bits and pieces

Friday, August 16, 2013

Braised Buffalo Chicken Flat Bread: Oooh, you fancy! (but really, you AREN'T)

With a generous sprinkle of bleu cheese and bacon of course. 

Along with fish tacos, flat breads are one of my easy 'go-tos' for fast week night dinners. My goal with dinners during the week is to be a step above KD or chicken fingers and fries in regards to appearance, but involve only minimally more time and effort.

My favourite flat bread is already on this blog and stars some yummy pears, mushrooms and walnuts. HOWEVER, for my lovely partner, a meal isn't a meal unless something has died for it. When I'm feeling LAZY I normally just make a steak and some BBQ'd potatoes. However, even delicious delicious steak can get a little hum-drum (apparently). 

Enter braised chicken, stage left. 

Braising, much like brining or slow cooking, can keep you chicken juicy and yummly. By cooking the chicken immersed in a sumptuous liquid, you keep the flavour and juices in. You can take this basic process and apply it to any flavour profile. Here I went with buffalo chicken as I had a bunch of bleu cheese to eat (life is so hard) and buffalo and bleu cheese are close pals.  They have sleepovers and watch the Craft on the regular. It's true. 

2 chicken thighs
1/4 cup flour and a pinch of salt, pepper, garlic power, onion powder (OPTIONAL)
2 cups of chicken stock
1 tbsp butttttttttah
3 tbsp Franks or another tasty hot sauce (note: sadly, Tabasco does not work here) 
1 onion roughly chopped (and I mean roughly)

in addition:
2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp Franks
(basically just keep these out)

olive oil
1 flat bread type product. I used naan from President's Choice since it was on sale, but you can also use tortillas, pitas, pizza crusts, puff pastry or gasp - even make your own. But that takes the easy out of things. 
2 cups of arugula
a crumble of bleu cheese
2 strips of bacon, cooked (duh) and roughly chopped
a drizzle of ranch dressing if you're feeling opulent. 
alternately - you can mix up 1 tbsp olive oil with 1 tbsp lemon juice, 1 tsp some sort of vinegar, pepper, salt and oregano and drizzle away. 

other things you will need:
a knife
a cutting board
an oven safe dish with a lid to get your braise on
a frying pan
a cookie sheet to quickly bake your bread on (optional - I just pop mine in the oven)
tongs/two forks

Now I know this looks like a lot of things and thus a lot of work, but trust me - IT IS EASY AND FAST AND YOU CAN SIT BACK AND DRINK A GLASS OF WINE. You can also make your chicken the day before and just reheat and toss everything on a bread-vehicle. Easy-peasy!
  1. Preheat your oven to 425. 
  2. In your frying pan, heat olive oil over medium high. 
  3. Dredge your chicken in the flour-spice mixture. Alternately, you can pour this flour-y goodness into a ziplock bag and shake it around with the chicken to coat. 
  4. Once your oil is shiny and hot, place your chicken skin side down in the pan to brown. After about 2 minutes, flip and repeat. 
  5. While your chicken is brownin', combine your onion and chicken stock in your pot. Add the 3 tbsp of Franks and the tbsp of butttaaaaah. 
  6. Once the chicken is browned, pop it into the pot resting it on the onions skin side up. 
  7. Cover and cook for 40 minutes. 
  8. Whilst your chicken is a-braising, drink a glass of wine and cook your bacon and assemble your bits and pieces and what not if you haven't already. 
  9. BING! The 40 minutes are up. Put that book down and head back to the stove. Remove the pot from the oven (carefully) and set aside. Brush your bread-device with olive oil and pop it in the oven to heat it up. Don't leave it in there for more than 5 minutes or it will brown and get too crunchy. 
  10.  In your frying pan over medium-low, heat your remaining butttaaah and hot sauce stirring until combined. If you're looking at this mixture in horror thinking 'BUTTER AND HOT SAUCE?!' don't worry. One, you can eat butter whenever you feel like it. Two, buffalo sauce IS butter and hot sauce combined. 
  11. Remove your chicken from its braising liquid and place it in the frying pan. Add a splash of that braising liquid if you so please, and using a couple forks or some tongs, gently tear the chicken off the bone. Tear it into bite sized morsels and toss to coat with the butter and hot sauce mixture. Turn off the heat. 
  12. Remove your flatbread from the oven and top it with arugula, bleu cheese, bacon, chicken and ranch. You can see by the photos that I also threw in the onions that braised with the chicken. GO WILD. 

Braised buffalo chicken flatbread with arugula and bleu cheeeeeeese. 

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