Today I’m going to share what is probably my family’s #1 favorite meal: Buffalo Chicken Thighs with Buttermilk-Blue Cheese Mashed Potatoes. I make these two recipes all the time — probably twice a month, sometimes more often — because both Zach and the kids request it all the time. We all love it so much that I actually thought I’d already shared the recipe here. I was so sure, that I searched the archives twice to verify that I hadn’t already posted it.
There are three things that are great about this meal:
- It tastes decadent but it’s actually pretty light! It has all of the yummy flavors of buffalo wings, but it’s low in fat and calories. (The sodium is a tad high, I admit.)
- It comes together really fast.
- If I make just a couple small modifications to suit the kids’ tastes they clean their plates and these modifications take very little additional effort on my part.
This was also the recipe that made mashed potatoes start to appear regularly on our table I love mashed potatoes very, very much. (When I was a kid my family called me Spud Girl because of my love of potatoes.) I don’t love peeling potatoes though so I hardly ever used to make mashed potatoes. This recipe calls for using whole, unpeeled red potatoes that you smash up right in the pan — skin and all. I never thought my kids would go for that, but the first time I made this recipe they didn’t even blink as they ate the skins. Score! Now I make mashed potatoes this way every week.
Buffalo Chicken Thighs
recipe courtesy of Cooking Light
- 6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
- 8 bone-in chicken thighs, skinned
- 1 tablespoon olive oil, divided
- 3 tablespoons hot sauce
- 1 tablespoon butter
- Preheat oven to 375°.
- Combine first 4 ingredients in a heavy-duty zip-top plastic bag; seal. Shake to blend. Add half of chicken to bag; seal. Shake to coat. Remove chicken from bag, shaking to remove excess flour mixture. Heat a large oven-safe skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1 1/2 teaspoons oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add flour-coated chicken to pan; sauté 4 minutes on each side or until browned. Transfer browned chicken to a plate. Repeat procedure with the remaining uncooked chicken, flour mixture, and oil. Discard remaining flour mixture. Place first batch of chicken back in the skillet and bake at 375° for 8 minutes or until done.
- Combine hot sauce and butter in a microwave-safe dish; microwave at HIGH for 30 seconds or until butter melts, stirring to blend. Place chicken in a shallow dish; drizzle with butter sauce. Toss to coat.
Buttermilk-Blue Cheese Mashed Potatoes
recipe courtesy of Cooking Light
- 1 pound small red potatoes
- 1/3 cup buttermilk
- 1/4 cup crumbled blue cheese
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- Place potatoes in a saucepan; cover with cold water to 2 inches above potatoes. Bring mixture to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium, and simmer 15 minutes or until tender; drain. Return potatoes to pan.
- Add buttermilk, blue cheese, salt, and pepper to pan; mash with potato masher to desired consistency.
First off, I make this recipe with whatever chicken parts I have on hand. Drumsticks, boneless-skinless thighs, chicken tenders — it all works! The buffalo sauce is too spicy for my four-year-old, so I always pull a portion of chicken out for him before I toss it with the chicken. (My eight-year-old loves the spicy sauce!) The blue cheese in the potatoes is far too challenging for the kids palates so I don’t mix it in when I mash the potatoes. Instead Zach and I sprinkle it on at the table. It’s so good!
Do you try to make “junky” recipes more healthy? What modifications do you make to get those delicious flavors without all the bad stuff that often comes with them?