Open-Face Buffalo Chicken Subs with Ranch Slaw

January 19, 2015 | | | | |

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Open-Face Buffalo-Chicken-Subs-with-Ranch-Slaw-and-Blue-Cheese-Crumbles-1I really enjoy my own parties. I know and like most of the guests (especially the ones that bring me presents), the food is bomb, I can take my shoes off if I need to, and it’s comforting to know that my bed is never more than a few steps away. If I had it my way, I’d throw a rager every month!

I feel as if hosting a monthly party is totally doable, since four weeks is plenty of time for me to forget how stressful hosting a party is. Sadly, it takes much longer for my roommate to recover from our extravaganzas, probably because his responsibilities are slightly less fun than mine. (I cook, he cleans.) Logan believes that we can only manage two annual blowouts: Logena Christmas and Cinco de Mayo. All other celebrations must take place elsewhere. (Every party has a pooper…)

Logan’s pretty firm in his party position, but I’m really gunning for a Super Bowl soirée this year.

Open-Face Buffalo-Chicken-Subs-with-Ranch-Slaw-and-Blue-Cheese-Crumbles-2It’s not that I care about the game (you know football makes my eyes bleed), it’s more that I don’t want to be dragged to Hill Country Barbecue for the fourth year in a row. Instead of sitting at a giant communal table with a bunch of crazies sports fans and watching Logan give himself the meat sweats, I’d like to hang out with friends in my living room and crush homemade snacks until Katy Perry appears.

pulled-buffalo-chicken-sandwichI may be jumping the gun here, but I’ve already started brainstorming the menu, which is very heavy on the Buffalo sauce. (I feel this is acceptable/required on Super Bowl Sunday, no?) I’m thinking baked Buffalo wings and Buffalo tenders with yogurt ranch, followed by a tower of cheesy Buffalo meatballs. There would be a short break in the feast, and then, just when people thought there couldn’t possibly be any more Buffalo dankness, I would debut my newest masterpiece: Open-Face Buffalo Chicken Subs with Ranch Slaw.

Open-Face Buffalo-Chicken-Subs-with-Ranch-Slaw-and-Blue-Cheese-Crumbles-7TOUCHDOWNNNNNN. (Had to.)

I’m all kinds of pumped about these sandos, people. It may actually be impossible to communicate their mind-blowing deliciousness in words, but God knows I’m going to try. Let’s break down these fabulous flavor bombs, shall we?

Everyone knows a good sandwich starts with the bread, and this is particularly true when you decide to go the open-face route. You want something light and fluffy, but it needs to be hearty enough to stand-up to all the badass toppings. That’s where Cobblestone Bread Co.’s Wheat Grinder Sub Rolls come in. They’re soft, yet still sturdy, with just the right amount of satisfying chew, and once toasted, they make the ideal base for this Buffalo chicken madness.

Open-Face Buffalo-Chicken-Subs-with-Ranch-Slaw-and-Blue-Cheese-Crumbles-6Ahhhh, the pulled Buffalo chicken. Chicken thighs get lightly browned and then simmered in a combo of chicken broth and beer for about an hour until tender and juicy. You pull the meat with two forks, douse it in a generous amount of Frank’s Red Hot Buffalo Wing Sauce, and bing, bang, BOOM. Buffalo chicken nirvana. I can’t get enough.

Next up, we’ve got the most epic of slaws. A bright, fresh combo of carrots, celery, cabbage and red onion that’s tossed in a tangy yogurt-based ranch dressing, it’s just what you need to balance the fiery buffalo chicken. (FYI, once you taste this slaw, you’re probably going to want to eat it on its own. Go ahead. The recipe yields about double what you’ll need to make the sandwiches. You’re welcome.) Sprinkle each sub with a generous amount of crumbled blue cheese and experience the magic.

Open-Face Buffalo-Chicken-Subs-with-Ranch-Slaw-and-Blue-Cheese-Crumbles-5To those thinking that these subs seem like a scary amount of work, please simmer down. The only labor-intensive aspect of the recipe is prepping the slaw, and you can always buys pre-shredded carrots and cabbage if you must. To the planners out there, feel free to make the Buffalo chicken and slaw a day in advance, then all you’ll have to do come party time is warm the meat, assemble the sandwiches, and practice your victory dance.

Open-Face Buffalo-Chicken-Subs-with-Ranch-Slaw-and-Blue-Cheese-Crumbles-3If my roommate green-lights the Super Bowl party, I like to imagine myself unveiling these Buffalo Chicken Subs during the halftime show. I’d emerge from the kitchen, preferably in some sort of sparkly bodysuit, just as Katy hits the “Dark Horse” chorus (“So you wanna play with magic…”), and everyone would burst into applause/tears of joy.

