A healthified mash up of two favorite dishes: buffalo wings and fried rice. It’s a delicious, quick, and healthy week night meal.
I got the idea for this amazing dish from Clinton Kelly while watching ABC’s The Chew. He made buffalo chicken fried rice to use up leftover white rice from Chinese takeout. I loved the concept (I mean who doesn’t love buffalo chicken and fried rice) and wanted to make my own, healthier version of this dish.
The first way I lightened up the dish was by using quinoa instead of white rice. Quinoa is one of my favorite grains and I always have some in the house. Quinoa is gluten-free, high in protein, and one of the few plant foods that contain all nine essential amino acids. It is also high in fiber, magnesium, B vitamins, iron, potassium, calcium, phosphorus, vitamin E and various beneficial antioxidants.
Best yet, it has great light and fluffy texture and slightly nutty and sweet taste. It’s a great alternative to regular rice.
The next change I made was to add in a few more veggies to the dish, carrots and celery (he only used celery). Plus, carrots and celery are usual accompaniments to buffalo wings, so were a natural pairing to this dish.
Clinton went in the blue cheese direction for his version of the dish. I’m going to be honest with you all – I am not a blue cheese fan (too stinky for me). Soooo….I went in the ranch direction instead.
For some extra favor, I decided to coat my chicken in a ranch seasoning. It’s popping with flavor and makes the chicken utterly delicious. I also drizzle some yogurt ranch over the top of the finished product.
Clinton Kelly was genius for creating this concept. It’s truly a beautiful mashup of two classic dishes. My Danilicious tweaks make it a healthier, but still a super delicious meal.
Let’s get to cooking.
This dish can be broken down into two parts: the ranch chicken and the buffalo fried quinoa.
The ranch chicken is arguably the star of this dish. It’s chicken pieces coated in a ranch seasoning and cooked to perfection. It’s juicy and bursting with ranch flavor. Really, you could add the chicken to a variety of different dishes – and trust me you will want to after you try it. It’s goooood.
To make the ranch seasoning, combine paprika, garlic salt, onion powder, onion flavor, dried parsley, and pepper in a bowl (actual measurements below). It’s basically all the spices used in ranch dressing. Drizzle a little olive oil over the chicken and coat with the spice mixture. This can be done immediately before cooking the chicken or the day before (just make sure to store the coated chicken in the fridge).
Next, heat a tablespoon of olive oil in the pan and add the chicken, cooking for 4 minutes a side. Remove the chicken from pan and allow to rest for ten minutes. Then cut the chicken into pieces.
Now we will shift out focus to the buffalo fried quinoa.
For the this part of the dish, you will need quinoa, celery, carrots, eggs, ranch, and buffalo sauce.
Heat a tablespoon of olive in the pan (or oil of choice). Add in the celery and carrots and cook for about 4-5 minutes. You want to soften the veggies slightly but still leave them a bit of crunch. Add in the garlic and cook until fragrant.
The next step is adding the eggs. Move the veggies to one side of the pan. If the pan seems a little dry, add in a touch more oil to make sure the eggs do not stick. To the side of the pan without the veggies, add the two beaten eggs, stirring constantly around with a spatula so it form curds and scrambles. Combine the scrambled eggs and veggies so they are evenly mixed.
Finally, add in the cooked quinoa, ranch chicken pieces, and buffalo sauce and stir until all of the ingredients are well combined.
Divide the cooked quinoa among 4-6 bowls. Top with a drizzle of yogurt ranch and scallions.
Be ready for your taste bids to dance with delight. This dish is AMAZING. It’s got tender pieces of juicy ranch chicken. The beautiful fluffy and light quinoa. You get texture and extra flavor from the carrots and celery. A nice spicy and tangy kick from the buffalo sauce. And creamy, coolness from the yogurt ranch. Yummy!
This dish is best of both worlds: buffalo wings and fried rice. Plus, it comes together in only 30 minutes. What’s not to love!
You need this on your dinner menu this week!
Buffalo Chicken Fried Quiona
A healthified mash up of two favorite dishes: buffalo wings and fried rice. It's a delicious, quick, and healthy week night meal.
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon garlic salt
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon onion flakes
- 1 teaspoon dried parsley
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- 1 pound chicken tenders
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 1 cup quinoa cooked according to package instructions
- 2-3 tablespoons oil of choice
- ½ cup diced celery
- ½ cup diced carrots
- 1 teaspoon garlic 2-3 cloves
- 2 eggs beaten
- 1/3 cup buffalo sauce
- ¼ cup ranch I used Boathouse yogurt ranch
- ¼ cup scallions
In a small bowl, mix together the seasonings for the chicken. Coat the chicken with a drizzle of olive oil and the ranch mixture so each piece is well coated.
In a large skillet or wok, heat a tablespoon oil of choice over medium heat. Add each piece of chicken and cook for 4 minutes a side (or until thoroughly cooked through). Remove chicken from pan and clean pan to remove excess chicken pieces. Allow chicken to rest for about 10 minutes, then cut into pieces.
Heat another tablespoon oil in the pan over medium heat.
Add in diced carrots and celery and cook for 4-5 minutes or until they start to soften but remain crisp. Add in garlic and cook until fragrant.
Move the veggies to the side. Pour the beaten eggs to the side of the pan without the veggies, and cook moving constantly with a spatula to scramble the eggs (may need to add more oil to make sure eggs do not stick). Mix together the scrambled eggs and cooked carrots and celery.
Next, add in cooked quinoa, cooked chicken, and buffalo sauce and mix until all the ingredients are well-incorporated.
Divide among bowls and top with desired amount of yogurt ranch dressing and scallions.