Chicken Sliders

I’m crazy for shredded meat on buns. And it doesn’t matter what kind of meat. Just this past weekend, a friend of mine — Rich Vezina — brought some Fraboni’s porketta in a slow cooker over to a get-together of our friends who were in the midst of a weekend of Twins baseball in Minneapolis.

Porketta, in case you don’t know, is a perfectly seasoned, Italian-style pork shoulder roast. It was introduced to Minnesota’s Iron Range by Leo Fraboni’s family in the 1960s and has been a mainstay ever since. (Framboni’s porketta is hand-tied and seasoned with fresh fennel raised by the family and is distributed by Fraboni Wholesale Distributors Inc. of Hibbing, Minn. Its website is www.frabonis.com/dev/.)

The porketta recipe would be one that I wouldn’t mind having, but you can bet that it’s a heavily guarded secret. It would go well with my other shredded meat recipes such as my barbecued pheasant and pulled pork and beef.

But I did find one new shredded meat recipe recently that can be added to my cooking arsenal. It’s for pulled chicken sliders. It’s a quick and tasty alternative to pork and takes only 20 minutes to cook.

Along with the slider recipe was one for and a quick, fresh coleslaw made with shredded cabbage from the supermarket, defrosted chopped onion, mayonnaise and vinegar.

Sangria-Braised Pulled Chicken Sliders
¾ pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs
2 teaspoons canola oil
1 cup sliced carrots
1 cup frozen diced onion
1 cinnamon stick
1 star anise
1 orange, cut into wedges
1 cup red wine
1 tablespoon sugar
4 minislider or burger rolls
Remove fat from chicken. Heat oil in a medium-size nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Brown chicken 2 minutes; turn and brown other side 2 minutes.
Add carrots, onion, cinnamon stick, star anise, orange wedges, red wine and sugar. Bring to a simmer. Cover and cook 15 minutes.
Remove chicken to a plate with a slotted spoon. Place a colander over a bowl and pour in the pan liquid, pressing the solids with the back of the spoon to extract the liquid. Use two forks to shred the chicken, and divide the meat among the 4 rolls. Spoon the liquid over the sliders.
Yield: Serves 2.
Approximate nutritional analysis per serving: 569 calories, 22 percent of calories from fat, 14.1 grams fat (2.8 grams saturated, 5.6 grams monounsaturated), 138 milligrams cholesterol, 41.2 grams protein, 44.9 grams carbohydrates, 1.5 grams fiber, 494 milligrams sodium.

Quick Slaw
2 tablespoons reduced-fat mayonnaise
2 tablespoons warm water
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
¼ cup frozen onion, defrosted
2 cups shredded cabbage
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Mix the mayonnaise, water and vinegar in a medium-size bowl. Add the onion and shredded cabbage. Mix well. Add salt and pepper to taste and mix again.
Yield: Serves 2.
Approximate nutritional analysis per serving: 77 calories, 58 percent of calories from fat, 5 grams fat (0.7 grams saturated, 1.1 grams monounsaturated), no cholesterol, 1.3 grams protein, 6.9 grams carbohydrates, 2.1 grams fiber, 121 milligrams sodium.

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