Monday, April 28, 2014

Buffalo Ranch Chicken Sliders

Oh hi. Remember me? It's been a while, huh? Just to catch you up, here's some of what I've been up to in the month-and-a-half since I was last here:

1. Taking Will back and forth to soccer practice and soccer games.
2. Taking care of the secretarial duties that come with being a tee-ball coach (Joe is coaching Andrew's tee-ball team this year).
3. Surviving the end of another tax season at work.
4. Reading A Game of Thrones. (OMG so good!)
5. Watching Game of Thrones.
6. Working on landscaping projects and getting ready to install our pool (!!!) and plant our garden (!!!). 
7. Making delicious food and generally being too busy (and too selfish with the free time I do have) to share it with you. Shame on me!

One of the delicious foods I've been making are these buffalo ranch chicken sliders, which I have made no less than three times in the last month. Joe and I are both kind of obsessed with them, and can you really blame us? 

These were inspired by the parmesan ranch buffalo wings Joe made for pretty much every televised sporting event after my lovely bonus mom got me a deep-fryer for Christmas. I've never been a huge fan of wings; I mean, I'll eat them and enjoy them, but I definitely prefer boneless chicken. Wings seem like a lot of work and a lot of mess for not that much meat. So I took Joe's wing recipe, modified it slightly, and came up with these sliders. They're a winner on all levels, and our whole family loves them (I just leave the buffalo sauce off of Andrew's and Will's sliders to make them kid-friendly). 

We could eat these once a week -- and basically have for the last month. And we probably will have them once a week for all the months to come, forever.

Buffalo Ranch Chicken Sliders

6 chicken tenders, cut in half width-wise
1 cup buttermilk
2 packages ranch dressing mix, divided
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 egg
1 cup flour
1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs

1/2 cup Frank's red hot
2 tablespoons butter

Vegetable oil for frying
3 slices cheddar cheese, cut into 4 squares per slice
12 slider buns
1 avocado, halved, pitted, and sliced
Prepared ranch dressing

1. Stir together the buttermilk, 1 packet of ranch dressing mix, and black pepper in a bowl. Add the chicken and toss to combine. Cover and let the chicken marinate for 30 minutes, up to 2 hours. 

2. After the chicken has marinated, scramble the egg in a small dish and add to the buttermilk mixture with the chicken. Toss to combine. 

3. Whisk together the flour, panko and remaining packet of ranch dressing mix. Dredge each piece of chicken in the flour mixture, shaking off the excess.

4. Heat oil in a deep-fryer or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the chicken in batches and cook until browned and crispy, then remove to a paper towel-lined plate and sprinkle with salt. 

5. Meanwhile, while the chicken is frying, in a small saucepan, heat the hot sauce and butter over low heat.

6. After the chicken is fried, use a brush to spread the hot sauce mixture over each piece. Add a square of cheddar cheese to each piece of chicken. Serve on slider buns with slices of avocado and ranch dressing.