Pulled Honey Sesame Chicken Sliders with Rainbow Slaw for SRC - Parsley, Sage, and Sweet

Pulled Honey Sesame Chicken Sliders with Rainbow Slaw for SRC

July 9, 2012 at 12:00 pm | Posted in Appetizers, Asian, Breads, Dinner, Lunch, Rainbow, Salads, SRC, Vegetables | 78 Comments
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We’re all familiar with loads of twists on pulled pork, pulled beef, pulled chicken – pulled any meat that can be shredded into juicy strands after being simmered in a sauce for a few hours – then slopped on a bun, which soaks up some of that sauce.  I’ve seen riffs on Asian pulled pork and chicken, but I’ve never seen the following Asian take on it until I scrolled through my blog assignment for this month’s Secret Recipe Club.

Pulled Honey Sesame Chicken Sliders with Rainbow Slaw
Does any carnivore NOT love Sesame or General Tso’s chicken?  Well, the blog I was assigned, Eat Little, Eat Big..authored and photographed by Susie, who just so happens to live on the beautiful island of Maui (lucky!), came up with this brilliant idea.  She simmered chicken breasts in a similar sauce used for sesame chicken – in a crockpot- for a few hours.  Voila, Slow Cooker Honey Sesame Chicken!

Initially, I was going to make her Crunchy Oven Baked Fish Sticks, but then  decided that there was no way I was turning on the oven in this oppressive heat.  We’re talking 98 – 100 degrees the past week, so I loved that this dish was slowly simmered in a crockpot..or slow cooker, whichever you prefer to call it.  Potatoes, puhtatoes.

Of course I couldn’t leave well enough alone.  First, I toasted the sesame seeds, then I omitted the ketchup and used tomato paste instead.  I used Chili Paste (Sambal Oelek) in lieu of chili flakes, added rice wine vinegar for a bit of acid, and a little chicken stock for more sauce.

I also changed the cooking time since I was starting with semi-frozen chicken breasts, plus…to get that really shredded texture, more time was needed, semi-frozen or not.  To thicken the sauce after simmering, I made a slurry of cornstarch and chicken broth, instead of using cornstarch alone.  I grated some fresh ginger into the sauce simply because I couldn’t fathom sesame chicken without ginger.

Before I even finished reading the recipe, I had decided to pile this pulled chicken on buns.   At the bottom of Susie’s recipe – she suggested doing just that.  SO, I piled this chicken on buns, but not just any buns.  Back in Dec, ’11, I baked some plain buns using an extra batch of dough I made from the Daring Bakers Char Siu Bao recipe  and froze them.  Instabuns! For the sliders, I used store-bought slider sized potato buns.

I love Asian bun dough.  It’s soft and so velvety, so I knew they would make great vessels for burgers or sandwiches. Use any kind of bun you’d like, even a doughnut if that suits your fancy, since it, ummm, it seems to be all the rage, but I’m not really recommending it, so, proceed with caution, and an adventurous palate!  Oh, sprouted buns are also nice and  work very well because they’re sturdy, leaving lots of leeway for sauce soakage, without falling apart,  I highly recommend those along with the two aforementioned buns — not doughnuts.

Finally, you know how much I’ve waxed on and on about my love of natural rainbows incorporated into dishes?  What better than an array of colorful vegetables to pile on these buns with the chicken?  We’ve got shredded red cabbage (the purple), a mix of red, yellow and orange bell peppers, and blanched snow peas -  all tossed together with a light vinaigrette.

This is my summer of Eat the Rainbow.  Well, I’m trying to Eat the Rainbow.  More to come soon, I hope.  You see, I always say I’m going to make something, and then I never come through.  I’m definitely not cut out for blogging, am I?  OKay, I will rephrase that.  I will do my very best to regale you all with loads of rainbow inspired dishes this summer.  Hmm..maybe I should just stop saying it and try to actually do it?

In conclusion, these honey sesame chicken sliders are pretty, darn amazing and perfect for any party, so I do recommend you proceed without caution!  If you’re GF, eat it out of the slow cooker, like I did at one point.

