Don’t you just love game day and all of the fun party food that goes along with it?! I had an absolute blast making these cute little mini buffalo chicken tacos! But don’t let these pretty li’l miniatures fool you! They may be small, but they’re mighty, packing one heck of a punch and are very filling! I had two and I was stuffed to the tops of my li’l ears! The shredded chicken is to die for and sneak out of the pot and lick the spoon good! And they’re fully-loaded with more booty than a pirate’s ship! Crisp, cool lettuce, juicy roma tomatoes, thin-sliced celery, lean peppered bacon, slow-cooked buffalo chicken, pickled jalapeño slices, blue cheese crumbles, snipped green onion, a drizzle of spicy hot ranch sauce and a tiny spoon of sour cream! Now THAT’S a dance in the end zone! Now, of course you don’t have to go whole “pigskin” wild and add everything like I did. Just pick and choose what you and your guests all enjoy.
If I were serving this for good friends at a casual football party, I would just keep the meat hot in a crock pot, have some mini shells being kept warm in a tortilla warmer placed in a basket or something, and set all of the toppings out and around it for guests to pick and choose from, and assemble themselves at their own leisure. People always enjoy making things just the way they like them! But I wanted to show you, from “start to finish”, what all goes into them and how they look when all of the toppings have been added. I racked my brain on how to take a photo, because after all of the goodies are piled on, you can’t tell what all went into them! So I hope you can see in my photo above ok. Even after using everything but the kitchen sink, it didn’t over fill them. So I hope this helps guide you and gives you a good idea of what all you can actually add and still not have them be “too much”.
The tender, spicy, shredded chicken is absolutely delicious and can be slow-cooked the day before in a crock pot, shredded and finished, then simply reheated the next day! On party day, just chop toppings while the buffalo chicken is rewarming. Simple as that! Then just set everything out for guests to help themselves! And these little mini buffalo tacos are much easier to eat than messy, sticky, saucy wings with bones everywhere, or even regular-sized tacos for that matter. I prefer a larger variety of smaller items rather than a few large items that require big plates and too many utensils. Pick-up nibbles are so much more festive! I used 5″ white corn tortilla shells, but you could use regular yellow corn (soft or hard-shell), or flour ones if preferred. Just stay away from “Mission” brand. Their white and yellow corn tortillas always give me trouble and tend to break and fall apart. And that’s never fun. Party food should always be a fun thing both for the cook and for the guests to enjoy!
Serve with your favorite Tex-Mex dips, salsas and chips, maybe some fresh lime and cilantro corn salad on endive leaves, refried beans and/or guacamole, some ice cold beverages and you’re good to roll! The best tip I can give you when hosting a party, is to make anything and everything you possibly can in advance! Then there’s no fretting and you can enjoy the party, watch the game, and spend time with your guests as it should be, and just as fun for you, too! 😉
And lastly, I’ll leave you with this old photo of me! I don’t think I was even 2 years old yet when my Dad was teaching me how to play football! “HUT!!!! GO BEARS!!! 🙂 ” (*This photo ended up in the yearbook from the school my dad was teaching at in central Illinois!)
GAME DAY MINI BUFFALO CHICKEN TACOS
Makes 30-40 mini tacos / Serves 10-12 hungry sports fans
1 batch of my Pulled Buffalo Chicken
1 bag (30-40 count) 4-5″ tortilla shells, (flour , or white or yellow corn), warmed or grilled
1 large head of lettuce, finely shredded, lightly salted and peppered just before serving
4 roma tomatoes, halved lengthwise, then sliced into thirds lengthwise at an angle towards center, then thinly sliced crossways
3-4 ribs celery, thinly sliced
6-8 strips lean bacon, crisp cooked and torn or cut into small pieces
1 jar pickled jalapeño pepper rings
2 (5 oz.) cont. blue cheese crumbles
5-6 green onions, snipped at an angle, (green part plus white bulb part if desired)
1 (16 oz.) cont. sour cream
Hot Ranch sauce:
1/2 cup prepared Ranch Salad Dressing
1/4 cup Frank’s Red Hot Sauce
1/8 tsp. chili powder
1/16 tsp. garlic powder
Prepare one batch of my easy, crock pot Pulled Buffalo Chicken. Keep warm in crock pot on low.
While buffalo meat is warming, prepare toppings and place into festive serving bowls.
Warm tortillas in microwave on high, about 10-15 at a time, overlapping a little, between 2 sheets of paper towel. Stack neatly and place into tortilla warmer, or wrap with lint-free towel and place into a basket or bowl with lid, to keep warm.
For Hot Ranch Sauce: Mix all ingredients in medium bowl. Pour into serving bowl with a small spoon for serving. (*Let sit, room temp or chill, at least 15 minutes to let the chili powder melt and ingredients meld.)
Serve, and enjoy the game!!