For my husband and I, there will most certainly be a battle over the remote this Sunday. The Puppy Bowl will be in full swing, and the starting lineup of furry pooches over on Animal Planet have me ready for some swift channel changing!
Every weekend since football season has started I’ve been guaranteed a few solid hours of blogging time. It’s the time my football-crazed husband is glued to the television and blogging becomes an attractive alternative to being completely ignored (except during commercial breaks).
Being from Northern California, my husband is a die-hard 49ers’ fan. And even though the 49ers’ have fallen off the map as of 2 weeks ago, I’m sure this weekend will be no exception: I’ll be ignored for at least a few hours, left to brainstorm about upcoming blog topics without interruption.
Perhaps I’ll get some human interaction with this food offering though: Buffalo Chicken Tea Sandwiches, the result of my preoccupation with tea foods and my husband’s obsession with football.
These Buffalo Chicken Tea Sandwiches are a kicked up version of chicken salad tea sandwiches, with all those spicy flavors that football fans love most. These few-bite party sandwiches combine bleu cheese, diced celery, and grated carrot to create a tasty and easy-to-eat appetizer.
Twisted Tea makes a perfect pairing with these flavorful sandwiches. I didn’t think I would find a beer type of drink infused with tea, so this was a fun find for me. The drink is only lightly alcoholic, much like a wine cooler, with a strong black tea base. And just like you would enjoy beer, Twisted Tea is best served in a frosty glass with a juicy slice of orange.
For serving, I’ve set my little football sandwiches atop some fresh-cut wheat grass. This is the same nutrient-rich wheat grass that you can juice with. I’ve seen wheat grass used for all kinds of creative projects including egg arrangements for Easter and name card beds during spring wedding season, so I thought it might be unique to use some cut grass to present these bites.
And since we’re on the subject of the Puppy Bowl and all the work Animal Planet does to support dog adoptions, I’d like to introduce you to my son and best friend, Fred!
My husband and I purchased Fred from a no-kill animal shelter about 4 years ago…one of the best decisions we’ve ever made. Fred is an American parti-cocker (as opposed to a “party” cocker), hence the freckled face and nose.
Fred was forced to become a 49ers’ fan after I found this jersey on sale a few months back, but with the extra complements and attention, I think he was glad to oblige. At heart, Fred and I are much more Puppy Bowl fans than Super Bowl fans, but we sit around acting like we care about football just for the possibility of getting some good food.
Whether you are watching the Super Bowl or the Puppy Bowl this weekend, I hope you try these festive Buffalo Chicken Tea Sandwiches. Despite their dainty presentation, they pack a flavorful and zesty bite and might even manage to win over the burliest of football fans!
Buffalo Chicken Tea Sandwiches
Makes about 12 tea sandwiches.
2 chicken breasts, roasted
1/4 cup light mayo
3 Tbsp buffalo dipping sauce (I used Frank’s)
1 large celery stick, diced into small cubes
2 Tbsp grated carrot
3 green onions, green parts only, sliced
fresh ground black pepper
light squeeze of lemon juice
2 Tbsp crumbled bleu cheese or grated parmesan cheese
1 loaf rye or whole wheat bread
extra mayo for piping
wheat grass (optional, on platter for serving)
football cookie cutter (mine was 2″ across and 3.5″ long)
#3 piping tip and piping bag (or just a small plastic sandwich bag)
1.) Remove skin and bones from chicken breasts. Tear chicken into large chunks, and place in food processor. Process chicken until it is processed into small bits, then place into large bowl.
2.) Add mayo, buffalo sauce, celery, carrot, green onions, lemon juice, and black pepper to the ground chicken and mix in. Add bleu or parmesan cheese and lightly mix in.
3.) Cut out 24 footballs from rye bread using football cookie cutter. For each slice of bread you should get 2 football bread pieces.
4.) Using the same cookie cutter, place one piece of football-shaped bread into the cutter. Spoon about 2 Tbsp of chicken filling atop the bread inside the cutter, then press down with back of a spoon, making sure to evenly pack the filling down. Place another bread piece on top of the filling, then use your thumbs to press down lightly on the sandwich while pulling the cutter up and away from the sandwich with the rest of your fingers. Repeat this process for all 12 sandwiches.
5.) Place about a 1/4 cup of mayo into a bag fitted with a #3 pastry tip. Pipe one vertical line and three lines across in the center of each sandwich to resemble football stripes. Place finished sandwiches atop cut wheat grass for a festive presentation and enjoy watching the game!