Pulled Chicken Sliders with Pale Ale BBQ Sauce and Pickled Onions

pulledchicken

Serves 10

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 or pieces
4 medium cloves garlic, smashed
2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons tomato paste
Kosher salt
1 12-oz. bottle American pale ale
2 teaspoons Sriracha sauce or to taste
3/4 cup mayonnaise

For assembly
24 slider buns, preferably pretzel or whole grain

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
Preheat 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 1 teaspoon 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 Sriracha.
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.

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