4 years ago

A big-game-party food for everyone: slider bar

Peter Kuhr, our executive chef, shares how to set up a slider bar for your next football party – plus his favorite Big Game Chicken Sliders recipe!

Bland buffalo wings, soggy sloppy joes, boring burgers…does your party menu for the big game need some life? Let this idea inspire you!

For those hosting a party and wanting to serve a customizable dish every guest can enjoy, my game day slider bar is perfect. You can add as many meat options, topping choices and bun selections as you like. Below are recipes for a tomato jam and basil mayo that work well with any slider. And if you have guests with dietary restrictions, this slider bar will suit them, too.

My suggestion is to determine your guest list as early as possible to know how much food you’ll need. Based on preferences and dietary needs, determine three or four types of sliders to cook (chicken, beef, pork, fish, vegetarian, etc.), and plan about five or six different toppings and at least two spreads.

For more suggestions on planning the right amount of food and drink for a party, read our blog on parties by the numbers.

This doesn’t have to be complicated!
Our stores have ready-made sliders in our meat cases, chopped veggies ready to go and endless varieties of spreads. We have many different bun options as well. Our FoodE Experts can suggest the best ways to serve this delicious array of sliders.

For the more adventurous foodie…
Make my Big Game Chicken Sliders! These sliders will be the talk of your friends long after the game is over. Be the executive chef of your own kitchen with this mouth-watering recipe.

Big Game Chicken Sliders

Ingredients:                                        
Roasted Garlic*:
2 heads fresh garlic
2 tablespoons olive oil
pinch sea salt
pinch freshly cracked black pepper

Chicken Patties:
4 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped
4 tablespoons prepared roasted garlic
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
2 pounds fresh ground chicken (dark meat preferred)

Tomato Jam*:
1¼ pound fresh multi-colored grape or cherry tomatoes
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
¾ cup fresh shallots, chopped 
½ teaspoon sea salt
¼ teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
¼ teaspoon crushed red chili flakes
3 tablespoons olive oil

Basil Mayonnaise*:
1 cup fresh basil leaves
1 cup mayonnaise
½ teaspoon sea salt
¼ teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper

To Build Sliders:
2 loaves focaccia bread
1 pound sharp provolone cheese
½ red onion, sliced very thin            
1 ounce fresh baby arugula or watercress

*Optional substitutions if short on time:
Roasted garlic: This item is available in some of our olive bars; puree in food processor.
Tomato jam: Oven-roasted tomatoes are available in some of our olive bars; puree in food processor.
Basil mayo: Use one part basil pesto to one part mayonnaise.

Directions:
Prepare roasted garlic by cutting off the top of the heads to expose the cloves. Place garlic in a foil boat and top with olive oil, salt and pepper; close foil over garlic heads. Place covered foil boat in a small baking dish into the oven at 400 F to roast for 25-30 minutes until garlic is tender. Remove and cool slightly. Once cool, smash the garlic head on its side to remove the garlic cloves, reserve. 

To make chicken patties: Mix basil, prepared roasted garlic, salt and pepper in a large bowl with groundchicken and marinate for 30 minutes in the refrigerator. Form 16 2-oz. patties. Place patties in the refrigerator until ready to cook.

To make tomato jam: Heat oven to 400 F. Slice tomatoes in half and place in a small bowl with thyme, shallots, salt, pepper, chili flakes and oil; mix gently. Place mixture on a parchment-lined rimmed baking sheet and roast in oven, tossing occasionally, until tomatoes are golden brown and melted (approximately 25-30 minutes). Remove, let cool and place in a container. Refrigerate before using.

To make basil mayo: Place basil leaves, mayonnaise, salt and pepper in a blender or food processor; blend until smooth and vibrant green.

Using a round cutter or sharp knife, cut focaccia to make small buns and split in half.

Place prepared chicken patties on a medium hot grill, cook 2-3 minutes and flip, then cook until internal temperature reaches 165 F (another 3-4 minutes). Top with provolone to melt, remove and keep warm. Toast the mini focaccia buns on the grill.

To build sliders: Start with the bottom bun, add thinly sliced red onion, a cooked cheesy grilled chicken patty, a tablespoon of prepared chilled tomato jam and some baby arugula or watercress. Add a smear of fresh basil mayo to the top bun and affix to slider. Serve immediately.

Amount: 16 sliders