Buffalo Chicken Lettuce Cups

Buffalo Chicken Lettuce Cups | Cook Like a Cavewoman! | Easy Paleo Recipes for Feel-Good Eating

With the excitement of the World Cup going on last week, I was thinking a lot about “game day” foods, and how so many of them are often incredibly greasy and unhealthy. Especially buffalo wings, at least how they’re traditionally cooked. Now, I’ve never been a huge chicken wing fan, but I do happen to like buffalo sauce a lot. So I started thinking about what kinds of food could be converted into something Paleo-friendly, should my soon-to-be-hubby ever decide to become a huge sports fanatic and have a bunch of friends over on game days (not likely, but you never know). Because, hello, the cook should never have to starve! I thought to myself, If I would ever bother to make such a grand effort, then why NOT make something that I can eat, too?? And that’s how this recipe came into existence.

I knew I wanted to make buffalo chicken, but I didn’t want huge chunks, or strips… And then I recalled a little trick I learned a few years ago after getting my Kitchenaid stand mixer… you can shred chicken with it! So I boiled up some whole chicken breasts, and threw them still slightly warm into the bowl of the mixer. I turned it on low speed for about a minute, and voila! I had exactly what I needed.

Buffalo Chicken Lettuce Cups

turns into…

Buffalo Chicken Lettuce Cups

Just add some minced celery, a little homemade Paleo buffalo sauce, give it a good stir, and you’ve got yourself a pretty darned healthy (comparatively speaking) bowl of buffalo chicken! Now spoon some onto your lettuce cups and… speaking of which…

I used butter lettuce for the lettuce cups because it has a nice rounded shape where the lettuce attaches to the stem. It makes them very “cuppable”. You could also use iceberg, which is even more cup-like… but I’m not an iceberg fan. There’s just not enough color (read: nutrients) in it. This would also probably work really well on romaine hearts, which are much sturdier than butter lettuce, but then I suppose you’re technically having lettuce tacos, as opposed to cups. And I wanted cups, dangit! That’s just the kinda fancy girl that I am. :P*

Now, on to the finishing touches! Since I was aiming to sort of “deconstruct” a plate of buffalo wings, I needed something cool and creamy to mimic the blue cheese or ranch that is typically served on the side. I don’t like stinky blue cheese, and I didn’t have any Paleo ranch dressing handy, so I opted for goat cheese crumbles instead! And let me tell you – the soft, tangy creaminess was DIVINE on top of these lettuce cups! Obviously the dairy-free folks will want to nix the goat cheese, but if you can tolerate it, do NOT leave it off! It’s just that good.

Buffalo Chicken Lettuce Cups | Cook Like a Cavewoman! | Easy Paleo Recipes for Feel-Good Eating

Buffalo Chicken Lettuce Cups
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 2
Ingredients
  • 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • Water (enough to cover the chicken when boiling)
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 small celery stalk (about ½ cup once minced)
  • Several leaves of butter lettuce (or iceberg)
  • ¾ cup homemade Paleo buffalo sauce
  • Crumbled goat cheese (optional)
Instructions
  1. Place chicken breasts in bottom of a small pot in a single layer. Cover chicken with water, sprinkle with the sea salt, and add the bay leaf.
  2. Bring to a boil, then quickly reduce heat to low so that the water is only slightly simmering. Partly cover and lightly simmer for 10 minutes.
  3. Turn off heat completely, cover pot, and let the chicken sit in hot water for 15 minutes.
  4. While the chicken is cooking, prepare your celery and lettuce cups. Give both a good rinse! Use a salad spinner or paper towels to help dry the lettuce cups. You may need more than one piece of lettuce to make a lettuce cup, especially if the lettuce is torn at all. Mince the celery (or you can slice it into small chunks, however you prefer it).
  5. When chicken is done, remove it from pot and shake off any excess moisture. While the chicken is still warm, put it into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the flat beater attachment. Turn the mixer on to 2-speed for about 30 seconds to a minute to shred the chicken. (Alternatively, shred the chicken by hand in bowl using two forks.)
  6. Warm up the buffalo sauce, and then add to the bowl of shredded chicken. Stir in the celery, and mix everything together thoroughly.
  7. Scoop two heaping spoonfuls of the chicken mixture into each of the lettuce cups (2 per person). Top each lettuce cup with a generous sprinkling of crumbled goat cheese (optional).
  8. Store leftover chicken in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up 3 days.

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