Hot Sauce, $1 cream cheese.
Overall success relative to expectations? 9 out of 10. I initially made these to use up some leftover chicken I had, and didn’t really expect much, but I’ve dubbed them the ultimate party snack. You’ll see in the photos that my balls were pretty big (let’s hear it, comedians), so if you’re cooking for a crowd, tone ’em down a bit and you’ll get more for your money. This dish lost points only because I ran out of hot sauce, and had to improvise with the Tiger Sauce (see maki mockery for more on Tiger Sauce), which didn’t have nearly the kick I needed, but that’s easily remedied. Yields about 45 bites.

Happy New Year, everyone!

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