Pulled Honey Sesame Chicken Sandwiches with Rainbow Slaw
Inspired by Susie of Eat Little, Eat Big
Makes a ton of sliders, a half-ton of average sized sandwiches and maybe 6-8 unhinge your jaw, sandwiches 

Pulled Honey Sesame Chicken
4 semi-frozen chicken breasts, cut in half (starting with semi-frozen chicken seems to help it shred better once cooked), OR, about 1 to 1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs
kosher salt and pepper
1/2 cup honey
2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
1/2 cup chicken stock or broth
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 1/2 tablespoons tomato paste
3 cloves garlic finely minced
2 teaspoons fresh, grated ginger
1 teaspoon chili paste (more if you like a lot of heat)
2 tablespoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons chicken broth or stock
1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
Toasted sesame seeds, the amount depending on your preference
burger buns or slider buns

Note - If your chicken breasts are kind of big, I would suggest doubling the sauce ingredients poured over the breasts in the crockpot.  The cornstarch and 2 tablespoons of chicken stock for the thickening slurry remains the same, but add 2 tablespoons sesame oil instead of 1 when the sauce is thickened and done.

Rainbow Slaw
1 small red bell pepper, seeded, ribs removed, sliced thin
1 small yellow bell pepper, seeded, ribs removed, sliced thin
1 small orange bell pepper, seeded, ribs removed, sliced thin  (OR two carrots, peeled and shredded)
About 1/4 a small head red cabbage, shredded
1 very small red onion or half a red onion, sliced thin
1/4 lb snowpeas, blanched, each snowpea sliced in half vertically and horizontally.  No worries about peas falling out – it just makes it better

Note - Slice and chop vegetables smaller for sliders.  If you want a really shredded slaw, use the shredding disk or very thin slicing disk in your food processor for all the veggies (stack the snowpeas to shred).  I used a knife that needed to be sharpened so I couldn’t slice the veggies as thin as I would have liked.  It’s much easier to pile a more shredded slaw on the sliders or sandwiches and much easier to eat.

Vinaigrette
5 tablespoons peanut oil
3 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
1 tablespoon light soy sauce
1 clove garlic, minced with kosher salt until it’s a paste
1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
1 3/4 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon sesame oil
squeeze of lime juice
freshly ground black or white pepper (to taste)

SLAW AND VINAIGRETTE DIRECTIONS:
1. Combine all of the vegetables in a bowl.

2.  Make Vinaigrette.  Place all ingredients in a jar, cover tightly, and shake vigorously until blended.  Drizzle your preferred amount over vegetables and toss.

3.  Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let the flavors blend in the fridge for a few houes.  You can use it immediately, but it’s much better after marinating for a few hours.  SO, make this salad while the chicken is cooking.

PULLED SESAME CHICKEN DIRECTIONS:
1. Season frozen chicken breasts with salt and pepper, and place in the crockpot.

2.  Mix all the sauce ingredients together except for the sesame oil, sesame seeds, cornstarch and 2 extra tablespoons of chicken stock.  Pour over seasoned, frozen chicken in the crockpot.

3.  Cook on low for 6-8 hours or high 3-4 hours, until the chicken starts to fall apart.  Remove chicken from sauce and shred with two forks.  Set aside in a bowl.

4.  Pour sauce into a medium saucepan and bring to a simmer.  Stir together the cornstarch and chicken stock until smooth, then pour into the simmering sauce.  Cook until the sauce has thickened, whisking constantly – it only takes a minute or two.

5. Remove from heat and stir in the sesame oil and toasted sesame seeds.  Pour over shredded chicken and mix well. Season with more salt and pepper if it needs it.

6.  Assemble sandwiches.  Cut buns in half – toast if you like.  Place a heaping spoonful of rainbow slaw on the bottom bun.  Top that with a heaping spoonful of the pulled chicken.   Pour some extra sauce over chicken and top with other half bun.  Enjoy with plenty of napkins!

Click on the blue frog below to see what my fellow SRC Group A participants chose from their assigned blogs.

