I came up with this recipe a few years ago for a friend's July 4th party. It was a huge hit and ever since, I get asked to make this for parties I'm going to and I've been asked for the recipe several times. I originally wasn't going to make it with beer (I know, I know - what was I thinking?!), but decided at the last minute to throw it in and was so glad I did! They key is to let the chicken soak in the beer long enough so that it gets absorbed with all that delicious beer flavor. When I first made this, I only soaked the chicken for about 30 minutes. The next time I made it, I let it sit longer and I could definitely taste a difference. I'm not gonna lie - I could totally eat the beer soaked chicken on it's own. It's so flippin' good.
If you don't have a slow cooker, don't sweat it! You can use a medium saucepan on medium heat. However, since this needs to be served warm, make sure you have a warming dish to keep it in while it's sitting out (My last pic was a cheater. I did that to make it look pretty.). For this one, I used my smaller 2-quart slow cooker instead of my regular Crock-Pot.
Buffalo Beer Chicken Dip
- One whole ready made roasted chicken, shredded with skin removed
- 12 oz of light colored beer (I usually use Miller Lite). Any pilsner or light ale will work.
- Two 8 oz packages of regular or 1/3 less fat cream cheese (do not use fat free!)
- 1/2 cup of shredded mozzarella cheese
- 1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder
- 1/4 cup blue cheese dressing
- 1/4 cup of hot sauce or buffalo sauce (Frank's Red Hot Original is my favorite)
Remove skin from chicken and discard. Shred chicken using your hands. Don't be afraid to get dirty - it's fun! Place shredded chicken into a large Ziploc bag. If you fold the sides down, it helps the bag stay sitting up and open.
Pour entire beer into the bag of chicken. Seal the bag and shake it up to ensure all the chicken is covered with beer. Place in fridge for at least 2 hours.
Turn your slow cooker on a medium or high setting (depending on your slow cooker's settings - you don't want the cream cheese to overcook). Add the 2 blocks of cream cheese and stir occasionally, until soft enough to stir well. Add cheese and garlic powder and stir until melted.
Pour in the blue cheese dressing and mix well with the cream cheese mixture.
Drain the chicken. Most of the beer should be nicely absorbed. Add chicken to the slow cooker and blend well with cream cheese mixture.
Once blended, add the buffalo sauce. Mix well and don't be afraid to add more if you want some extra kick (which is what I usually do).
Lower the temperature. Allow it to cook for at least 30 minutes before serving. Serve with chips, bread or celery.
Things to know...
I've been asked a few questions about this dip in the past, so here are a few tips:
Do NOT use canned chicken! Personally, I'm not a fan of canned chicken at all. All grocery stores sell ready made roast chickens in the deli section and it's well worth it to get one of those. You can use any flavor they have if they are out of original roasted. Most of the seasonings are in the skin anyway and that gets discarded. You can also roast your own chicken if you want to get real fancy.
Be sure to use regular or 1/3 less fat cream cheese. Fat free cream cheese (which I don't like in general) has an odd texture and won't work well.
The lighter the beer, the better. Don't use any ambers, darks or stout beers.
Don't want to use beer? That's totally fine! You can omit it and it will still taste good. Or, you can even use a non-alcoholic beer if you still want the flavor but absolutely don't want to use regular beer.
If you're pressed for time or are making this for something that starts early in the day, you can soak the chicken the day before. Just be sure to drain it and put chicken back in the bag so that it doesn't soak overnight and get too soggy.
The dip itself can also be made the day before however, the dip needs to be served warm so make sure you put it in the slow cooker or warmer and get it nice and warm before serving it.
If you have any other questions, ask away! And of course, enjoy!