Sweet Tea Brined Fried Chicken Sliders w/ a Tabasco Honey Glaze

Since the weather has cooled, it was only natural that I wanted some stick-to-your-ribs kinda meal AND I don’t mind having the warm stove or oven on.  Yay!  

So when the thought of cooking an amped-up fried chicken sandwich crossed my mind, I was sooo in my happy place.  Regarding the sauce, I like things spicy (duh) and my hubby likes things sweet (duh once again), so the simple pairing of the vinegary Tabasco with the subtly sweet honey was just the right concoction!  The hot sauce thins out the honey for a perfect drizzle!  Just to die for on fried chicken…or should I say like todays teen, “it’s everything!”

That was now settled, so I grabbed my apron, cranked up 95.9 The Ranch on the kitchen radio and started frying up some goodness!

The Starting Lineup

  • 6 chicken thighs, boneless, skinless
  • 1 cup sweet tea, I love Red Diamond brand
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 Tbsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tsp onion powder
  • Bread & butter pickles (dill just isn’t right here)
  • Mayonnaise, I love Dukes brand
  • Slider potato rolls
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • Tabasco Pepper Sauce, few to several dashes 
  • Canola or peanut oil, for frying 

Earlier in the day, add the chicken thighs to a ziplock bag and pour in the buttermilk and sweet tea.  Zip up and give a shake to evenly distribute the brine.  Store in a shallow dish (to avoid spillage) and place in the refrigerator for 2-6 hours (overnight is fine too). 

Once you’re ready to fry these up, bring about 2″ of oil up to med-high heat. (350-375 degrees) in a heavy bottomed skillet or dutch oven.

Next, in a shallow dish, whisk together the flour with the spices and remove the chicken from the refridgerator. *Here, as I often do, is place the chicken thighs between two sheets of plastic wrap and pound out a bit thinner.  Helps to tenderize it even more AND it looks kind of cool hanging over the bun.  Bigger is always better ;). 

Now we’re ready to fry!  Using tongs, grab one of the chicken thighs and shake off excess brine, then dredge completely with the seasoned flour.  Transfer to the hot oil and allow to cook for 6-8 minutes, then turn over and fry for another 6-8 minutes (till golden brown and cooked through).  Remove to wire racked baking sheet (or paper towels) to rest while you finish the remaining thighs.  *Only fry 2-3 at a time so that the oil temperature doesn’t drop…THAT makes for greasy chicken! 

Now that the chicken is cooked, whisk together the honey and Tabasco sauce to taste.  You also can slightly toast the cut side of the sliders on a hot skillet if desired (not toaster oven).  

Assembly time!!  Spread a thin (or thick) layer of mayonnaise on each side of your soft slider rolls.  Then add the fried chicken, followed by a few bread & butter pickles and finally drizzle the honey-Tabasco right over top!  Dig in and enjoy!! 

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