This is easy, and delicious, and fun.
For this dip, you will need the following:
- 3 cups shredded chicken (poach and shred your own, or buy three large cans of chicken breast - it works great!)
- 1 small can tomato sauce
- hot sauce, to taste
- 1/2 cup plus more half and half or cream
- 1 cup shredded white cheese (mozzarella, monterrey jack, anything that will melt easily)
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 tablespoon paprika
- 1 tablespoon butter
I poach the chicken at the same time I make my sauce and was incredibly slack at taking pictures of this process.
I used three small chicken breasts, and it was the perfect amount!
First, you cover the chicken with water and turn the burner to high to bring the water to a boil. Then, reduce the heat and simmer for 15-30 minutes until the chicken is just barely cooked through. If it's still a little pink that's OK, it keeps cooking later in the sauce!
Mmmmmm chicken. Put it aside, and save the liquid for the next time you need chicken stock!
When the chicken is cool enough to handle, shred it into small bits with your fingers or two forks.
Lovely. Meanwhile, heat the butter and spices in a pan over medium heat. When the spices are covered in butter and fragrant, after about 3 minutes, add the tomato sauce, cream, cheese, hot sauce (I start with 3 tablespoons and work my way up), and chicken and stir it all together!
Well, that's just delicious, isn't it! Stir this all together and add more of whatever you need - I almost always add more hot sauce because I prefer a more "red" sauce with less cream.
The tomato sauce is one of those fake-out ingredients. It acts like more hot sauce with the tang, but you don't have to add tons of extra butter to balance out the heat like in regular wing sauce. Nice!
Clearly, you could add more cheese too. Let everything melt and get loosey-goosey, then taste the mixture. I add way more hot sauce AGAIN because I like things spicy, man.
And that's it! Stick this in a casserole dish and reheat it in the oven when you're ready to serve it - you can make it up to two days in advance and keep the dip covered in the fridge. I've even microwaved the cold dip before and it works GREAT. No need to hog oven space!
I serve this with toasted bread, celery sticks, and carrots. Make this NOW - your friends will love you for it!