Buffalo chicken dip has been part of our game-day repertoire for a long time. But until now, it’s always been missing a little something. And, no, it wasn’t beer — we always put that in there!

Kyle recently woke up in the middle of the night with an idea (seriously, he dreams about beer and meat): a crispy chicken skin garnish. If it were sliced thin and sprinkled on top, chicken skin would crisp up in the oven and provide the perfect crunchy topping for an already amazing dip. So we tried it. And it forever changed the way we tailgated.

The basics of the dip remained the same: smoked chicken, three kinds of cheese, hot sauce and beer. To keep prep simple, we buy a whole chicken from one of the best barbecue restaurants on the planet, Joe’s Kansas City. The restaurant formerly known as Oklahoma Joe’s operates their original space inside a gas station not too far from our house, and their smoked chicken packs enough punch to stand up to all of the other bold flavors in the dip. Of course, you can use any chicken from your favorite barbecue restaurant, or even a rotisserie chicken from the grocery store. The idea is to use a pre-cooked, skin-on whole chicken to keep things quick and easy. As for beer, use something light. We used our favorite German import, Weihenstephaner Original, a Helles Lager that’s also great to drink during the big game.

beer

Beer and Buffalo Chicken Dip
1 whole chicken, cooked
¼ cup cup beer
8 ounces cream cheese
½ cup celery, finely chopped
½ cup Sriracha hot sauce
½ cup colby-jack shredded cheese (divided in half)
¼ cup bleu cheese, crumbled

Buffalo-Chicken-Dip

Preheat the oven to 425ºF. Carefully pull the skin off the chicken, slice it into thin strips and set it aside. Then, pull the chicken off the bone, roughly chop that and it set aside (separate from the skin).

Add the beer and cream cheese to a sauce pan over medium heat, stirring until the cream cheese melts and the two are incorporated. While continuing to stir, add the celery, the sriracha, and half (¼ cup) of the colby-jack cheese, and stir until everything is basically a thick, melty sauce. Transfer the mixture to a 9-by-13-inch baking dish or pan. Sprinkle the top with with the remaining colby-jack cheese, the bleu cheese and, finally, the chicken skin slivers. Cook uncovered for 20 to 25 minutes until the top is bubbling and the chicken skin is brown and crispy.

Serve with Fritos, celery, beer and sports.