Before you say anything about the lack of posts around here for the past EIGHTEEN MONTHS, just know that no one is more disappointed in me than me.
Ok, let’s move on.
For the past eight years or so, the 4th of July has been a “Girls’ Day” of sorts for my best friend and I. Our agenda changes a bit from year to year but we always spend the day together. This year we decided to take advantage of the nice (but hot!) weather and walk around a small local zoo and take a small picnic to a nearby park afterward. These little chicken sliders were a perfect picnic food – easy to make ahead, and kept nicely in our cooler with salad and drinks.
I love fried chicken but making it at home is always intimidating to me – it’s hard to gauge how long to fry bone in chicken without over or under cooking it. These little sandos have the juicy crispness of fried chicken without all the guess work.
Start with boneless skinless chicken thighs. Trim excess fat, cut each thigh into thirds (or quarters or halves, depending on the size thighs and rolls you have) and season with salt and pepper. Brine thighs in two cups of buttermilk and three or four tablespoons of hot sauce (more or less, depending on personal preference). Rest in fridge for a few hours or overnight.
Just before you’re ready to fry, mix up the flour dredge: all purpose flour, chili powder, onion powder, garlic powder, paprika, salt, and fresh ground pepper. Whisk or mix with a fork until all spices are fully incorporated.
Remove chicken from buttermilk brine but do not pat dry. Dredge chicken in flour mixture until fully covered.
Heat vegetable oil in a heavy bottomed high sided pan over medium heat. The oil doesn’t need to cover the chicken completely but should be high enough that the chicken is sitting *in* the oil.
Fry chicken approximately 8-12 minutes, flipping when one side is brown and golden to the other. My chicken got a *touch* over done on the outside but I wanted to ensure doneness on the inside. I think my burner was up a touch too high but the chicken was cooked perfectly – juicy and tender.
Remove chicken from oil and drain on a cookie sheet with a rack or paper towels, whatever you have handy. Season immediately with a generous pinch of salt.
When all the chicken is done frying, pour honey in a small glass bowl and heat in the microwave for 20-30 second on high until thinned out and easy to stir. Mix in hot sauce (as desired), and drizzle over hot chicken.
You guys. You could totally stop here and eat the chicken just like this and be 1,000,000% happy, it’s so tasty and juicy and perfectly sweet and spicy.
But I promised someone fried chicken sliders, so I soldiered on.
With King’s Hawaiian rolls, mayonnaise, and a little butter lettuce. Pickles on the side, please.
You could totally add a little hot sauce to the mayo, too – I chose not to this time because I wasn’t 100% sure how spicy the chicken would be on its own. I could have stood a touch more heat, but it’s all personal preference.
I put a toothpick through each slider to hold them together and stored them all in a large plastic container.
To finish off our picnic I also made one of my favorite summer sides – fresh cucumber salad.
And mixed up some no-bake peanut butter bars from a store bought mix, simply because I wanted something easy this time around.
These were decent. Reese’s brand, I think. I found the mix at Target.
We had a great day capped off with a tasty meal. A successful Independence Day celebration for sure.
I will absolutely make these little sliders again – they’re so cute and a way less intimidating way to indulge in tasty fried chicken. Definitely try them for your next small gathering or a fun family dinner this summer!
Spicy Fried Chicken Sliders
- 1 package boneless skinless chicken thighs, about 1 lb.
- 1 packages King’s Hawaiian slider rolls
- 2 cups buttermilk
- 6 TB Frank’s Red Hot sauce, separated
- 3 Tbs honey
- 2 cups All-purpose flour
- 2 tsp chili powder
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1 tsp paprika
- salt and fresh ground pepper
- vegetable oil, for frying
- shredded lettuce, mayonnaise and pickles to serve
Mix buttermilk and 4 Tb hot sauce in a large bowl. Trim chicken thighs and cut into thirds or quarters. Stir chicken into buttermilk mixture and set in refrigerator for a few hours.
Whisk flour and spices together. Drain chicken from buttermilk mixture and dredge in flour until covered.
Heat oil in heavy bottomed, deep sided pan over medium heat. Add chicken to hot oil, a few pieces at a time, and fry 4-6 minutes on each side until chicken is cooked through and outside coating is crispy and brown. Remove from oil and drain on paper towel or a rack placed over a cookie sheet. Season immediately with a pinch of salt.
Pour honey in a small glass bowl and heat in microwave at full power for 20-30 seconds until honey is loosened and easy to stir. Stir together with remaining hot sauce and drizzle over the hot chicken.
Serve chicken on slider rolls with lettuce, mayonnaise, pickles, or any other toppings/condiments you prefer.
Note: There are only 9 rolls in the pack and I had about 12-13 pieces of chicken. You might need another pack of rolls, or you can just eat the rest of the chicken on its own like I did.