Buffalo Chicken Meatloaf

You just can’t have too many pizza recipes, too many meatloaf recipes, or Buffalo Chicken recipes. Last night we had a dish that combines the best of the two – Buffalo Chicken Meatloaf! I don’t eat Buffalo chicken wings (too much fat and way too messy), but I do love the flavor of the hot sauce and love love love blue cheese. This meatloaf is loaded with veggies and the ground chicken breast makes it fulfilling with much less fat (and fuss) than wings. Baked between the layers of meat mixture, you get an explosion of creamy blue cheese in every bite.
But Connor called it meatloaf goo as seen in the photo below, and I take full responsibility for the cook’s error. Instead of following the baking directions as specified in the original recipe, which was printed recently in the St. Louis Post Dispatch, I decided to bake it in a loaf pan as I do with other meatloaf recipes. Big mistake. The texture is quite soft, and it fell completely apart when I took it out of the pan. I also thought it seemed a bit dry after I added the bread crumbs so I added more hot sauce, which also contributed to it crumbling. I will make this again, but next time I’ll actually prepare it as written.

Buffalo Chicken Meatloaf
Original recipe from The St. Louis Post Dispatch
Serves 6

1 t olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
4 ribs celery, finely chopped
3 carrots, peeled and finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 pound ground chicken breast
1 C buffalo wing sauce, divided
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 C plain bread crumbs, preferably homemade*
1/2 t salt
1/2 t ground black pepper
1 C crumbled blue cheese
2 T honey
Sliced green onions, for optional garnish

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Place a large skillet over medium high-heat. When hot, add olive oil, then add onion, celery and carrots. Cook, stirring frequently, for 5 to 8 minutes or until onion is translucent. Add garlic; cook, stirring frequently, for 2 minutes.

In a medium mixing bowl, combine ground chicken, 1/2 cup wing sauce, egg, bread crumbs, salt and pepper. Add vegetables. Mix gently but well.
Coat a rimmed baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray. Place half of the chicken mixture on the baking sheet, patting the meat into a rectangle. Top evenly with cheese. Add the rest of the meat, covering all the cheese and forming a loaf.

Stir together the remaining 1/2 cup wing sauce and honey. Spread over the meatloaf.

Bake for 1 hour or until cooked through. Let cool slightly before slicing. If desired, sprinkle with green onions.

** A note on homemade bread crumbs…. Easy, cheap, much tastier, and no waste than buying store bread crumbs! I always save the end pieces of bread in a freezer ziplock (in the freezer) until I have enough to fill the bowl of the food processor. Don’t use stale bread and the bread must be dry. If the bread is too fresh, it won’t crumble. But it’s easily dried by placing it in a single layer on an ungreased baking sheet in a 300 degree oven for 10 to 15 minutes, turning once to ensure even drying. Remove from the oven and let cool. Tear the bread, place in the food processor, and whirl until it is the desired coarseness. Place in a freezer ziplock, and store in the freezer. I like to keep a bag of plain and a bag I’ve already mixed with Italian seasoning. Voila!

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