Is a Buffalo chicken wrap a real dish? Or is just an evil creation foisted upon patrons of bars across this great land by lazy chefs? It’s certainly popular, and I do admire the way the spicy, crispy chicken balances with cool and crunchy lettuce and the soft wrap. But for as ubiquitous as it is, you’d think someone would have nailed down the basic recipe.
That’s not really the case. Unless you’re cool with using sautéed chicken instead of the fried kind, you’re out of luck. (By the way, does this make me a Buffalo chicken wrap purist?)
I did use this recipe from Taste of Home for the buttermilk fried chicken tenders, but the rest of the recipe was compiled from field research.
In my opinion, a Buffalo chicken wrap has six major components: fried chicken tenders, Buffalo sauce, blue cheese, chopped Romaine lettuce, tomatoes, and of course, the wrap. Does it need to be blue cheese sauce or Ranch dressing? I wondered but decided to start here, then adjust.
The result was a fairly close approximation, though I did feel like something was missing. For the wrap, my local grocery store only had the jalapeno cheese flavor—it worked fine. The wrap needed to be saucier. Do you have any opinions about this important matter?
- For the Fried Chicken Tenders
- canola oil for frying
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup buttermilk
- 8 chicken tenders
- For the Wraps:
- 1/4 cup Franks Red Hot sauce
- 1/4 cup butter
- four 12″ wraps (I used Jalapeno cheddar, though that’s up to you)
- 1/2 head romaine lettuce, roughly chopped
- 1 cup blue cheese, crumbled
- 1 tomato, stemmed, seeded, and chopped
For the fried chicken tenders: In a Dutch oven, pour in enough oil to come halfway up the side. Attach a deep-fry thermometer, and turn the heat to medium-high. Bring the temperature up to 350°F. Meanwhile, combine the flour, black pepper, and salt in a shallow bowl. Pour the buttermilk into a second bowl. Add the chicken tenders to the buttermilk. Using a pair of tongs, pull up one tender and hold over the bowl to let the excess buttermilk fall back in. Transfer the tender to the flour mixture and toss until coated. Repeat process until all the tenders are coated.
When the oil is at the right temperature, add the tenders (if they all fit in one layer) and cook until golden brown, about five minutes. Drain the tenders on paper towels when done. Repeat process if more tenders need to be cooked. Then turn off the heat.
For the wraps: In a small saucepan, melt the butter over low heat. Add the Franks hot sauce and stir until smooth. Transfer the sauce to a large bowl and add the fried chicken tenders. Toss until they are coated.
Heat a large cast-iron skillet over medium heat. Add one of the wraps and let warm up for a few seconds on each side. Repeat process until all the wraps are warm.
To construct, take one wrap and add two of the sauced fried chicken tenders, a handful of romaine, a 1/4 cup of the blue cheese, and 1/4 of the chopped tomato. Fold the wrap up like a burrito, and then cut in half crosswise to serve. Repeat process with remaining wraps.