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  1. Great looking sandwich! The combination of flavors sounds amazing!

  2. I kind of have a thing for sandwiches, and these look amazing!!

  3. great adaptation! glad you enjoyed the blog! susie

  4. Aw I really like hockey guy. I had a similar dreamboat situation… went off to a different college from my high school boyfriend… and it didn’t last… so I’m definitely being brought back to those days just reading your experience.

  5. Terrific sliders! So droolworthy and tasty.

    Ah, cant wait to read part 14c!!!

    Cheers,

    Rosa

  6. Amazing pulled sesame chicken sandwich, amazing! I love sesame. And pulled meats.
    And I was loving dreamboat and now I kind of love hockey guy… you make it hard to stay with only one. Can´t wait for the next part! Though I´m starting to have the feeling that these parts A and B will still go on for a while…

  7. These are just beautiful, Lisa, I was looking at the SRC roundup and this was the first pic that attracted my attention! Must be so yummy! Can you slide on my way? :-)

  8. Wow looks great and leave it to you to make it all colorful. So the hockey guy is skating into your life. So far he comes across as a very nice guy. Now dreamboat seems to be having a hard time with you being away – understandable but he should talk more on the phone. I look forward to seeing how this goes – nice cliff hanger :).

  9. Well I have to say your chicken sliders drew me in, then the fact that you are going to school in Boston where my daughter just graduated from and trying to sell her furniture before moving back to the Midwest. But, your story about Dreamboat and the hockey guy kept me. I’m sure I’m as old or older than your parents but I too remember going through something similar.

    Long distance relationships are next to impossible but if you have a strong relationship it could work out. I’m not sure how old dreamboat is but you have a good 4 years ahead of you at a great school, they’re all good in Boston, and it sounds like you get good grades, don’t waste your time staying in your dorm and not enjoying college, friends, parties and socializing with guys, even if that means dating. Life’s too short.

    My son had a friend who went off to school and didn’t date anyone. After she graduated the guy broke it off. She kept herself from exploring other relationships for 4 years, it was really a shame. Don’t get me wrong you and drew oat can work it out but let the cards fall where they will. Try not to stress over it, everything always turns out for the best, even if it hurts along the way.

    Best of luck to you.

    • Actually, Vicki..this happened almost 20 years ago :) Just a memory now. I wish I was still in college! LOL

      • Oh I feel so silly. I tried to see when this took place. Here I am talking to you like it was yesterday. How embarrassing!

        I guess u missed the beginning #1 where you probably mentioned this. I suppose I should start from the beginning. I was wondering why no one else commented.

      • No matter, I think your comment is awesome and everyone can benefit from it xo I feel awful for the girl who remained loyal during one of the best, ‘exploratory’ times in one’s life and was then dumped! How is she now?

  10. Another winning recipe and I love the whole rainbow theme. Talk soon and of course please check out my SRC entry Double Chocolate Mousse Cake

    Lisa~~
    Cook Lisa Cook

  11. Lisa how on earth did I miss that fact. I feel so silly although I’m still older than you. What college did you attend? I can’t wait to hear the ending. Like I said you’re story captivated me.

  12. Lisa I am hanging on the edge of me seat again…Part 15 can’t come soon enough. And I love those sliders.

  13. That meat looks amazing! Just oozing out the bun…and love the idea of rainbow slaw too :-)

  14. The flavours, the look, everything about these sandwiches are stunning!
    Gorgeous!
    Just like your writing – cant wait to read the next part!

