Blue Cheese-Stuffed Buffalo Chicken Meatloaf "Cupcakes" Recipe

Blue Cheese-Stuffed Buffalo Chicken Meatloaf \

Fun, individual buffalo chicken "cupcakes" feature a melty blue cheese interior and a wing sauce glaze. [Photograph: Jennifer Olvera]

Individual serving-sized chicken meatloaves baked in a cupcake pan house a secret melted blue cheese center. Celery and homemade wing sauce complete the mashup between two comfort classics. Our recipe uses a touch of gelatin to help keep the meatloaf tender and moist.

Why this recipe works:

  • Bloomed gelatin is incorporated into the mixture, which keeps the meatloaf moist.
  • Homemade wing sauce and celery seed join sautéed onions, celery, and garlic as flavor components for the lean, ground meat.
  • A blue cheese and butter interior melds into a creamy, molten filling.

Note: The meatloaf can be assembled a day in advance. Just remove it from the refrigerator 30 minutes before cooking. Hold off on glazing it until you're ready to put it in the oven.

  • Yield:Serves 6
  • Active time: 25 minutes
  • Total time:1 hour

Ingredients

  • For the Sauce:
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 medium clove garlic, minced (about 1 teaspoon)
  • 2/3 cup hot sauce, such as Frank's or Tabasco
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons white vinegar
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • For the Chicken:
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, minced (about 1 cup)
  • 1 rib celery, minced (about 1/2 cup)
  • 2 medium cloves garlic, minced (about 2 teaspoons)
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tablespoons homemade or store-bought low-sodium chicken stock
  • 1/2 teaspoon unflavored gelatin
  • 1 pound ground chicken
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon celery seed
  • 1/2 cup finely ground fresh breadcrumbs
  • Non-stick cooking spray
  • 2 ounces crumbled blue cheese
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter

Directions

  1. 1.

    For the Sauce: Melt butter in a small saucepan over low heat. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add hot sauce, Worcestershire sauce, and vinegar. Season with salt and pepper, whisk to combine and raise heat to medium. Bring to a simmer, whisk again and remove from heat.

  2. 2.

    For the Chicken: Heat olive oil in a medium skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Add onion, celery, and garlic and cook, stirring often, until tender and translucent, about 7 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl and let cool.

  3. 3.

    Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and preheat oven to 375°F. Whisk eggs and chicken stock in a medium bowl. Sprinkle with gelatin and let stand for 5 minutes.

  4. 4.

    Add chicken, Worcestershire sauce, celery seed, breadcrumbs, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon black pepper and 1/4 cup of the prepared wing sauce to the bowl with the cooled onion mixture. Add egg mixture and combine using hands, taking care not to over-mix.

  5. 5.

    Spray six compartments of a cupcake tin with cooking spray. Pack about 2 tablespoons of the meat lightly and evenly into each one, creating a well in the center. Fill the well with blue cheese and top with a slice of butter. Mound with remaining meat, pressing gently to create a cupcake shape and fuse the top and bottom halves. Brush with wing sauce. Transfer meatloaf to the oven and bake, brushing with more sauce every ten minutes, until an instant instant-read thermometer inserted into center of loaf reads 150°F to 155°F, about 25 minutes.

  6. 6.

    Remove from oven and let rest for 10 minutes before serving. Pass additional wing sauce at the table.