Thursday, May 18, 2017

Buffalo Chicken Cheese Steak

     Gourmet Philly Style! 
     The world of Philly Steaks has changed through the years.  The old school days of only having shaved beef as a choice of meat are long gone.  Being limited to American Cheese, Provolone or Whiz is no longer a rule.  Gourmet Cheese Steaks that stray from tradition are en vogue in modern times.   
     Chicken Cheese Steaks became popular in the early 1980's.  Chicken simply replaced the beef in this sandwich and for many years the list of extra ingredient options did not change.  Just like with a Beef Cheese Steak, Peppers, onions, mushrooms, tomato sauce and a choice of cheese were the only options for a Chicken Cheese Steak.  In recent years the craft beer bar scene has gained a foothold and the level of competition in the bar snack food arena has risen dramatically.  Philadelphia steak shop owners and tavern chefs have rekindled many classic recipes and adapted new food items in order to remain competitive.  
     As long as the ingredients add up to a flavor combination that is easily recognized, a modern Cheese Steak creation will be well received by conservative clientele.  The Buffalo Chicken Cheese Steak is an item that strays from tradition, yet it appeals to fans of Buffalo Wings.  A soft Hoagie Roll, boneless chicken, mild hot Sauce thinned with butter and crumbled blue cheese is all it takes to make this sandwich.  A Buffalo Chicken Cheese Steak is a real crowd pleaser, because the flavor is like eating a sandwich that is made with classic Buffalo Wing ingredients.   
     When Chicken Cheese Steaks first hit the scene, they were made with coarse chopped shredded chicken breast.  In recent years paper thin sheets of chicken cheese steak meat have been marketed as a frozen product.  Some of these products are highly processed and the flavor is not as good as chopped shredded chicken breast.  For today's recipe, chopped shredded chicken breast is used, but a frozen chicken cheese steak meat product is an option.   

     Buffalo Wing Sauce: 
     This recipe yields 3/4 cup.  (Enough for 1 large 12" Buffalo Chicken Cheese Steak.) 
     This Buffalo Wing Sauce is close to the original recipe.  The original recipe was basically just butter and Frank's Red Hot.  A small amount of Honey and BBQ sauce adds a touch of sweetness and depth. 
     Step 1:  Place 1/2 cup of Frank's Red Hot Sauce in a mixing bowl.
     Add 1/2 tablespoon of honey.
     Add 1/2 tablespoon of BBQ sauce.
     Add 3 tablespoons of melted unsalted butter.
     Add 1 pinch of cayenne pepper.
     Add 1 pinch of sea salt and white pepper.
     Step 2:  Mix the ingredients together.
     Pour the wing sauce in a container and set it aside or chill it for later use.     
     Buffalo Chicken Cheese Steak:
     This recipe yields 1 foot long sandwich.
     Frozen Thin Shaved Chicken for Cheesesteaks is available at some grocery stores.  If none is available, then cut some semi frozen chicken breast filet meat into paper thin slices to create the same look.  The chicken breast meat can also be chopped and shredded with spatulas as it cooks on the griddle
     The best bread for a cheesesteak is a foot-long Hoagie Roll that has a slightly chewy texture.  Soft Italian Sub Rolls are good too.  A crusty baguette is not a good choice.
     Step 1:  Select 9 ounces of boneless chicken breast filet.
     Cut the chicken filets into long thin strips.
     Step 2:  Heat a cast iron griddle (or wide sauté pan) over medium heat.
     Coat the griddle with 2 teaspoons of blended olive.
     Step 3:  Place the boneless chicken breast pieces on the griddle.
     Use 2 large spatulas to tear and shred the chicken into small pieces as it cooks.
     Grill and toss till the chicken is fully cooked.
     Step 4:  Mound the cooked shredded chicken on the center of the griddle.
     Pour about 1/2 cup of the Buffalo Wing Sauce over the chicken.
     Toss the ingredients together till the shredded chicken is coated.
     Step 5:  Mound the Buffalo Chicken on the center of the griddle.
     Sprinkle 1/4 cup to 1/3 cup of crumbled Bleu Cheese on the chicken.
     Use a spatula to briefly toss the ingredients together till the Bleu Cheese starts to melt.
     Step 7:  Cut one side of a 12" long Hoagie Roll (or sub roll) and split the roll open.  (Do not cut all the way through the bread!)
     Use a large spatula to mound the Buffalo Chicken Cheese Steak mixture on the open Hoagie Roll.
     Cut the sandwich in half and place it on a plate.
     Garnish the plate with curly leaf parsley sprigs and pickles of your choice.

     Every bite of this Buffalo Chicken Cheese Steak tastes like classic Buffalo Wings!

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