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Pulled chicken sliders will be your new favorite snack on game day! They also make a quick week night meal full of flavor. Stacked with caramelized onion, pulled chicken breast smothered in a spicy dry rub, maple bbq sauce and a special ingredient you'd never guess! All made in a pressure cooker to save you time!
Pulled Chicken Sliders
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I don't know about you, but this cold weather is making my teenage boys eat like ravenous t-rex's that haven't eaten in months. I swear I can't keep up with their appetites. I feel like they are begging for food non-stop. To make things a bit more complicated, they have suddenly developed a palate for good food. I'm not sure when they went from being picky eaters who only want to eat the same 5 things over and over again, to being adventurous and down right daring when it comes to food. The main thing they are begging for - FLAVOR.
They can't get enough of it. Just last week I made curry that made my house smell for a week, yet they deemed it, "not curry enough". Who are these boys?
So with that in mind, we developed these sliders made with pulled chicken. Well, barbecue pulled chicken. With a twist. Well, more than one twist. Yes, it's true. Instead of using just onions, I caramelized them. Instead of just using your standard barbecue sauce, I added maple syrup. And since these are pulled chicken sliders, I put in some bacon to give a nod to the pork side of bbq. Oh and to really mix things up. We added apple butter.
Did you just shake your head on that?
You read it right. When I was concocting the recipe in my head I was thinking about pork chops and apple sauce which lead to other flavors that go with maple, and then it just seemed like a fantastic idea to smear apple butter on it. And. Oh. my. What a great idea that turned out to be! I usually whip up a batch of my homemade crockpot apple butter to have on hand in our fridge but store bought is just fine, and is an easy way to save a bunch of time!
One of the things I love about the Instant Pot is the ability to saute things. I caramelized the onions directly in the pot, to save me from doing any other dishes. Best part of this dish? One pot!
Ahh, bacon. It really does make such a great addition. It adds a bit of smokiness to the meal. Which makes you think your chicken was in the smoker all day long, rather than less than 30 minutes in the Instant Pot. You can fry up your own, or the precooked ready to go in the microwave kind works just as well.
I am still obsessed with my Instant Pot. I've had it almost a year and half and still use it at least 3 times a week. It made short work of this chicken.
Perfectly shredded chicken. I love how it just seems to fall apart. It requires very little liquid, and it just sort of soaks up all those yummy juices once it's shredded. One of the best parts of the Instant Pot is that you can use frozen chicken straight from the freezer. You simply modify the recipe. And that is absolutely heavenly for someone like me who remembers I have nothing thawed for dinner at 4pm. Yes, that is totally how I roll.
You can spy the dry barbecue rub up in the corner of that last picture. I wish I could say it was my own fantastic recipe. But alas, I was not that clever. But it is seriously one of the best rubs ever, and I want to give credit where credit is due. This is the famous Pulled Pork Dry Rub by Kevin and Amanda. The blogging world is small, but I've never met them. But if I did, I would have to tell them how I quadruple this recipe to keep on hand for recipes like this, and how even then, I can't keep it in my pantry long before it's gone. I have one son who seems to sprinkle it on every food item from burgers to enchiladas. Its the one blackening seasoning you need to always have on hand.
I love a good bbq sauce on a sandwich. We prefer a flavorful smoky base with lots of pepper. I think adding the maple syrup gives it that added sweetness that you can sometimes find in a sauce that lacks the other flavors.
It looks like something you'd find at one of our local Texas bbq joints, and tastes like it too! Just like those, these fun chicken sliders require lots of paper towels on hand to wipe those sticky fingers.
The star of the show? These guys! I can never get over how cute those little slider buns are! I have been a fan of Pepperidge Farm Slider Buns forever. The hardest part of making game day sliders? Picking which flavor slider buns! They are available in White, Sesame, Potato, Sweet & Soft, and Wheat. Plenty of choices for your game day guests. I like to set my sliders up buffet style so that guests can pick exactly what they want to stack on their buns.
Pepperidge Farm Bakery Classics are made with premium ingredients, no high fructose corn syrup, and no artificial flavors. It's that classic fresh from the bakery taste you've always known and loved.
You know what else you love? Saving $$$$. Right now, you can save $1 off of Pepperidge Farm Slider Buns. Find the coupon and more slider inspiration by clicking HERE.
I hope you enjoy this recipe for pulled chicken sliders. Please let me know what you thought about the apple butter addition. No worries if you left it out, the beauty of self assembly is piling hight the flavors you love! I'd love to hear what you love on your slider buns!
SEE HOW EASY THEY ARE TO ASSEMBLE!
Pulled Chicken Sliders
For the caramelized onions:
- 2 tablespoon butter
- 1 yellow onion sliced
For the Pulled Chicken:
- ¼ cup Kevin and Amanda's BBQ rub or your favorite rub
- ½ cup chicken broth water if in a pinch
- ¼ cup bbq sauce
- 2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts
For the Maple BBQ Sauce
- ¼ cup maple syrup
- ¾ cup bbq sauce
Other slider toppings:
- 1 cup apple butter
- 12 slices bacon
- your favorite cheeses
- 12 Pepperidge Farm Slider Buns
For the caramelized onions:
- Set your instant pot to saute function and melt the butter.
- Once hot, add in the onions and allow to cook down until clear, and then allow them to begin to brown. Stir throughout this process every few minutes so that one side of the onions do not get burnt.
- This takes about 10-15 minutes. Once the onions are nicely browned, remove from the pot and set aside. Leave a tiny bit of the juices in pan to allow the chicken not to stick.
For the Pulled chicken:
- Sprinkle one side of the chicken breasts with the bbq rub. If the instant pot liner is dry, spray with non-stick spray Lay the chicken breasts spiced side down into the hot instant pot (still on saute from the onions). Allow to sear for about a minute, and sprinkle the plain side with the remaining rub, flip and sear for one more minute.
- Flip the chicken breasts again, and add in the chicken broth and bbq sauce. Place the instant pot lid on tightly and insure it is sealed shut. Change the pot to cook on HIGH pressure for 20 minutes.
- Once the instant pot has completed it's cycle, you can either let it do a slow natural release or you can do a quick release.
- Shred the chicken between 2 forks and return to the instant pot juices. It is now ready for sandwich assembly!
For the Maple BBQ Sauce:
- add the maple syrup to the bbq sauce in a microwave dish. Microwave for 30 seconds. Stir, and microwave for an additional 30 seconds. Stir well.
To assemble the sliders:
- Bend slider apart. Smear on apple butter.
- Add on caramelized onions, then bacon.
- Top with lots of shredded pulled chicken, and then pour over maple bbq sauce.
- add the slider "lid" and enjoy!