Sriracha Buffalo Chicken Sliders and Sprite Pickles Heat Up Game Day Menu

By Tom Liddy on February 1, 2013 3:05pm 

NEW YORK CITY — If you're looking for a Super Bowl snack and don't want to wing it, here's a delicious twist on a classic for you.

Spicy chicken wings and blue cheese dressing are a staple of any game day getogether, but you don't have to have to hit the deep fryer to put some points on the board with your guests.

And with rumblings about a wing shortage, why not ditch them altogether?

This recipe is a play on traditional buffalo wings that substitutes pulled pan-roasted chicken breast for their less meaty counterparts.

While it has fewer calories than pork, the main advantage is the shorter cooking time.  Delicious chicken can be achieved in well under an hour, compared to hours for many pork cuts.

It also puts a twist on the usual Buffalo sauce, replacing hot sauce with sriracha, a floral Thai chili sauce that's balanced by the smoke from chipotle.

While the rush of heat from these hot sauces has you scrambling for a cold one from the fridge, have no fear — these sliders have a cool, creamy sauce of gorgonzola, Greek yogurt and lemon zest.

The dish also features an option on traditional pickles. These sour, spicy and crunchy pickles get their flavor from, of all places, Sprite.

The lemon-lime flavors in the soda are enhanced with lemon and lime juice and get a kick from hot chili pepper.

INGREDIENTS (makes 3-4):

1 package boneless skinless chicken breast (about 3/4 pound)

1 tsp. chili powder

1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper

1 tsp. garlic powder

1 tsp. cumin

1/2 tsp. ground thyme

1/2 tsp. red chili flakes

Salt and pepper

6 mini cucumbers

1 bottle or can of Sprite

2 limes

1 lemon, zested

4 tbs. butter

1 cup Greek yogurt (2 percent)

1 can chipotle peppers in adobo

1/2 cup gorgonzola cheese, crumbled

1 tbs. chopped cilantro

3 tbs. Sririacha

Package of hamburger buns

DIRECTIONS:

Make the pickles (up to 24 hours beforehand)

1. Quarter the pickles lengthwise and place them in a non-reactive bowl.

2. Add the Sprite, the juice of a lemon and lime, the red chili flakes and 1/2 tsp. of salt and toss to combine. Cover and place in the fridge.

Make the gorgonzola sauce (also can be made ahead)

1. Combine the yogurt, gorgonzola, lemon zest, a pinch of salt and the juice of half a lemon.

2. Mix in the cilantro, taste for seasoning and set aside.

Make the chicken

1. Preheat the oven to 400º. Mix the chili powder, cayenne, garlic powder, cumin and thyme together in a small bowl.

2. Season both sides of the chicken with salt and pepper and then rub the chicken with the spice rub (Any leftover rub is perfect to season meats for another meal).

3. Heat an oven-safe pan on medium high heat. When the pan is hot, add some oil.

4. Sear the chicken breast on both sides (about five minutes each). Be careful not to move the chicken so it can develop a beautiful brown crust.

5. When the second side has seared, transfer the pan to the oven and roast for 35 minutes. At that point, the chicken should be cooked through and tender enough for pulling.

6. Let the chicken rest for about five minutes and then shred. It's easiest to use two forks to pull the meat apart with the grain.

7. Meanwhile start the butter sauce. Add the butter to a saucepan set on medium low. Then add  the hot sauce and 2 tsp. of the sauce in the chipotle can and whisk until the sauce is thick (just a few minutes).

8. Mix the sauce with the shredded chicken and then serve on a toasted hamburger bun with a spoonful of gorgonzola sauce, some pickles and chopped cilantro.

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