These sweet and spicy barbecue chicken sliders are perfect for when you’re in the mood for a barbecue sandwich but you’re not in the mood to go out or go to a lot of trouble. You can have this together in about 30 minutes with ingredients you probably already have on hand.
Chicken breasts on the bone (also referred to as split chicken breasts) work well for braising, which is how I like to cook chicken for this dish. The bone helps to provide flavor and moisture. A flavorful braising liquid is also essential: Onion, lots of garlic, bay leaves, Worcestershire, salt and black pepper.
When the chicken is cooked, transfer it to plate or bowl, then take the meat off the bone and shred with two forks, leaving the skin and bones behind. Toss with the sauce; then serve on buns with your favorite coleslaw. Whether you make a slider or a full-size sandwich is up to you and your appetite.
The sauce recipe is a client favorite I’ve been making for years. I mostly do it with chicken; however, it will work with pork also.
Before moving to the Memphis area 20 years ago, I never imagined coleslaw on a barbecue sandwich. Now I can’t imagine a barbecue sandwich without it! Be sure to include your favorite coleslaw as a topping.
These sliders also go well with other essential American-style sides such as potato salad, baked beans and corn on the cob.
1 small red onion, coarsely chopped, divided
10 cloves garlic, crushed
3 bay leaves
3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce, divided
2 teaspoons salt, plus more for seasoning sauce
1 teaspoon black pepper, plus more for seasoning sauce
2 split chicken breasts
1/2 cup ketchup
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
11/2 tablespoons molasses
1 tablespoon maple syrup
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
2 teaspoons chili powder
Cayenne pepper, to taste
2 teaspoons canola oil
6 slider buns
Coleslaw, purchased or homemade
Fill a large saucepan with water about 3/4 full.
Finely mince about a heaping 1 tablespoon of the onion; set aside.
Place remaining onion, garlic, bay leaves, 2 tablespoons Worcestershire, salt and black pepper along with chicken into water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer 20-25 minutes or until chicken is cooked through.
Combine the remaining Worcestershire, ketchup, mustard, molasses, maple syrup, vinegar, chili powder and cayenne in a small bowl.
Heat canola oil over medium-high heat in a small skillet. Cook the minced onion 2-3 minutes or until begins to soften. Stir in sauce ingredients and bring to a simmer. Cook 3-4 minutes to thicken slightly and for flavors to blend. Season to taste with salt and black pepper.
Transfer cooked chicken to a bowl and shred meat with two forks, discarding bones and skin. Toss chicken with sauce. Serve immediately over slider buns with your favorite coleslaw.