    Cheers
    CCU

  15. Holy Confetti, Bat Man! Check out that slaw! That dressing’s a keeper for lots of things – looove ginger; The shredded chicken recipe is another delicious winner. Gee – and *only* 10 hours between marinating and simmering in a crockpot? ;-) Still, I think even I could pull this one off. Betcha it’d taste even better with thigh meat. 14B: Ok Lis…so now we begin to sense the *suggestion* of your weakened will up in oh-so-lonely Bahston. Trading absentee Dreamboat’s 4-pack for Hockey Guy’s 6-pack? Hmmm…which reminds me – my own lethal 12-pack had long been declared a “Deadly Weapon” within state lines….until the cruelty-of-time + hallucinations + hair + Pepperidge Farm = ummm…yep. A hint of a 2-pack :-)

    • I was initially going to use thigh meat, but then decided I’d already made too many changes to her recipe, plus – white meat was ‘requested’ ;)

      ————————————

      I’m LOLing at “Trading absentee Dreamboat’s 4-pack for Hockey Guy’s 6-pack?” Yet another awesome comment by the masterful J! Nothing wrong with a 2-pack!

  16. Ok, so i’m watching that movie Eddie and the cruisers on tbs last saturday night, and I was like..why does Eddie’s face seem so familiar, especially the eyes and nose..who does he remind me of…? Ta Dah! Dreamboat, well ‘A’. See it?? http://www.flixster.com/celebrity/michael-pare-ii/#photos/9802661

  17. Love these sandwiches! Your pictures were making me hungry as I was reading your story ;) Ok, so I gotta tell ya…. I saw the new post email come through my inbox and I had to wait until this afternoon to read it. I finally sat down to a few minutes to myself all settled in for Part 14B only to be interrupted by motherhood (damn it!) so I had to wait until the kids went to bed but man, oh man was it worth the wait! I’m loving Hockey Guy!! I love Dreamboat too so I’m stuck in between a rock and a hard place here. But Hockey Guy seems so sweet and endearing, nurturing and hunky too. Can’t wait for the next part! Can this story just never end? Can you just keep up all hooked by telling us your whole life story and about all your relationships in one long string? I love your posts always but the love story at the end is like the icing on a cake ;) xoxo

  18. whoa Lisa! That looks so amazing! I’ve never seen pulled chicken! Definitely makes for a much healthier recipe!! Mmmm.. Your sliders are just to die for!! I’d totally love one right now!! Great choice!

  19. What a delicious sandwich. Love all the fresh veggies! And, I’m so behind on your story, please compile it all into a book that I can read!

    • Katrina @Baking and Boys!

  20. Now this is a great recipe to keep in mind! One more reason to prepare some Oriental buns mmmm :D

  21. All I can say is that this sandwich looks amazing!

  22. I haven’t had dinner yet, and I REALLY wish I had one of your sandwiches! Had to read 14A and14 B to catch up today:)

  23. Okay, I’m totally making this, I love the flavors and I love the slaw (and I’m not normally a slaw person). Pinning it for future drooling!

  24. I’m so impressed with what you did with the recipe! The sliders are just gorgeous and the flavors sound over-the-top delish! I love eating the rainbow too–great idea to add that colorful slaw, not just for flavor but to make them even more visually appealing. That really is half of the flavor!

    • Veronica, I have been trying to comment on your blog for ages..ever since your post about the bicycle your grandfather gave you. Your site never opens for me. Have you checked it?

      • What do you mean it doesn’t open for you? What comes up? It does open for me and my views per day seem about the same as always.

      • Veronica – I keep trying in both IE and Chrome, but your page won’t load. I’ve cleaned out my cookies, rebooted etc..Still no luck! This is what I get..
        ————————————-

        Oops! Google Chrome could not connect to veronicascornucopia.com
        Try reloading: veronicascornuco­pia.­com

      • That totally sucks! I’m so sorry! I have NO idea what is up with that, I’ve never had any one else tell me this…but then again those with the problem wouldn’t be able to even tell me. I did ask recently on my facebook page if anyone was having any trouble with my website as one lady said her virus software tells her my site has malware but those that answered back said they’ve never had a problem. Anyway, how did you see the blog on my Grandpa & the bike if it wouldn’t load? Did it load once and then never again?

      • Veronica..I finally got on your site two days ago and left 2 comments. One on the bicycle post and one on your strawberry shortcake post. Didn’t you get them? If not check your spam folder, maybe?

        —————————————

        The first time I saw the bicycle post..it kept spinning when I submitted a comment, then I got an error page and couldn’t load the page for weeks after.

