Buffalo Chicken Poppers


2 tablespoons celery leaves, plus more for garnish
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 medium stalk celery, chopped (1/3 cup)
1 clove garlic, minced
1 small shallot or sweet onion, chopped (1/3 cup)
1 1/2 pounds ground chicken
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup cayenne hot pepper sauce
2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons ketchup


Put the celery leaves, salt, black pepper, celery stalks, garlic and shallots in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until finely chopped. Transfer the mixture to a medium bowl and add the chicken. Mix gently to combine using your hands. Cover the bowl and refrigerate to allow the flavors to marry and marinate the chicken, about 30 minutes.

Form 2 ounces of the mixture into balls and place onto a baking sheet and refrigerate for about 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add the hot sauce, honey and ketchup, stirring to combine. Bring to a simmer over medium heat and cook until slightly thickened, about 20 minutes.

Prepare a grill for direct heat grilling over medium-high heat. Brush the grill with a towel soaked in 2 tablespoons of the canola oil. Place the poppers on the grill and grill until slightly charred, about 2 minutes. Turn the poppers and brush with the butter-hot sauce. Continue to cook the poppers, turning and brushing with the sauce until cooked completely, about 5 minutes. Remove the poppers from the grill and brush with the additional sauce. Serve with a bleu cheese dipping sauce and garnish with more celery leaves.
Yield:4 servings



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