Boneless Buffalo Strips with Blue Cheese Dressing

This dish is one of my favorite snack items. Not only does it help me get enough veggies in my diet, the plate contains a lot of food with tons of avor, particularly for less than 300 calories. Plus, it feels so off-limits, which, for me, always adds to the enjoyment. It seems like you’re getting away with something, since you’re eating a dish that you know is just insanely out of control in fat and calories when you order it at the local pub. I often serve this plate as a starter when I have my girlfriends over to watch our favorite reality TV shows.

BONELESS BUFFALO STRIPS
I generally use chicken tenderloins, as opposed to chicken breasts, for this dish because it saves time. But if the tenderloins are signicantly more expensive at your grocery store and you want to save money, you can use chicken breasts. You’ll need about four 4-ounce chicken breasts. Just pound them to an even 1/4-inch thickness using the at side of a meat mallet, and then cut each on a diagonal into four equal strips.

When you’re cooking the chicken, it’s very important to use a large pan or work in batches. The strips should be cooked in a single layer, not touching. The pan should also be very hot. If cooked as described, the strips will be lightly golden on the outside and very tender on the inside. If not, the moisture released from the chicken will steam it, preventing the chicken from browning and cooking properly.

Ingredients:
1.5 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose our
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon salt                                       
16 chicken tenderloins (about 1 pound), trimmed of tendons
Olive oil spray
2 tablespoons light butter (stick, not tub)
1.5 tablespoons hot sauce (a thick one like Frank’s), plus more to taste

Directions:
Mix the our, garlic powder, and salt in a medium shallow bowl until well combined.
Dip one chicken strip at time into the our mixture and turn it to coat completely. Then shake off any excess our. Transfer the strip to a plate. Repeat with the remaining strips, placing them side by side on the plate until they are all coated.

Place a large nonstick skillet over high heat. When the skillet is hot, lightly mist it with spray and add the chicken strips side by side, not touching, in a single layer (work in batches, if necessary). Cook until lightly browned on the outside and no longer pink inside, 2 to 3 minutes per side.
Meanwhile, place a small, nonstick skillet over low heat and add the butter and hot sauce. Heat, stirring constantly, until the butter is just melted, being careful not to scorch it. Immediately remove from the heat, add the chicken strips, and toss to coat completely. Add more hot sauce, if desired. Let stand in the pan for 5 minutes, and then toss again (the sauce will stick better after resting) and serve immediately.

Makes 16 strips; 4 servings

Each 4-strip serving has:
162 calories, 27 g protein, 3 g carbohydrates, 5 g fat, 2 g saturated fat, 73 mg cholesterol, trace ber, 427 mg sodium

BLUE CHEESE DRESSING

I love this dressing. When it’s rst made it’s rich and creamy just like the fatty versions, and it’s completely aftertaste free, unlike many of the lower-fat ones. Just note that you shouldn’t make this far in advance of serving it. It will become thinner over time, so it’s best served within a couple of hours.

Ingredients:
1/4 cup light mayonnaise
3 tablespoons fat-free sour cream
3 tablespoons low-fat buttermilk
1/2 teaspoon hot sauce
1/2 teaspoon cider vinegar
1/2 cup crumbled reduced-fat blue cheese

Directions:
Whisk the mayonnaise, sour cream, buttermilk, hot sauce, and vinegar in a medium resealable container until smooth and well combined. Stir in the blue cheese until well combined. Seal the container and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

Makes about 3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon

Two tablespoons have:
62 calories, 2 g protein, 2 g carbohydrates, 4 g fat, 1 g saturated fat, 8 mg cholesterol, 206 mg sodium
You save: 102 calories, 13 g fat, 3 g saturated fat, 46 mg sodium
Traditional 2 tablespoons: 164 calories, 1 g protein, 2 g carbohydrates, 17 g fat, 4 g saturated fat, 17 mg cholesterol, trace ber, 149 mg sodium

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