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Pale Ale Pulled-Chicken Sliders


Serves 10 to 12

Makes 24 sliders

  • by from Fine Cooking
    Issue 143

The bitter, herbaceous, hoppy flavor of pale ale adds depth to both the chicken and a quick-pickled red onion topping.

For the pickled onion
  • 1 12-oz. bottle American pale ale
  • 3/4 cup white-wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp. granulated sugar
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 medium red onion, thinly sliced
For the chicken
  • 3 lb. boneless, skinless chicken thighs, trimmed
  • 4 medium cloves garlic, smashed
  • 2 Tbs. honey
  • 2 Tbs. tomato paste
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 12-oz. bottle American pale ale
  • 4 tsp. Louisiana-style hot sauce, such as Tabasco; more to taste
  • 3/4 cup mayonnaise
For assembly
  • 24 slider buns, preferably pretzel or whole grain
  • 2 cups baby arugula
Pickle the onion

Combine the beer, vinegar, sugar, and 1/2 tsp. salt in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Remove the pan from the heat and add the onion. Let cool to room temperature, stirring once or twice.

Cook the chicken

Position a rack in the center of the oven, and heat the oven to 325°F.

Put the chicken and garlic in a 5-quart Dutch oven or other heavy-duty pot with a lid. In a medium bowl, whisk together the honey, tomato paste, and 1 tsp. salt, then whisk in the beer.  Pour over the chicken.

Place the pot over high heat and bring to a rapid simmer. Cover and transfer to the oven. Braise until the chicken pulls apart easily with a fork, 50 to 60 minutes.

With a slotted spoon, transfer the chicken to a large bowl. Transfer the garlic cloves to a small bowl and set aside. Using two forks, pull the meat into shreds and set aside.

Over medium-high heat, boil the braising liquid until reduced by half, about 15 minutes. Return the chicken to the pot and add 2 tsp. of the hot sauce and 2 tsp. of the onion pickling liquid. Mix well and season to taste with more hot sauce, pickling liquid, or salt.

Mash the reserved garlic cloves with a fork. Whisk with the mayonnaise and remaining 2 tsp. hot sauce.

Make Ahead Tips

The chicken and the garlic mayonnaise can be prepared up to 3 days ahead; refrigerate both and reheat the chicken before serving.

The pickled onions can be refrigerated for up to 3 weeks in a covered container.

nutrition information (per serving):
Calories (kcal): 440, Fat Calories (kcal): 190, Fat (g): 21, Saturated Fat (g): 4.5, Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 9, Monounsaturated Fat (g): 6, Cholesterol (mg): 80, Sodium (mg): 560, Carbohydrates (g): 33, Fiber (g): 1, Sugar (g): 7, Protein (g): 27

Photo: Scott Phillips

This was easy and tasty. I would definately make again! I followed the recipe exactly.

Tangy, crunch onions, spicy chicken, smooth, creamy mayo. What could be better? You can read my full review at Taking On Magazine:

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