Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Confucious say, "If it's not broken, don't Fix it."

Every year for Thanksgiving we always have our tradition appetizers and I always like to throw one or two different ones into the mix. This year, since my children love chicken wings, I thought I would make Chicken Wing Dip. The recipe was given to me by a dear friend, Brenda Johnson who got it from her sister-in-law. My kids loved it. They liked it so much that for Christmas, both Lauren and David made it to take to places that they were invited.

A friend was telling me that she had to go to a party and had to bring the appetizers. I thought about the chicken wing dip and thought about the possibilty of doing something with it so you could make it ahead. I had the brilliant idea of rolling it into an egg roll, and then freezing it.

I decided to try it...

Midway into the third egg roll, I knew that was probably not a good idea. It was an awful lot of filling and I knew it would be overpowering.

Another genius idea came to me... cut the egg roll wrappers into quarters and make wontons!
This was not a bad idea...

It actually worked! The only problem there was that the chicken had been cubed for the dip, and the wrappers were fragile. It only took me about a million times to get the folding of the wontons right, lol

I went to About.com where they actually tell you how to do it...they didn't make one step very clear however, when you are pinching the two ends together, you should bend them away from you!

Anyway, I made a few wontons, just to see... They actually tasted good, but if I were to do them again, I would modify the recipe a little. Instead of making the dip and using it in the wonton wrappers, I would shred the chicken, and then just place a little cream cheese, monteray jack cheese, a tiny piece of blue cheese, a tiny bit of celery, and a drop of wing sauce on it, rather than melt everything together like you do for the dip. I tried this a few days later when I made a Chicken Wing Monkey Bread and it was very good.

So, I am giving you the recipe for the dip, since it would be great for the Super Bowl, but like
Confucious says, "If it's not broken, don't fix it"...just serve it as a dip and enjoy it!

I am going to post all the pictures on how to do the dip, up to the point where I decided to get creative, all you will need to do is bake it!

Brenda Johnson

2 (8 ounce) packages Philadelphia® Cream Cheese
1 cup blue cheese salad dressing
6 ounces Frank’s Red Hot Sauce
2 cups cooked chicken, diced
1 cup celery, diced
8 ounces Monterey Jack Cheese (shredded)

Place the chicken and celery in a bowl. Melt the cream cheese (one at a time) over medium heat; stir in the blue cheese dressing and the Red Hot Sauce. Remove from the heat, and stir into the celery and chicken. Spray a 13 x 9-inch pan with PAM. Pour mix into the pan. Sprinkle with Monteray Jack cheese and bake at 350° for 25 minutes. Serve with Tortilla chips or Scoops, or Pita crackers.

Here is what you will need for the Chicken Wing Dip (minus the egg roll wrappers):

Wash the celery in cold water

Cut off the top edge and

wide bottom edges

Slice each stalk into about 4 thin pieces lengthwise

Pile them together and cut into a fine dice

Set aside

Cut the chicken into slices (I roasted two chicken breasts with a little seasoned salt in the oven for about 30 minutes, but a rotesserie chicken works quite well here, just buy a cooked chicken in the grocery store to save time)

and then into small cubes
and set aside

Put the celery in a mixing bowl

Add the chicken

Spray the inside of a medium saucepan with PAM (I do this because when you melt any kind of cheese, they will often stick to the pan and burn while you are cooking, or melting them, if you are not diligent and stirring all the time)

Add one package of cream cheese to the pan, and over low heat, begin to melt it

when it is almost melted,

add the other package of cream cheese and melt it

add the blue cheese

and the Frank's Hot Sauce

Stir until well blended

Remove from the heat and add to the chicken and celery

note how easy it was to get the mix out of the pan because of the PAM

at this point, I mixed in the Monteray Jack Cheese. If you are going to make the dip according to the directions, you will just place the dip into a 9 x 13-inch pan (sprayed with PAM) and sprnkle the top with Monteray Jack Cheese. I actually like to take a little of the cheese and mix some of it into the dip and sprinkle the rest on the top,

but that's completely up to you. At this point, you can refrigerate it and bake it the next day. When you are ready, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

and bake for about 25 minutes until golden brown and heated thoroughly. Serve with chips, or pita crackers, Fritos Scoops, whatever you like.

Now, to get back to my experiment

I then mixed in the cheese

and blended it well

Line a cookie sheet with waxed paper

Place a little water in a bowl with a pastry brush

Egg Roll wrappers are a little like Phyllo, they
need to be kept damp while you work
so cover them with a damp paper towel

Lay your egg roll wrapper in front of you
and place your filling on it

Begin to roll

Tuck end under the filling

Fold one side in

and then the other

Brush top with a little water to help seal the ends

Continue to roll place on waxed paper

To make the wonton
you can either buy the wrappers
or cut an egg roll wrapper in quarters

Place the filling in the middle
of the wrapper,
brush the edges with water

Fold over from point to point

Press the air out and push around the
filling to form an area in the middle

Wet the underside of the two long ends
and pull the tips together toward
each other and underneath

It should resemble a nurses cap

Don't worry if it takes you about 100 times to get it right, lol
Just take a look at a few of my beauties

Deep Fry


As I said, I would do these again, just tweak the ingredients a
little. The filling is loose, so it's good for a dip
but for the wrapper it needs to have more substance
They tasted okay, but could have been a little better
for my taste, but I will get this right and let you know!
You gotta show the errors too, that's how we learn...

If nothing else, you learned how to roll an egg roll
and make a wonton!!!!

Confucious also said, "Don't give up your day job to work in Chinese Restaurant!"

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