Tuesday, 26 April 2016

Asian Pulled Chicken Sliders

Sliders are basically a way to make it ok to eat more than one burger. It’s true. The mentality is roughly: “One big burger? Alright but I feel like a bit of a porker”,  “3 sliders? Oh they’re only little! Practically a canapĂ©!”

The pulled chicken in this recipe is so incredibly full of flavour that it works perfectly balancing it with a few other tangy bits and pieces in a nearly-but-not-really bite size portion. A few bites. Three let’s say. A large canapĂ©. Just to amuse your bouche. The pulled chicken is a recipe inspired by a wonderful blog called Lady and Pups. She uses hers in gua bao for a full on Asian experience but I’ve mixed it up a bit more, keeping the Asian flavours in the pickles and the slaw but topping it off with a very non-Asian brioche bun. So on trend though, dahling.

You know what though, the brioche bun is the perfect utensil for this chicken, it lets the juices soak into the bun but not so much that it disintegrates. The slight buttery-ness of the brioche compliments the chicken before being cut through by that totally amazing tanginess of the pickles and the pickled sesame slaw. Having said that, if you can’t find yourself a little brioche, a mini soft white burger bun will work wonders!

It looks like there is a lot going on here, but in actual fact it only takes about an hour in total – not long at all. Whilst the chicken is bubbling away you can make your pickles and slaw, and bob will be your uncle. The chicken also lasts beautifully and can be eaten with salads… on toast… with NOODLES! It makes the perfect leftovers. Pop it in your lunchbox with a salad for tomorrows lunch. We ate our leftovers with the leftover pickled sesame slaw and a green salad. Perfection. Dare I say it, if you take away the brioche bun this is actually all rather healthy as it turns out. What a pleasant surprise.

I know I’ve been away for a while but hopefully you’ll forgive me. On top of moving house (to a flat with BIG WINDOWS AND LOTS OF AMAZING LIGHT!) I have had some behind the scenes tech-wizardy going on to make a whole lot of new and exciting changes to my dear blog. The new site is imminent and I can't wait to show you all..... coming soon!! As I’m no tech wizard I’m expecting a few teething problems so if you notice anything that isn’t as it should be, please do send me an email! Thank you for waiting, I hope it’s worth it.

Asian Pulled Chicken Sliders

Timings: about an hour in total

Quantities: 3-4 people (depends how many sliders you want each...)

Kitchen Stuff: Large, heavy based saucepan (or a casserole dish/dutch oven)

Pulled chicken – makes enough for 10 sliders with leftovers for next days lunch (could get 15 worth if you don’t want leftovers)
3 large chicken legs (1 = 1 whole leg including drumstick and thigh)
5 garlic cloves, chopped
5 slices of ginger
3 star anise
¼ tsp chilli flakes
½ tbsp sichuan peppercorn, crushed if possible in a pestle and mortar
¼ tsp Chinese five spice powder
60ml / ¼ cup Chinese rice wine (sometime known as Shaoxing wine)
120ml / ½ cup light soy sauce – best to use ¼ cup low salt soy sauce and ¼ light soy sauce as it gets very salty with so much soy sauce.
120ml / ½ cup of water
1 ½ tsp light brown sugar (or caster sugar)
1 bunch coriander
3-4 spring onions, thinly sliced on the diagonal
1-2 tbsp crispy fried onions (these can be bought in a pot from large supermarkets like this one)
10 mini brioche buns

Pickled Sesame Slaw
1 large carrot (or two), cut into rough matchsticks*
¼ white cabbage head, finely sliced
1 tbsp pickled ginger (if you can find it, not a problem to leave it out)
2 tbsp rice wine vinegar
1 tbsp toasted sesame oil (add more to taste)
 *The easiest way to do this I find, is to peel the carrot and slice it finely at a slight angle, so you get long diagonal slices. Put these flat side of the slices down on the board in small piles and cut them into matchsticks lengthways. 

Quick Pickled Cucumber
This is the same recipe as used HERE but I’m going to write it again so you’ve got it all in the same place.
1 cucumber
2tbsp rice vinegar
1 tsp white wine vinegar
1 heaped tsp sugar
2 tsp salt
Black sesame seeds (if using)

Pulled Chicken
1. PULL THAT CHICKEN: Trip your chicken thighs, removing any excess skin and fat. Heat a wide, heavy based saucepan (casserole pan works well) on a medium heat, add a little rapeseed oil and add the chicken legs skin side down. Cook until browned. Turn the legs over and brown the meat side. 

2. FAT & SPICED: Remove half the chicken fat from the pan and add the garlic, star anise, ginger, Sichuan peppercorns, five spice and chilli flakes. Cook these until fragrant.

3. BUBBLE & SHRED: Add the rice wine and soy sauce (both normal and low salt) and let it boil for two minutes. Add the water and the brown sugar then simmer on a low heat for around 45 minutes until the chicken is very tender and almost falling apart. Using some tongs, move the chicken legs to a chopping board and shred the meat from the bone. The best way to do this is with two forks, don’t chop with a knife – you want stringy shreds of chicken, not chopped chunks. Strain the simmering liquid into a bowl, add the chicken, then transfer it back into the pan. Cook for another 15 mins or so.

Whilst the chicken is simmering, make the pickles & the slaw…

Quick Pickled Cucumber
1. CUKE: Thinly slice your cucumber and mix the slices with 2 tsp sea salt in a colander over a bowl or a pan. Put something heavy on top to help squeeze out the water. Leave for 15 mins.

2. PICKLE: Rinse the cuke slices under cold water and squeeze out any remaining water. Mix the slices in a bowl with the sugar, rice vinegar and water. Top with some sesame seeds if using.

Pickled sesame slaw
1. MATCHSTICKS: Chop your carrots and cabbage with a nice sharp knife. Don’t cut yourself.

2. HAND SCRUNCHING: In a large mixing bowl, mix the rice wine vinegar and sesame oil. Add the sliced veg and toss! Check the seasoning, you may want more sesame oil or vinegar depending on your taste. Scrunch it together with your hands to make sure all the veg is coated.

Compiling your magnificence:

1. LOVELY BUNS: Halve your brioche buns and toast them for a couple of minutes (flat side down) on a hot griddle pan.

2. MASTERPIECE BUILDING: You must build your masterpiece how you wish, but for me this is the best order in terms of stay-together-in-your-hands-ness & taste:


Annnnnnnnnd voila: