Saturday, August 30, 2014

Pulled BBQ Chicken Sliders

Guess I'm stuck in the 80s where miniature food was considered to be the epitome of sophistication. 

No, I'm not that old.

I just happen to like bite sized pieces of food. Its more like I'm obsessed with the idea of having the one 'Perfect Bite'. The balance of proportion of flavours all making their way into my eagerly awaiting mouth.....heavenly, I tell you. 

I can be quite pedantic about it. Even when I eat my salads, I need to load my fork perfectly with all the veggies, then top it off with the dressing and oh myyy...I feel like Sally from When Harry met Sally... 

These sliders though.... I saw these cute little burger buns at the bread store I frequent, and I just HAD to get them. I kept pondering on how to best use them and what I ended up making was the most delicious combination of flavours ever! 




Simple and easy to make, but the caramelization of the bbq sauce lends that smokey aroma that is to die for. The chicken was so succulent and tender, the slaw so fresh n crunchy- I'll be damned if I don't tell you this is summer personified...and I'm not kidding when I tell you this, I had a friend eat 6 of these in a go when I made them! 

Lets get on to the recipe then


Serves: 12 mini burgers

Complexity: ***

Time taken: 30-40 mins


You'll need

Burger buns (use regular sized ones by all means)
chicken pieces, preferably on the bone
3-4 garlic cloves, finely minced
salt and pepper to taste
1 cup bbq sauce 
2-3 tbsp water
drizzle of olive oil 

For the Slaw

1 head Shredded red cabbage
1 finely sliced red onion
1 carrot julienned 
few coriander leaves
1 tbsp lemon zest 
1 1/2 tbsp lemon juice 
2 heaped tbsp of good quality mayo
salt and pepper
pinch of love

Method

Wash and pat dry your chicken. You can keep the skin on if you prefer. 

In a skillet, drizzle some olive oil on medium high heat. Make sure the skillet is plenty hot before you add your chicken to it. 



Place the chicken in the hot skillet. As soon as you do that, you should hear it sizzle. If its not sizzling, the pan is not hot enough. 



Season the chicken with salt and pepper. 




Give it a couple of minutes to sear on one side before you turn the pieces. The chicken should have turned golden on one side. Season the side with salt n pepper again while the other side is turning golden. 








You can turn the heat to a medium. As soon as there is some colour on both sides of the chicken, add in the garlic. Let it saute in the chicken juices for a minute or two. 




Next add in the bbq sauce. 2/3rd cup right now. 




Make sure the chicken is all covered in the sauce. The sauce will thin out when you pour it in to the skillet. At this point. Cover the skillet with the lid and let the sauce do its thing. Keep the lid on for 10-12 minutes on a medium low flame. 




When you take off the lid, and turn the chicken pieces, you'll see how beautifully the chicken has caramelized in the sauce. You'll want to dig into the chicken right then n there, but control is your best friend here.




Pour the remaining sauce over the chicken and add 2-3 tbsp of water and cover with lid again. Let it cook for about 15 minutes. 

After 15 minutes, what you will see is the sauce thickening up and the oil starting to separate from the sauce. The chicken should be perfectly cooked by this time. Pierce with a knife or fork to see if the juices run clear or not. 

If you like your chicken to be a little spicier, add in a tsp of chili flakes and let it rest for 5 minutes before you start pulling the meat from the bone. 




Tell me now that this doesn't look heavenly to you! I could use this in salads, sandwiches, on pizzas.. gosh!! Such flavours!! Try this with gouda cheese in a quesadilla...FYI, I used two forks to pull away the meat....you can very well use your fingers




For the Slaw,

Shred the head of a red cabbage

Add the sliced onions to it




The carrots. I can only chop them in matchsticks. My knife skills are far from perfect. If you can julienne them, please do not share with me, my life's tough as it is. Thank you for your discretion. 




the lemon zest

The coriander leaves




The mayonnaise, the good stuff

Salt, pepper and a pinch of your love.

The lemon juice because your love's not always enough to balance out the flavours. 




Give it all a good toss and let it rest for atleast 15 minutes before you start assembling the burgers.




To assemble the burgers 

Slice the bun in half, place some hand torn lettuce as a base. Next, spoon over the pulled chicken on the lettuce....that oh-my-Gosh-turn-me-weak-in-the-knees-chicken. 




Spoon over the fresh slaw making sure you are getting all the elements of the salad. Place the head of the bun, pierce with a toothpick and you're ready to serve! 




Don't they look absolutely gawgeous!! And they taste even better.... try them yourself and tell me if I'm wrong! Indulge!