      • Weird, YES I see them now but for some reason I didn’t get an email notification when you left the comments. Well I’m glad it’s working now and thank you for the comments! :)

  25. The photos alone are enough to make my mouth water. And I love giant “unhinge your jaw” sandwiches!

  26. Just saw these on Pinterest..great idea! Glad I found your blog b/c I’m so hooked on your story now! Thanks!

  27. Hi Lisa! I’m still here ;) I just had to give a break the past few months. I came back to Brazil so had to readapt,plus the wedding of a daughter and a premature baby of the other daughter, all at the same time almost drove me crazy and got me super busy! But things have settled down now. I had to catch up on my reading of your story, I think I read 4 chapters at once :D Can’t wait to read more! And this sandwich, OMG, instantly made me hungry! Thank you so much for your warm welcome and sorry for having “disappeared” without notice.
    Hugs and kisses from Brazil!

  28. You sure leave a reader hanging! I cannot believe this is all TRUE! Amazing! Now – to the food. I have never seen such a gorgeous slaw. Not to be forgotten. I will be making this, at the very least, immediately. The entire dish looks deadly!
    XO
    V

  29. Oh no. you got Gary out of the way, and now there’s hocley guy? I guess I’m a romantic and I want you to end up with Dreamboat! I love this “unique twist” on the pulled chicken..especially because I really love sesame chicken! My kids would love these sliders!

  30. Such an original twist on pulled meat. Oh the magic words: Sambal Oelek, tasty. And wow to that rainbow slaw. The whole combo is divine.

    Hockey guy sounds like the start of my current relationship. This is good! But poor Dreamboat.

  31. First of all, this pulled pork and all the elements sound AMAZING! Second of all – this story is taking a twist! Where is it headed?! I thought you and dreamboat were a sure thing?! Ahhh!

  32. Congratulations to you my friend, you have just been nominated for 2 awards :D
    Check them out here :)
    http://gobakeyourself.wordpress.com/2012/07/11/ironic-comfort/

    Cheers
    Choc Chip Uru

  33. I am at a loss for words. These sandwiches are calling out to me. I need them!

  34. OMG! First of all, this sandwich just has my name written all over it! I must make it!! :D And secondly, you know how much I love Bad Boy Love and this has taken a really interesting turn indeed! What will happen to Dreamboat? And what about hockey guy? :O I cannot wait for the next instalment!

  35. The slaw is gorgeous and the sandwich looks delicious! I love this idea for a hot day. Would you come to Memphis and make me some of those yummy Asian buns? And how did I know that there was a another dreamy guy on his way into your life? I can’t wait to learn more about him…and soup and a flower? In college??? He sounds like an amazing catch!

  36. That Pulled Sesame Honey Chicken is fabulous! I love love these flavors. I have to try this. And your buns (ha ha) are perfect! What a sandwich! And the story… OMG I’m seeing it now….. I want more so please hurry up! Now if I could only come over for dinner and listen to the rest of the story. (and unhinge-your-jaw sandwiches? *snort*)

  37. Saw these on tastespotting, and it is definitely a unique twist on pulled chicken. Looking forward to trying them.

  38. I made these yesterday and they are fabulous!! I cut the recipe in half so I only had a 1/4 ton of sliders lmao. Lovin’ your blog and story!

  39. Part 15????! LOL…you hooked me with a Part 1! What amazing sliders…this would be fabulous for a neighborhood get together…so unique and yummy. Now, get back to writing the next (final?) installment :)

  40. Looks yummy. What a fun blog check out my blog if you get a min and have not already :).

    Have a great day

    http://thedailysmash101.blogspot.com

  41. Oh no!! I want you to stay with Dreamboat! Well, I’ll wait and see before jumping the gun :>) When is part 15?? <3

  42. This is dinner at my house tonight. I was shocked I had about everything on hand…getting more chicken so I can double it and freeze some. Sadly, we will have store bought buns….the good kind though! Perfect rainy day dinner…

    • Let me know how they turn out for you, Susie!

