Pierogis: Buffalo Chicken & Blue Cheese

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After spending Saturday snowboarding in Vermont I needed to enjoy NFL Championship Sunday frugally. That meant no Red Star or Mulholland’s or meeting friends at some sports bar in the city. What it did mean was staying at home to watch the games. I don’t really mind this option as my couch is comfortable and I have forgone a TV for a projector, which means giant football. What I was going to miss was the bar food. To me nothing goes with football like buffalo wings, and even then for a bar to make them correctly is not an easy task. So I was going to have to find a substitute. Enter the Buffalo Chicken & Blue Cheese Pierogi.

My girlfriend has wanted to give her grandmother’s pierogi recipe a try for some time now, so we finally decided to give it a go. We would make some standard pierogies with mashed potato, sauerkraut, onion, mushroom and kielbasa, but I would also try my hand at making a buffalo chicken filling.

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To make the buffalo chicken I adjusted a shredded chicken recipe I use for tacos. I’ve made this shredded chicken multiple times and it always turns out excellent, so I figured it would handle my adjustment to buffalo sauce just was well. Here’s what I did: 2 lbs Chicken Breast was cut into chucks and thrown into a pot with a little oil. The chicken was browned on all sides and then a Carrot and a Celery Stalk, both thinly sliced (I actually just used my peeler to shave off slices) were added. Once the carrots and celery cooked for a bit 1 Whole Bottle of Frank’s Red Hot Sauce was dumped on top, with a little Chicken Stock added until the chicken was completely submerged. Oh, and for that little extra buffalo wing goodness 2 good sized chucks of Butter were dropped in as well. Once the sauce was boiling the heat was reduced and the pot was left to simmer for an hour.

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After an hour a fork and tongs were used to start shredding the chicken. Leaving the lid off, the pot simmered for another 30 min or so, stirred occasionally to continue to shred the chicken. When it was done the sauce was reduced and the chicken was all shredded and delicious.

As the chicken was cooking the pierogi dough was mde. I won’t get into how we did that here, because honestly we were struggling. It turned out fine, but I will definitely be trying it again and working through some issues. Basically it’s just eggs, milk, and flour, kneaded into dough, rolled out, and cut into circles.

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With the dough cut out into circles, a bit of the shredded buffalo chicken and crumbled Blue Cheese were added, the dough was folded over, and the edges sealed with a fork. When 5 or 6 were made they were all dropped into boiling water. They immediately sank to the bottom of the pot. When the pierogies rose to the top and floated they were done. After pulling them out of the boiling water they were allowed to dry for a bit and then moved to a hot, buttered to frying pan, to sear and crisp up each side.

The result was an amazing pierogi and a great homemade substitute for the buffalo wing. The chicken was tender and had plenty of Frank’s Red Hot, the blue cheese had melted all over the inside, and the crispiness of the perogie added some great texture.

The rest of the pierogies turned out excellent as well. And the best part may be that I have a giant mixed bag of pierogies in my freezer. Can’t wait to cook those up and play pierogi roulette.

What I would do differently: 1) Next time I will mess with the carrot and celery, either by adding more to the shredded chicken, or perhaps adding it later, maybe separately with the chicken and cheese as the pierogi is put together. 2) I need to work on the pierogi dough. I trust the recipe that I was using so maybe I just need some practice. I’ll definitely be doing a little research into that. 3) I will allow the pierogies to dry longer between boiling and frying.

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