A Southern Grace: spring cleaning

April 11, 2015

spring cleaning


As a rule, I'm not crazy about chicken wings. I never order them* and rarely make them. I think it's because they always leave a trail of orange sauce from the corners of your mouth to your fingertips and possibly on all articles of clothing in between (and even those in the next room, too).

*One notable exception is the dirty south wings at the New Public House in Blowing Rock, NC. The wings were coated in a fabulous sweet and spicy blackberry bourbon glaze and it was so good, I wished for a piece of bread to wipe the leftover glaze off the plate. And yes, I ate them with a fork.

If I could somehow get past the inevitable mess made by chicken wings, I'm sure I'd enjoy them a lot more, and that's where Rachael Ray stepped bounced in. Whether you love her or barely tolerate her, you have to admit that she has some good ideas. Over the years, she's created no fewer than five versions of Buffalo Sloppy Joes; I first saw the idea in her magazine and decided to try it myself. The recipe I ended up using took bits and pieces from several of her previous publications and forming a dinner fine-tuned to the preferences of both me and my hunka hunka burnin' love.

To my delight and relief, this is definitely not what I'd call a sloppy dish, though its taste is very reminiscent of the sloppy joes of my youth and the potential for stained clothes is definitely there. What makes these different is the notable presence of Frank's RedHot sauce**, which isn't overly hot, but adds just enough punch to let you know that these aren't your lunchlady's slop-sloppy joes. I actually thought it would've been okay for them to be a little bit more saucy, but not too much. After all, big orange splotches on pristine white silk*** shirts are so unattractive.

**Full disclosure: While I do like this sauce, I do not put that s*** on everything.
***Do people still wear silk?

Not-So-Sloppy Buffalo Joes
Based on 4 or 5 Rachael Ray recipes for the same dish
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 pound ground chicken or turkey breast
  • 2 stalks celery, finely chopped
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar, tightly packed
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 cup hot sauce, such as Frank's RedHot
  • 1 cup tomato sauce
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock
  • 4 good quality burger rolls, split and toasted
  • 1/2 cup blue cheese crumbles
Heat a large skillet with the oil over medium-high heat.
Add the meat and break it up with wooden spoon, then cook for 5-6 minutes.
Add in the celery and onions, season with salt and freshly ground black pepper, then cook for 7-8 minutes more.
Add the garlic powder, vinegar, brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce, tomato sauce and stock; stir to combine. Simmer a few minutes more, until properly thickened and combined.
Pile onto the buns and top with blue cheese and coleslaw, if desired.


Fairhope Supply Co. said...

I agree with you about the mess of regular chicken wings, so this is a great recipe idea. Thanks for the tip!

Alicia Foodycat said...

I love a chicken wing! And I have never had a sloppy joe. These look good

I Wilkerson said...

How clever to make a sloppy joe that resembles wings! It would be a lot easier to make too!

Angie Schneider said...

I like buffalo chicken! And my husband loves sloppy joe..this is a great combination for us, Grace.

Beth said...

This sounds amazing! And not too messy. A perfect compromise.

Marjie said...

I'm glad I"m not the only person who eats wings with a fork (and drumsticks, too, for the record). This looks like another great use for chicken, Grace.

Marcela said...

Lovely idea about the chicken wings! Looks super delicious!

Big Rigs 'n Lil' Cookies said...

As messy as they are, I do love a good chicken wing. BUT, I never want the hassle of making them at home. Your Buffalo Joes though? Heck yes! Sounds perfect!

Joanne said...

I made these before back when I ate meat years ago and I definitely remember them as being way more satisfying than an actual chicken wing!

Pam said...

Mmmm. I love the sound and look of this type of sloppy joe! Way better than wings.

Barbara said...

What a fun recipe, Grace! In time for the Derby, too. That's a lot of hot sauce....but I think Franks is the best. Good recipe for a crowd. YUM.

Sue/the view from great island said...

I'll follow Frank's Red Hot Sauce anywhere - this looks irresistible!!

Chineka Williams said...

This looks delicious and would be great for a weekend meal!