14 November 2012

Buffalo Chicken Spaghetti Squash

I am an absolute fiend for Frank's RedHot Sauce.  Spicy, bright and tangy, I sprinkle this on chicken about once a week.  No need for fancy the Barbecue or Smokey flavors, please pass the classic RedHot.  This delicious condiment is the essential ingredient to one of America's classic favorites - buffalo sauce.  (*pause for mouth wipe*)  Toss that name in front of anything and it sounds about 20 times more delicious.  Buffalo chicken, buffalo pizza, buffalo cauliflower...I want to eat them all.  But one of my absolute favorites ways to serve this sauce is a la spaghetti squash.

If you've never had spaghetti squash, you're probably totally grossed out right now.  And butternut squash sounds pretty foul slathered in the stuff.  But spaghetti squash is this wonderful gourd that is excellent in savory dishes.  Rather than the natural sweet flavor you might find in acorn or butternut, this variety is so mild that it just picks up the flavor of whatever you put on it.  How perfect for a fabulous sauce!  With so little flavor, the thing this squash has going for it is its texture.  When cooked, it naturally forms into thin strands just like, well, spaghetti.  Pretty adept naming here, folks. 

This being said, spaghetti squash makes a wonderful healthy substitute for just about any pasta dish.  First, it is gluten free for all those Celiac folks out there.  Second, it's incredibly low in carbs and only 42 calories for an entire cup...yowza!  This means you can enjoy that side of crusty bread without the guilt of overindulging in carbs.  High in vitamin C and fiber, this is an excellent food for those watching their figure.

Buffalo Chicken Spaghetti Squash (3 servings)

  • 1 spaghetti squash
  • 2 tbs butter (we use Smart Balance Light)
  • 1 tbs Worcestershire sauce
  • 3-4 tbs Franks RedHot sauce
  • 1/4 c tomato paste
  • 1/4 c water
  • 3/4 c shredded chicken breast
  • 1/4 c blue cheese
  • 2 green onions, thinly sliced
Start by cooking your spaghetti squash.  For microwave cooking, pierce the skin 5-6 times with a large kitchen knife, deep enough to penetrate through the meat.  Microwave on high for 12-15 minutes, depending on the size of the squash, until the skin is soft enough to give when pressed.  You may want to check with the handle of a wooden spoon as the squash will be hot.  Remove the squash to a cutting board and let cool for 10 minutes.  

Place the butter in a saucepan over medium low heat and let melt slightly.  Add the Worcestershire, Franks, tomato paste and water, then whisk well to combine.  Continue heating until butter is completely melted and the sauce is slightly simmering.  Add the shredded chicken and bring back to a simmer.  Reduce heat to low to keep warm while you prepare the squash.

Cut the squash in half and remove all seeds and the membrane.  Scoop the squash strands out into a large bowl.  Toss with two forks to break up the strands.  

To serve, scoop 1 cup of spaghetti squash onto a plate and top with 1/2 cup of the buffalo chicken mixture.  Sprinkle with blue cheese and green onions.  Serve with crusty bread for mopping up the delicious sauce.

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