The wonderful thing about appetizers is that appetizers are wonderful things.
They are cheesy, they are decadent. They are dips, they are adorably cute finger foods. They cause internal strife because I have SO MANY appetizer recipes to try that I can never make up my mind which ones to make when I entertain. #firstworldproblems
But that’s all a thing of the past now. I have brought the appetizer from a small plate to a big plate. That’s right…
I broke all the rules and made appetizers for dinner.
In fact, I made them for dinner all week. Uh-huh, uh-huh.
I just got tired of wondering what all the appetizers in my collection tasted like, so I rolled up my sleeves like Rosie Riveter and made them. For dinner. Oh, what a fantastic week it was.
The most decadent player in Appetizer Week was definitely BBQ Chicken Dip from How Sweet It Is (favorite blog alert). If you don’t sit down to a bowl of this and feel warm, fuzzy, and utterly, blissfully happy with your current eating situation, then I don’t know what to tell you. Talk about a bowl of cheesy, smoky comfort. This is better than any dip I’ve had at a restaurant, and that’s a serious statement because dips sing to me like the Austrian Alps. I’m always a sucker for a good dip.
Despite the term ‘dip,’ which can mean something that is either grotesquely bad for you OR such a sordid collection of bottled and pre-packaged foods that you feel bad about yourself before you even eat it, this is an exception. While totally not even sniffing the low-fat category, it does have a hefty amount of chicken, onions and cheese, which make it a hearty dinner contender. Annnnnnddd the effort of roasting the chicken yourself gives it that extra little boost of ‘do-it-yourself-ness’ that I love so much. You don’t have to serve it with any sort of chip or bread, either- I just scooped some in a bowl and ate it with a spoon. If that sounds sacrilegious, by all means slice up some baguette slices and go to town. I paired it with my Bacon and Balsamic Roasted Brussels Sprouts, which filled the bacon requirement for the Ultimate Comfort Meal.
You can keep your mac ‘n’ cheese. I’ll take this BBQ Chicken Dip any day of the week and twice on Sundays.
- 4 bone-in, skin-on chicken legs
- Olive oil
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 red onion, chopped
- 1 tsp brown sugar
- 2 (8-ounce) blocks cream cheese, softened to room temperature
- ⅓ c mayonnaise
- ⅓ c sour cream
- ⅔ c barbecue sauce
- 8 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, freshly grated
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
- Drizzle chicken legs with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place on a baking sheet and roast for about 45 minutes, or until cooked through. Let them cool completely, then remove the skin and bones, shred the chicken into bite-sized pieces, and set aside.
- While the chicken is roasting, heat a skillet over medium high heat. Add 1 T olive oil and chopped onions. Cook 5-10 minutes until soft and starting to caramelize. Add brown sugar and cook about 5 minutes more. Remove from heat and set aside.
- In a large bowl, combine cream cheese, mayo, sour cream, ⅓ c barbecue sauce, the caramelized onions and half the cheddar cheese. Fold in chicken and add 1 tsp salt and ½ tsp pepper. Mix well.
- Spread cream cheese mixture into an 8-inch 9-inch square baking dish, or 2-quart casserole. Smooth the top and cover it with remaining barbecue sauce, then top with remaining cheese. Bake for about 25 minutes, or until bubbly and hot.