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Buffalo chicken lettuce wraps and more Super Bowl recipes

Searching for game day recipes that are anything but ordinary? These recipes from one of Indianapolis’ most notable chefs will win over football fans and the food obsessed.

Buffalo chicken lettuce wrap

In Indianapolis for Super Bowl XLVI, there’s no doubt that visiting foodies will flock to Recess and Room Four, two restaurants that showcase seasonal ingredients from nearby farmers. With Recess, chef-owner Greg Hardesty has become a star on the Indianapolis dining scene by offering a set four-course menu that changes daily. Hardesty’s Room Four is next door, with an a la carte menu and lower prices than Recess, but in the same spirit.

Greg Hardesty, chef-owner of Recess in Indianapolis

Greg Hardesty, chef-owner
of Recess in Indianapolis

So, how does one of Indy’s most notable chefs do Super Bowl party food?

“It all kind of starts with those classics — chips and salsa, guacamole, buffalo wings — and then you try to be a little more creative,” Hardesty says.

Here, Hardesty shares a few of those creative ideas: Potato “nachos” topped with smoked salmon and white beans, Buffalo chicken lettuce wraps with celery and blue cheese and banh mi sandwiches with chicken rillettes.

Buffalo chicken lettuce wraps recipe

All that you love about chicken wings — spicy sauce, crunchy celery and blue cheese — reimagined as lettuce wraps. Serve them on a big platter, or set out the chicken and toppings in small bowls and let guests build their own wraps. “If you’re having a big party, build-your-own wraps are a lot easier on the host,” Hardesty says.

Recipe by chef Greg Hardesty

Serves 4 – 6


  • 1/4 cup chicken stock
  • 1/2 cup hot sauce (such as Red Hot or Texas Pete)
  • 1/2 stick butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 4 boneless, chicken breasts, cooked, cooled and cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 6-8 ribs celery hearts, diced
  • 2 small carrots, peeled, shredded
  • 1 cup high-quality blue cheese crumbles
  • 16-20 large bibb lettuce leaves, washed and dried


  1. Bring the chicken stock and hot sauce to a boil over high heat.
  2. Add the butter cube by cube to the sauce and whisk until the butter emulsifies.
  3. Add the chicken to the boiling mixture and heat through until chicken is hot.
  4. Place the open lettuce leaves on a serving plate. Divide the chicken and sauce between the lettuce leaves.
  5. Top with celery hearts, carrot shreds and blue cheese. Roll and serve immediately.

Idaho potato “nachos” recipe

Part potato skins, part nachos, these spuds are topped with a smoked salmon-white bean mash, Cotija cheese and radishes. Hardesty’s fancy take on game day fare is rooted in familiar tastes: “Something creamy, something smoky and something cheesy,” he says.

Idaho potato "nachos"Recipe by chef Greg Hardesty

Serves 8-10 (as an appetizer)


  • 10 medium Idaho potatoes
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1 (20 ounce) can white beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 24 slices (approximately 1 pound) smoked salmon, chopped
  • 2-3 jalapenos, seeds removed, then diced
  • 1 small red onion, diced
  • 12 large green olives, chopped
  • 1 cup crushed tortilla chips
  • 1 cup Cotija cheese
  • 1/4 cup cilantro leaves, chopped
  • 1 lime
  • 6-8 red radishes, julienned
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Cut the potatoes lengthwise into 1/4-inch thick slices. Toss the potatoes in a large bowl with a couple of tablespoons of the olive oil. (The remainder of the oil will be used later.) Season potatoes lightly with salt and pepper.
  2. Lay the potatoes out in a single layer on baking sheets. Bake in a 350 degree F oven for approximately 10-12 minutes, until tender and golden brown. Set aside to cool.
  3. Place beans and sour cream into a food processor. Pulse machine eight to 10 times to lightly mash up the beans.
  4. Transfer beans to a bowl. Stir in the salmon, jalapenos, onions, olives and tortilla chips. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Set aside.
  5. Place two large ovenproof sauté pans over high heat and add a bit of the remaining olive oil to both pans. Sauté potatoes on one side until very crisp.
  6. Turn potatoes over and top each “potato nacho” with a heaping tablespoon of the salmon-bean mixture. Sprinkle the cotija cheese over the top of the nachos and place sauté pans into the oven.
  7. Cook for three to four minutes until hot and the cheese has melted. Remove potatoes and transfer them to a platter. Top each with cilantro and radishes. Squeeze lime juice over the top and serve immediately.

Open-face chicken rillette banh mi sandwich recipes

This banh mi sandwich will blow away any foot-long sub that you planned to order. Hardesty has given this classic Vietnamese street food his own twist by adding chicken rillettes, a pate-like meat. “Bright, raw ingredients tie it all together,” Hardesty says, referring to the cucumbers, carrots, cilantro and other herbs that are heaped on top of the sandwich.

Keep in mind that the rillettes need to be made a day ahead. If you’re pressed for time, substitute shredded rotisserie chicken for the rillettes.

Recipe by chef Greg Hardesty

Serves 4


  • 1 cup cucumbers, peeled, seeded and sliced on the bias
  • 1 cup carrots, julienned
  • 1/2 cup scallions, sliced thinly
  • 1/4 cup basil leaves, julienned
  • 1/4 cup mint leaves, julienned
  • 1/4 cup cilantro leaves, julienned
  • 2-3 jalapenos, sliced into thin rings
  • Juice from 1 lime
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 3 tablespoons sriracha sauce
  • Chicken rillettes, sliced into 1/2-inch slices (recipe follows)
  • 1 (12-inch) French bread baguette, split in half


  1. Toss first nine ingredients in a large bowl. Set aside.
  2. Slightly hollow out the split bread by pulling a bit of the soft white part out, creating a small boat. Toast bread in a 350 degree F oven for three to four minutes until slightly browned and crispy.
  3. Mix the mayonnaise and sriracha together and spread onto both halves of crusty bread.
  4. Place rillette slices on top of both bread halves. Top rillettes with vegetables and slice each of the baguette halves in two.

For the chicken rillettes:


  • 2 pounds boneless chicken thighs
  • 1 pound chicken livers
  • 1/2 pound bacon
  • 2 onions, roughly chopped
  • 6-8 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1/4 cup thyme leaves
  • 1 cup chicken or duck fat
  • 2 cups white wine salt and pepper to taste


  1. Season the chicken thighs generously with salt and pepper.
  2. Place thighs, bacon, onions, garlic, thyme, chicken or duck fat and white wine in a Dutch oven. Cover with the lid and place in the oven at 300 degrees F. Cook for one hour.
  3. After one hour, remove lid, add the chicken livers and stir the mixture. Return pan to oven, uncovered, and cook an additional 30 minutes.
  4. Remove from oven and allow to cool to room temperature.
  5. Push all contents though a grinder attachment, including all liquids. Taste for seasoning and spoon into a loaf pan.
  6. Press a piece of plastic wrap on top and refrigerate overnight. Turn rillettes out onto a cutting board and cut into 1/2-inch slices.

More game day ideas

An easy guacamole recipe
Healthy Super Bowl dips
Lazy gourmet Super Bowl dishes

Photo credit: Kimberley Williams courtesy of Recess

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