I can’t imagine Logan would want to rob me of this moment…

Open-Face Buffalo Chicken Subs with Ranch Slaw: (Makes 4 serious sandwiches)

Open-Face Buffalo-Chicken-Subs-with-Ranch-Slaw-and-Blue-Cheese-Crumbles-4Ingredients:
1½ pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs
2 tablespoons olive oil
1½ cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 cup beer of your choice (You can also use an additional cup of chicken broth in place of the beer)
¼ cup Frank’s Red Hot Wing Sauce (Feel free to add a little more if you like things extra saucy.)
2 cups very thinly sliced green cabbage
2 ribs celery, julienned
1 medium carrot, julienned (or shaved with a vegetable peeler)
¼ medium red onion, very thinly sliced
½ cup non-fat Greek yogurt
¼ teaspoon dried parsley, crushed (Just rub the parsley between your fingers and it will turn to a powder)
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
1/8 teaspoon onion powder
1/8 teaspoon dried dill weed
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1/8 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
2 Cobblestone Bread Co. Wheat Grinder Sub Rolls
½ cup crumbled blue cheese (optional)

Preparing your Open-Face Buffalo Chicken Subs with Ranch Slaw:

-Pat your chicken thighs dry with paper towels and season both sides with salt and fresh ground pepper.

Open-Face Buffalo-Chicken-Subs-with-Ranch-Slaw-and-Blue-Cheese-Crumbles-step-1-In a Dutch oven (or medium saucepan) heat the olive oil over high heat. When hot, add the chicken thighs and cook for about 3 minutes on each side until golden-brown.

Open-Face Buffalo-Chicken-Subs-with-Ranch-Slaw-and-Blue-Cheese-Crumbles-step-2-Add the chicken broth and beer, and reduce the heat to low. Cover and cook for 1 hour.

Open-Face Buffalo-Chicken-Subs-with-Ranch-Slaw-and-Blue-Cheese-Crumbles-step-3-While your chicken is simmering, get to work on that slaw. In a large bowl, combine the cabbage, celery, carrot and red onion. Briefly set aside.

Open-Face Buffalo-Chicken-Subs-with-Ranch-Slaw-and-Blue-Cheese-Crumbles-step-4-On to the ranch dressing! In a small bowl, combine the yogurt, dried parsley, garlic powder, onion powder, dill week, black pepper and salt.

Open-Face Buffalo-Chicken-Subs-with-Ranch-Slaw-and-Blue-Cheese-Crumbles-step-5-Pour the ranch over the slaw and toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

Open-Face Buffalo-Chicken-Subs-with-Ranch-Slaw-and-Blue-Cheese-Crumbles-step-6-After 1 hour transfer the chicken thighs to a cutting board and shred with two forks. (You can go ahead and toss the cooking liquid.)

Open-Face Buffalo-Chicken-Subs-with-Ranch-Slaw-and-Blue-Cheese-Crumbles-step-7-Return the shredded chicken to the Dutch oven over low heat. Add the Frank’s and stir until the chicken is well coated in that killer Buffalo sauce. Keep warm while you toast your grinder rolls.

Open-Face Buffalo-Chicken-Subs-with-Ranch-Slaw-and-Blue-Cheese-Crumbles-step-8-Halve the rolls and place on a baking sheet. Pop them under the broiler for about 1-minute until lightly toasted. (You can also use a toaster or toaster oven if you prefer.)

Open-Face Buffalo-Chicken-Subs-with-Ranch-Slaw-and-Blue-Cheese-Crumbles-step-10-Now it’s time to assemble the sandwiches! Divide the Buffalo chicken amongst the four grinder halves. Top each with plenty of slaw and 2 tablespoons blue cheese crumbles (if using).

pulled-buffalo-chicken-sandwich-with-healthy-ranch-slaw-blue-cheeseGET IN THERE.

Disclosure: Compensation for this post was provided by Cobblestone Bread Co. via AOL Media.  The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Cobblestone Bread Co. or AOL.

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  1. Becky on January 20, 2015 at 4:39 pm

    This looks awesome! I recently got a le creuset (and christened it with Milk Chicken – unreal!) – I love oven braising since I hate paying attention to things simmering on the stove. What temp would you oven braise these chicken thighs and for about how long? Thanks!!

    • Serena_Wolf on January 20, 2015 at 6:18 pm

      Hi Becky- I would put braise these at 350 for 50 minutes, and you’ll be good to go! (So glad you experienced the milk chicken…magic.)

      • Becky on January 20, 2015 at 7:08 pm

        Thank you so much!

  2. mimi rippee on January 19, 2015 at 10:06 am

    I’m not a big sandwich eater, but I’d certainly eat this sandwich!!! Love everything about it!

    • Serena_Wolf on January 20, 2015 at 8:48 am

      Thanks, Mimi!!

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