This was another recipe inspired by my brother-in-law, Will. Every year, my father-in-law's side of the family has an "appetizer cook off" themed Christmas party and Will enlisted my assistance.
Will: I really like buffalo chicken. I want to do something like that. Maybe that flavor, but fried.
Jaisa: Follow me.
You go to some people for advice, some people to cheer you up, others to debate politics, and you come to me for food.
And just like that, buffalo chicken cigars were born. Serve these with homemade blue cheese dressing and these will become an instant favorite.
Start with shredding a couple of handfuls of mild cheddar. 1 - 1 1/2 cups of loosely packed freshly shredded mild cheddar cheese will do. So, unless you really need to throw this together in a pinch, try to shred the cheese yourself. It's just better. I think they do something shady to preshredded cheese to make it not stick together and have found that when I shred it myself it just blends better. Call me crazy, I don't know.
So this is important: Shred the chicken from a rotiserie chicken. Either buy one in the deli section of the super market, or make it yourself. The texture is totally different than if you were to grill or poach the chicken. It's just softer and easier to blend in with the cheeses. Just make sure to remove the skin first. Or, marry my husband and just leave the chicken on the counter for 20 minutes and the crispy skin will be removed and consumed swiftly. Work smarter, not harder people.
Chop the stems of 2 green onions.
Now, assemble your other ingredients. Hot sauce, and cream cheese. I prefer Louisiana hot sauce. Franks just seems to have the heat, but with no flavor. Everything out of the great state of Louisiana is dripping in flavor. Those peeps know what they are doing.
Add 1 - 2 blocks of PHILADELPHIA original cream cheese. Don't buy an impostor, it just doesn't come out the same. I ended up doing 1.5 blocks to get the right consistency. Again, being the hardly housewife that I am, I don't really use recipes. So I add, taste, blend, taste, add, taste, blend. I just keep doing that until it tastes right. I wonder why my jeans are tight...
Now blend everything together by hand. You can act all dainty and stay all clean but it will take you three times as long and the consistency won't be the same. Jump on in and cream all of the ingredients together by hand.
This is how it should look. I added way more hot sauce than I originally planned. I ended up adding AT LEAST 2/3 of a cup. That sounds like a lot but think about how mild the other ingredients are. It needs a lot of flavor. I also added some salt as well as some garlic powder to taste.
So, I tried to make these before by just using a spoon. What a flipping nightmare. Even if you don't want to, use a zip lock bag. Add all of the ingredients and cut off a small portion of the corner so you can pipe the chicken mixture into the wanton wrapper.
Now, get ready for assembly. On a clean surface, lay out your wanton wrappers, a dish with water to seal the cigars, and your piping bag of addicting filling.
Towards the bottom, pipe a strip of the chicken mixture. Leave room at the bottom and both sides so you can roll it like a burrito.
Just like this.
Roll the cigar up and seal it shut with the water.
To make these as efficiently as possible (my middle name) do the steps in batches. Pipe, roll, water, seal.
Lay the cigars seam side down on a damp paper towel while you're working. Otherwise, the wrappers will get dry and crusty and will come undone while frying. Dry and crusty = sad. Losing some of that precious filling = sadder.
We own a handy dandy deep fryer that I set to 350 degrees. Fry these about 3-5 minutes or until they become golden brown - the universal sign that your food is ready and that heaven can be achieved on earth.
Oh baby. These are knock-your-socks-off-high-five-yourself-twice good.
These are downright criminal. The only complaint you will have from your guests is a) you don't have enough b) you should have been making these since the day you were born c) their mouth burns because they couldn't wait for them to cool. Make, eat, repeat.
Buffalo Chicken Cigars Recipes
2 Cups of Shredded Chicken
1 - 1 1/2 Cups of Shredded Cheddar
1 - 1 1/2 Blocks of Philadelphia Cream Cheese
2 Tablespoons of Chopped Green Onions
2/3 Cup of Hot Sauce
3/4 Tsp of Garlic Powder
1/2 Tsp of Salt
Shred chicken. Blend chicken, cream cheese, and cheddar by hand. Add hot sauce, green onions, garlic powder and salt to taste. Add mixture to large zip lock bag. Cut off corner and pipe filling into wanton wrapper to make a cigar. Seal with water at the top. Fry in 350 degree oil or until golden brown. Enjoy!