Buffalo Chicken Sandwiches

It’s always a sure bet that there will be a lot of outdoor get-togethers and grilling taking place on the Fourth of July. But let’s face it — not everybody likes to grill.

And you know what? You can have a succesful outdoor party without grilling. And with a little creativity, nobody will remember what method of cooking you used.

A favorite of many people these days is buffalo chicken wings, which can be found on many restaurant menus. While they can be made at home and don’t require grilling, this party favorite is deep-fried, which may not be your cup of tea, either.

Which brings me to the following recipe for Slow Cooker Buffalo Wing Sandwiches. I came across it at www.allrecipes.com. It was submitted by someone who goes by the moniker Divinesoalce21 (with a photo by cookiegirl30). It doesn’t require grilling or deep-frying. And from the looks of the reviews, the sandwich is sure to be a hit at any get-together.

Here are some of the comments:

"This is a spicy, hearty sandwich that will please those who love buffalo chicken wings. This recipe is perfect for those days spent watching football. I like to top these with blue cheese or ranch dressing."

"OK, let me say that I don’t think just giving this five stars will express how much my fiance loved these sandwiches. Direct quotes from him: ‘This is the best thing to ever come out of a crockpot in the history of cooking. I would eat my way out of a bathtub of this.’ LOL! Seriously, if we weren’t already engaged, this stuff would have made him propose on the spot. The only change I made was to shred the chicken after five hours and then put it back into the crockpot to let it soak up all the sauce for another two hours. I served the meat on toasted Kaiser rolls with melted pepperjack cheese. Thank you very much, needless to say this will be a VERY regularly made recipe in our house!"

"This went over amazingly well with hubby and his buddies. I had a problem with my hot sauce evaporating about half way through the process, so I ended up adding the rest of the 23-ounce bottle, which made it a bit too spicy . I enjoyed the little zip the ranch powder added to the chicken. Next time I make this, I’ll probably use some chicken broth for the first half of the cooking time and then add the hot sauce. I served the sandwiches with colby-jack cheese, shredded lettuce and ranch dressing. I’m planning to use the leftovers for Buffalo Chicken pizza. Thanks for another great variation on buffalo chicken."

"Love, love this recipe. I’ve been making the same thing ever since I found Frank’s Hot sauce in the store! I always eat mine with lettuce and provolone cheese! These blow the restaurant version of the buffalo chicken sandwich out of the water. Another fun version I’ve come to love as well, is using the chicken to make buffalor chicken pizzas that are amazing!"

"This was good, it had a nice kick, my husband really liked it. Next time I will add some blue cheese dressing on top when I serve it or buy some prepackaged coleslaw mix and mix it with blue cheese dressing to serve on the sandwiches. . . . It just needs a little something added to it. Good for game nights and very, very easy. This will be a keeper. I used Frank’s Red Hot Buffalo Wing Sauce and Hidden Valley ranch dressing pack."

With endorsements like those, I can’t wait to try the recipe.

Slow Cooker Buffalo Chicken Sandwiches
4 frozen skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
1 17½-ounce bottle buffalo wing sauce, divided
½ (1 ounce) package dry ranch salad dressing mix
2 tablespoons butter
6 hoagie rolls, split lengthwise
Place the frozen chicken breasts into a slow cooker, and pour in ¾ of the wing sauce and the ranch dressing mix. Cover, and cook on low for 7 to 8 hours.
Once the chicken has cooked, add the butter, and shred the meat finely with two forks. Pile the meat onto the hoagie rolls, and splash with the remaining buffalo wing sauce to serve. 
Yield: Serves 6.
Approximate nutritional analysis per serving: 578 calories, 14 grams fat, 54 milligrams cholesterol, 2,902 milligrams sodium, 80.6 grams carbohydrates, 3.6 grams dietary fiber, 31.3 grams protein.