Buffalo Chicken in a Bread Bowl

This fiery-hot dish isn't for the squeamish. Serve with plenty of extra bread and drinks.

INGREDIENTS | SERVES 4

4 round, ½ -pound loaves of

pumpernickel or honey wheat bread

4 boneless chicken breasts

2 tablespoons flour

1 teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon cayenne

1 teaspoon chili powder

½ cup butter

1 small onion, minced

3 jalapeño peppers, minced

2 garlic cloves, minced

2 tablespoons tomato paste

¼ cup white vinegar

¼ cup hot sauce

1 teaspoon sugar

1½ cups water or chicken broth

½ cup beer

2 ribs celery, sliced

½ cup sour cream

¼ cup ranch or bleu cheese dressing

  • Slice tops off bread loaves; set aside. Carefully hollow out insides, leaving at least ½ thick shell. (Reserve bread for bread crumbs.) Place each bread loaf on plate or in shallow bowl.

  • Dice chicken breasts. Combine flour, salt, cayenne, and chili powder; coat chicken in flour mixture. In a large saucepan, melt butter over medium-high heat. Brown chicken in butter; remove to platter. Add onion, jalapeño peppers, and garlic; sauté 3 minutes.

  • Add tomato paste; cook, stirring, 1 minute. Add vinegar, hot sauce, sugar, water or broth, and beer; bring to a boil. Cook 10 minutes, allowing sauce to reduce.

  • Add celery and chicken; reduce heat to medium and continue cooking 10 minutes. Remove from heat; let stand 5 minutes.

  • Spoon hot chicken and celery into bread bowls with some of the sauce. Combine sour cream and dressing; place a dollop over each bread bowl and serve with bread tops on the side.

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