The Summer Spice Club:
Sticky Pulled Chicken Sliders
Well summer is almost officially here, not so much based on the date, but on the fact that my husband has dragged the barbecue out of its winter hidey hole and is practising like an ancient “Fire God” on his charring skills. Not a day goes by when I hear him utter the words “it looks like great barbecue weather tonight”…….it’s enough to drive me to the oven and the safety of a non-charred meal that is vaguely edible. On the plus side, the mess is contained outside, which is a blessing, although several of my “good pans” have now been newly designated as “barbecue pans”.
I love a good barbecue – you know the ones where the meat is actually cooked and isn’t a blackened mess on the plate; the ones where you have a table groaning under bowls of sundry fresh salads, bread rolls, baguettes, cheese boards and home-baked pies of all shapes and sizes. I must have seen those kind of barbecues on the “telly” or in American films, and so when someone says “Barbecue” I instantly think of those type of cook-out events, where it’s all done and everyone sits outside munching in companionable silence, and the children play “nicely” in the pool or sandpit.
We all know, well we do in the UK (and Europe), that in reality, the weather is never really good enough for cooking outside, the meat is always charred and the assorted fresh salads and home-made pies are usually in plastic containers and frozen pie trays. But, it doesn’t have to be like that – we can do barbecues, and especially when my recent “barbie” was aided and abetted by some rather tasty and jolly handy Schwartz Grill Mates BBQ sauces and glazes. As a member of the Schwartz Spice Club, I regularly receive a hamper of spices and related cooking utensils and ingredients.
My recent spicy haul comprised a rather swish and shiny “Masterchef Barbecue Set” that was bristling with implements for the barbie, as well as some of Schwartz Spices latest BBQ sauces and marinades. Amongst the ingredients (and sauces), was a recipe for Sticky Pulled Chicken in Brioche Rolls, which caught my attention; now, I know that brioche rolls are the “new black” on the culinary front for burgers and other savoury sandwiches, but you’ll just have to call me old-fashioned, as I prefer a dollop of jam on mine, so I decided to “adapt” the recipe to suit my personal requirements, which meant ditching the brioche and using ciabatta instead.
My adapted recipe is shared below, along with a few handy “BBQ Tips” for a fuss-free cook out…….and if you fancy cheating, as I did (I baked my chicken in the oven), then this is the recipe for you. With thanks to Schwartz for my Spice Club booty, I look forward to my monthly surprises with anticipation. Do try to use chicken quarters in place of chicken thigh, as you get the thigh meat as well as the bonus of chicken drumsticks too. I hope you all enjoy the short barbecue season, Karen
For a successful meal to share with your family and friends, follow these handy BBQ cooking tips.
Handle Meat with Care
Always thaw frozen meats in the fridge or microwave, not on the counter. Thaw meats completely so they cook evenly.
Don’t re-freeze meats that have been thawed in the microwave (or under cold running water) because it increases the risk of bacterial contamination. If you don’t plan to cook microwave-defrosted foods, discard.
Always marinate foods in the refrigerator, not on the counter. After marinating raw meats, poultry or seafood, never reuse marinade as a sauce for cooked foods.
Prevent raw meat, poultry, seafood and juices touching other foods, utensils, and surfaces during preparation.
Wash hands, utensils, cutting surfaces, and counters with hot soapy water after contact with raw meat, poultry and seafood.
Don’t put cooked foods on the same plate or board that held raw food. Use a clean plate to transport cooked food from the BBQ to the table.
Don’t chop vegetables or salad ingredients on the same cutting board used to prepare raw meat or seafood unless you’ve thoroughly sanitized the board between uses.
Don’t Get Burned
Keep cooked meats hot by setting them on a grill rack to the side of heat source, not directly over heat (to avoid overcooking).
When reheating cooked meats, cook to an internal temperature of 75°C or until steaming hot.
Never eat anything that’s been left outside on a hot day for more than an hour.
BBQs radiate a lot of heat. Be sure to keep your BBQ at least ten feet from any combustible materials, including the house garage, deck rails, etc. Never use BBQ indoors or under a covered patio.
It’s a good idea to have a water spray handy so that you can damp down your BBQ if it gets a bit lively due to spitting fat etc.
As this is a sandwich, I am adding the recipe to Tea Time Treats for May, where the theme is Sandwiches, Wraps & Rolls and is being hosted by Janie over at The Hedgecombers – I will be in the driving seat for June.