BUFFALO CHICKEN STUFFED SHELLS – On my husband’s and my first dinner date, nearly 15 years ago, we went to a laid back pub type of place that our friends had recommended to us. It was relaxed and comfortable, and there was no pressure to be all fancy and proper. That’s just what I needed because I was so extremely nervous. I could hardly keep from bouncing my leg under the table. It’s what I do when I don’t know what to say or how to act. Thankfully, it didn’t take long for the waitress to show up with the menus, so we could order. When she asked if we wanted an appetizer, we both said jalapeño poppers at the same time without even discussing it.
That was the first sign that we were a match made in heaven. Not everyone can appreciate a jalapeño popper, but we both loved them. Since getting married and doing the cooking at home, I have tried several recipes of my own, but they are never as good.
BUFFALO CHICKEN STUFFED SHELLS
— 1 pkg jumbo shells cooked to half done, drained and rinsed with cold water. Cover and set aside.
FILLING FOR SHELLS
— 2 lb (ca. 907 g) ground chicken
— 2 Tbsp olive oil or any oil you have on hand
— 8 oz (ca. 302 g) Philadelphia cream cheese, softened
— Salt and pepper to taste
— 3 small fresh jalapeños cleaned and seeded (more or less depending on your personal taste) I used the tam mild fresh from my garden since my peppers were late bloomers this year. If you don’t want the heat, I would take it down to 2 small
— One c Kraft cheddar cheese, shredded
— 1 tsp cumin
— 1 tsp garlic
TOPPING FOR SHELLS
— 1 c cheddar cheese shredded or whatever you like
— 1 c Sargento Mexican blend shredded cheese or again what you like
— 16 oz (ca. 605 g) jar of salsa. I used my home canned from my all my own garden veggies. So use whatever you like here, but my salsa is more to the runny or watery side, so if using jarred from the store I would add about 1/4 cup water to it and mix.
— Sour cream
— Diced green onions
Cook jumbo shells according to directions, except remove them when half cooked. Rinse and drain, then cover and set to the side.
Filling: Add oil and chicken to frying pan and cook over med. To med high heat until cooked through. Season with salt and pepper.
Remove chicken and any pan drippings to a bowl and add cream cheese, mix well. Add diced jalapeños and 4 oz. of cheddar cheese, cumin, and garlic and mix until combined.
Get shells and start stuffing! If shells are sticky or dry, rinse them again and then start filling them. Get them full without over doing it because this will cause the shells to break apart. Line stuffed shells opening up, into a 9×13 or larger baking dish. (You will have a few shells left over) Top with remaining 4 oz. of cheddar cheese. I put a little on each shell and push it into the filling a little.
Place into 375-degree oven for 10 mins just to melt the cheese on the shells, this will keep it from floating up when you top the dish with the salsa. Remove from oven and pour 16 oz.
Salsa over all the shells and top with Mexican Blend cheese, cover with foil and bake for 25 mins. Remove foil and bump heat up to 425 degrees for 10 minutes more. If you like a browner cheese like we do, just broil it for a few minutes keeping close watch on it, so it does not burn ?
Let cool for at least 10 minutes before serving. Top with Sour Cream and chopped Green Onions.
Source : allrecipes.com