      • OMG, we loved them! And let me tell you, I have a family of skeptics. I am planning on blogging it, but will link you and your recipe since I bastardized it…didn’t have exactly what I needed after all. Not so much honey, a lot more chili paste…no red cabbage at the grocer (seriously?!) They devoured it, slaw too, which I ate half of at 10 a.m. after mixing it up. It was even better at 6!

      • I am So glad to hear that you loved them! I cannot wait to see your post! :D I ate some leftover slaw at 3 am last week! LOL

  43. Time to break out the slow cooker! Piled high sliders are mouthwatering and a real winner with a rainbow of veggies :) Team Dreamboat or Team Hockey Guy – hmmm. Gotta go with Hockey Guy, he’s really trying – flowers and soup and wearing flip flops – plus, pre-college relationships never last…

  44. These look delicious. Cobo of General Tso and Sesame Chicken – how could you go wrong with that??

  45. that looks so delicious, i can barely stand it! i think that’s what i’m making for dinner!

  46. Those sliders look just to die for. As I know I find your story to die for too… I actually waiting with reading part 14a until there would be 14b so I sort of skipped those delicious matcha cake things you made ( which looked awesome with my favorite marzipan wrappings) and went straight to part 14b. Hockey guy sounds cool and I cannot wait to find out what’ll happen next !

  47. I am loving the sliders, but you know you have me with the story!! It’s fun hearing about Jersey (Tom’s River and “What exit?’). LOL! This Philly girl remembers that stuff so well. The college story is also so familiar…similar situations probably happened to many of us and then Boston! I lived and worked there for 5 1/2 years and took a few classes at Northeastern, so all the memories are coming back. I can’t wait to hear what happens with your hot hockey player! :-)

  48. The sliders look incredibly good, amazing and sooo delicious! I’m feeling super hungry right now!

  49. Ooh WAW!!! This is one fabulously, amazing & awesome looking filled sandwich!
    I have never tasted pulled chicken before let alone with these beautiful combinations of sesame & honey. That rainbow slaw caught my eyes too! ;) I must make this soon! :) xxx

  50. My husband is a very picky eater but one thing he never says no to is chicken. That is why I am always looking for new chicken recipes…this one right here is beyond amazing! These sandwiches will be a huge hit in my house…thank you for the inspiration Lisa

  51. Oh my word girl, you have my undivided attention for sure! I just showed hubby (aka Grill Chef) and he was immediately interested too:-) Love love the flavor combination! I don’t think I have had pulled chicken before, but will be soon:-) Hugs, Terra

  52. Can’t wait for part 15…those pulled chicken sandwich pictures are so distractingly gorgeous!

  53. Your Pulled Sesame Honey Chicken is the bomb! Love the rainbow theme and gorgeous bright colors of the veggies. The sauce flavoring has me drooling and I want one for dinner now!:)Super story that I don’t want to end but want to end so I know what happens…lol xo

  54. You really took the pulled chicken to a new level, and I’m just dazzled with your rainbow salad and vinaigrette dressing!

  55. Mmm, these sandwiches look so very tasty! Love the rainbow slaw – so pretty!

  56. um, yum!! I love using the crock pot in the summer because it doesn’t heat up the house. I typically get stuck in a rut with my old stand-by recipes, though, so I need to branch out. Also loving the rainbow slaw!!

  57. Mmmm pulled chicken! Love the twist on the classic dish!

  58. I made these Saturday and they were so good! I didn’t have chili paste, so I used diced red jalapenos instead. It was AWESOME, and the slaw was so yummy! Thank you!

  59. Is part 15 coming soon?

  60. Wow those sliders look so mouthwatering

  61. I’m really enjoying your story! Seems like a love triangle is brewing!

  62. [...] Pulled Chicken Sliders [...]

  63. What amazing chicken sliders & an even more amazing story to go with it. Thanks for sharing. Enjoy the game!

    • Thank you, betty! Have you tried them yet? As for the story..thank you, again, although I think of it more as a journal of a magical memory – I just needed to write about it.


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