Fried Chicken Salad Sliders
Fried Chicken Salad Sliders- Repurpose leftover fried chicken or use a supermarket shortcut to make creamy chicken salad served on mini sandwiches.
August 30, 2021 by Nicole Collins
I'm in total picnic mode.
We're approaching one of those very small windows of time in the year where the temperature is pleasant outside and the colors are vibrant.
As I was starting to slowly phase back into the real world and come out of hibernation, I kept saying I was going to throw a comeback picnic. And we all know that when I get an idea, I tend to go a little wild.
I purchased (another) adorable picnic blanket. I got cute little outdoor pillows. I bought some adorable bento boxes and melamine serveware. I've totally revamped my picnic collection. Not that I needed to...I have enough picnic paraphernalia to throw about 4 separate picnics.
But, that's not the point.
I've planned probably 4 or 5 different versions of the menu too. And, each themed menu is pretty epic if I may say so myself. So instead of trying to choose which one will make the cut, I really just need to throw 4 or 5 picnic parties.
Not mad about that either.
Today's recipe is PERFECT for an end of summer picnic spread. It's simple. It's delicious. It uses leftovers if you have them or a store bought cheat ingredient if you don't. And, it will make your loved ones think you're a freaking genius.
So let's get to it. Today, we're making Fried Chicken Salad Sliders!
Yes, you read that right. We're taking leftover fried chicken, turning it into chicken salad, and serving it on cute little sandwiches. But here's what great about this recipe...you don't need to have leftover fried chicken to make it. Using a supermarket shortcut, we have an alternative option that allows us to whip up this chicken salad whenever we want!
Before we talk chicken, let's start with the creamy dressing we're going to make to coat our chicken. Typically, I like my chicken salad very basic: mayo, onion powder, black pepper. That's it. But, fried chicken hits a little differently. We're keeping the skin and breading on our chicken, so we need some extra tang to help cut through the richness of the chicken. And, that's where my 2 secret ingredients come in: pickle juice and hot sauce.
It's funny, I don't really like pickles, but I like the flavor they leave behind in their aftermath. When I order a sammie from Chick-fil-A, I never eat the pickles, but I still want them there for a few minutes to help flavor the bread. And, that was partly my inspiration for our salad dressing. So, we're going to take some mayonnaise, some pickle juice, a couple dashes of hot sauce, and some black pepper to mix all together until they're smooth and creamy. This gives us a slightly tangy, lightly spiced based to coat our delicious chicken. If you don't like pickles, don't worry! The dressing doesn't taste like pickles at all...just like pure deliciousness. We're also going to mince some celery and green onion into the dressing to add some extra flavor and crunch.
Now, for the chicken. If you have some leftover fried chicken that you want to add a little flare to, this chicken salad is the perfect time to use it. Cut the meat from the bone, skin and all, and mix it right into the dressing.
However if you don't have any leftover fried chicken, you're not out of luck. Instead of fried chicken, we can use store bought breaded chicken tenders that you find in the freezer section of the grocery store. Bake the chicken according to package directions, let them cool to room temperature, chop them up, and mix them right into the dressing. If I'm being totally honest, I actually prefer this version of the chicken salad for a couple of reasons. 1. you don't need to have leftovers to make it. And 2. the chicken is a little crispier going into the dressing, so it adds another pleasant textural component.
Whichever type of chicken we use, we're going to let it sit and chill for at least a half hour after we mix it into the dressing so it can soak up all those delicious flavors. Then, we build our sammies.
To build our sliders, there are two ways you can go when it comes to bread choice. For one, you can't go wrong with a little brioche slider bun. They're soft and fluffy and perfect to hold any sandwich filling you could put in it. But if you really want to celebrate the fried chicken theme, serve these on a nice, buttery biscuit. YUM! You can cheat and buy frozen biscuits that you quickly bake up in the oven (I cheated), or you could use your own favorite biscuit recipe. It's the messier option of the two, but I promise you, it's worth it.
To finish off our sammies, we're going to add a little coleslaw mix for crunch. We don't need to dress the slaw first, because we have enough mayo in our chicken salad to keep our sandwiches from drying out. So, add a light layer of slaw on the bottom of your bread, load up the chicken salad, and get ready to devour.
These sandwiches...WOW. They're creamy, and savory, and decadent, and crisp, and fresh, and luxurious, and naughty, and nice, and just ALL THE THINGS. The chicken salad is rich and creamy thanks to the mayo and fried chicken, but it's also fresh and crunchy thanks to the celery and scallions. Then, you have a second layer of crunch and freshness thanks to the shredded cabbage. And whether you're using a biscuit or brioche, the soft, buttery bread elevates something that's already so delicious to superstar status.
These sammies make the perfect addition to any picnic, any party, any gathering, or any every day lunch. These are sure to quickly become a new favorite in your house.
I can't wait to hear what you think of them. Make sure you tag me on social media when you make them so I can see too!
Enjoy, and let's eat!
Fried Chicken Salad Sliders
Serves: 4 Print
½ cup mayonnaise
1 ½ tbsp pickle juice
½ tsp black pepper
hot sauce, to taste (I used 6-7 good dashes)
1 large celery stalk, minced
2 green onions, dark and light green parts, minced
2 ½ cups leftover fried chicken (skin on and bones removed) or prepared breaded chicken tenders, diced
½ cup bagged slaw mix (or shredded cabbage)
8 prepared biscuits or brioche slider buns
Make the fried chicken salad: To a mixing bowl, add mayonnaise, pickle juice, pepper, and hot sauce. Stir until well combined. Add in celery, green onions, and diced chicken. Toss gently to combine and fully coat the chicken. Set aside in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
Assemble the sandwiches: If not already cut, split biscuits or brioche buns in half. On the bottom bun, layer slaw mix and chicken salad, evenly divided between sandwiches. Close the sandwiches with the top bun. Enjoy!
*You don't need to have left over fried chicken to enjoy this chicken salad. I actually prefer using store bought breaded chicken tenders that you can buy in the freezer section of your grocery store. Bake them according to package directions, let them cool to room temp, and prepare the salad as listed in the recipe. Delish!
*These sandwiches are incredible on both biscuits or brioche. Using biscuits is a little messier, but name a better pairing than fried chicken and biscuits.
*Since everyone's fried chicken will taste different, taste for seasoning after you mix your salad. If you need more salt, pepper, or hot sauce, add to your personal tastes!
*Since we have plenty of mayonnaise in the chicken salad, we don't need to mix the slaw mix (or shredded cabbage) with any dressing before putting it on the sandwich. We want to keep the crunchy freshness of the veggies.