The Tri-City Herald's Food & Wine section March 30 will feature Menu Planner, a weekly feature giving seven days of dinner menus, shopping hints and tips on using leftovers from one meal in a new way later in the week. The section also includes more recipes plus buying, cooking and health tips on a variety of food-related subjects.
Slow-Cooker Buffalo Chicken Soup
This might be just about the perfect game-day soup. It's like a creamy chicken chowder with a kick.You could double the recipe, but it's rich, so you won't need big servings.
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3 tablespoons canola oil, divided
1/2 large yellow onion, peeled and diced
3 stalks celery, diced
2 to 3 large skinless, boneless chicken breasts, or 2 to 3 cups cooked,
4 tablespoons ( 1/2 stick) butter
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup chicken broth
2 cups nonfat or reduced-fat milk
1 teaspoon celery salt
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 cup hot wing sauce, such as Texas Pete Buffalo Wing Sauce, plus more for garnish
4 ounces Velveeta cheese, diced
Crumbled blue cheese (optional; garnish) Instructions
Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion and celery and saute about 5 minutes, until vegetables are slightly softened but still crunchy. Scrape vegetables into the liner of a 4- to 6-quart slow cooker and return skillet to heat.
Cut chicken into bite-size pieces. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in skillet and add half the chicken, stirring and cooking over medium-heat until browned in spots and opaque. Add chicken to slow cooker and repeat with remaining oil and chicken. (If you're using cooked chicken, skip this step and just add it to the vegetables in the slow cooker.)
Melt the butter in the skillet over medium heat until just foamy. Whisk in the flour to make a roux, stirring well to incorporate all the flour. Cook 1 to 2 minutes, until roux is slightly golden. Scrape the roux into the slow cooker.
Stir in the broth and milk. Add the celery salt, garlic powder and wing sauce. Cover the slow cooker and cook on low 6 to 8 hours, or on high for 3 to 4 hours. Stir in the cubed Velveeta about 20 minutes before serving. Garnish with additional wing sauce and crumbled blue cheese if desired.
Adapted from: Make It Fast, Cook It Slow, by Stephanie O'Dea.