Pulled Chicken Biscuit Sliders with Blackberry Chipotle Sauce and Cilantro Lime Slaw

Pulled chicken biscuit sliders with blackberry chipotle sauce and  cilantro lime slaw on LouiseMellor.com -

Fourth of July came and went and I felt as if I just wasn’t ready for it.  The weather here in Orange County has been strangely cool and since I’ve been working there has been little time for the beach.  But even though the weather doesn’t quite feel like summer, my appetite  has been craving barbecue. I’ve mentioned before one of my all time favorite BBQ spots- BigMista’s BBQ.  I stumbled on to them a few months back and it was love at first taste, you can read about BigMista’s in my original blog post.   It’s the kind of BBQ that you would cheat on your husband for- go out for milk and come back with BBQ sauce on your collar good.   It doesn’t help that I’m a fan on their facebook page so I’m tempted daily with idea of  REAL-GOOD-MEAT (that’s their slogan).  The problem is I’m stuck here working in Orange County and they are in LA.  So what’s a girl to do except attempt to recreate the flavors that make my heart swoon.  So, BigMista’s makes a pulled pork sandwich with a pineapple slaw, and they have a blueberry chipotle sauce that you want to drink by the cup full.  Okay, let’s get this straight, this is nothing close to what BigMista puts out and I think he might cringe when he sees my “French-y” stove top method … with dare I say…liquid smoke .  Nonetheless, BigMista, they say imitation is the greatest form of flattery… Here is my method for cracking the BigMista recipe code.
Smoked Pork hmmm … no time,  no smoker SOLUTION- chicken thighs,liquid smoke and a stove top braise
Secret BBQ sauce hmmm …use the braising liquid so I decided it would be better to remove the chicken skin to avoid too much fat floating around

Tomato or vinegar base sauce hmmm… had to guess vinegar,  I think I’m close.

Fruit hmmm… no blueberries but blackberries will work just the same.
Slaw hmmm… something simple and fresh. what goes better with chipotle than cilantro and lime?
Bread hmmm… if white bread is good then homemade biscuits may be even better, let’s give it a try..
So here you go. I dry rubbed the chicken, seared it and then braised it with sweet Vidalia onions and chipotle peppers.  Once the chicken was done, I pulled the meat and shredded it.  The chicken turned out moist and delicious.  I made the blackberry BBQ sauce by pureeing the braising liquid  with some fresh blackberries and blackberry preserves to balance the heat.  The slaw is a combination of crisp fresh flavors with a nice tartness from the fresh lime juice.  BigMista serves his sandwich on a white bun ( which I think is the best choice because it soaks up all the sauce) but I made some  milk biscuits that did the trick.  The smokey heat from the chipotle peppers, fresh citrus-y slaw, and sweet spicy sauce- now that’s a recipe hot enough to warm up your summer.
Pulled Chicken Sliders with Blackberry Chipotle Sauce and Cilantro Lime Slaw
Serves 8 -10
8 chicken thighs – bone in skin removed

1 Tablespoon kosher salt
1 Tablespoon black pepper
1 Tablespoon brown sugar
2 teaspoons garlic powder
2 teaspoons onion powder
1 teaspoon smokey paprika
½ teaspoon ground cumin
1 Tablespoon chili powder

2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 large Vidalia onion- sliced
4 large cloves of garlic- skin removed
1 teaspoon hickory liquid smoke
1-2 chipotle peppers with adobo – chopped ( I used 2 but you may want to start with one)
2 Tablespoons brown sugar
½ cup apple cider vinegar
¾ cup vegetable stock
1 bay leaf
2 cups fresh ripe blackberries
1/2 cup natural blackberry fruit spread (or a low sugar blackberry preserve)
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 Tablespoon honey
• In a small bowl combine the salt, pepper, brown sugar, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, cumin, and chili powder- stir to combine
• Rub 8 Tablespoons of dry rub onto chicken- cover and refrigerate for 2-4 hours
• Heat a large heavy bottom pot over medium/high heat
• Add in 2 Tablespoons of oil
• Sear chicken on both sides about 2 minutes per side
• Remove chicken from pot and set aside
• Add in onions and scrape the bottom of the pan to release all the seasoning stuck to the bottom- cook for about 3- 4 minutes
• Add in garlic, liquid smoke, chipotle peppers and brown sugar- stir
• Add in cider vinegar, stock, and bay leaf
• Place chicken back into pan- bring to a boil then reduce heat to low and cover- braise for 1 hour
• Carefully remove chicken to a cutting board – with two forks remove chicken from the bone and shred by pulling the meat apart with the two forks- set aside
• Add blackberries and preserves to liquid and bring to a low simmer
• Pour liquid into a blender and puree until smooth
• Pass liquid through a fine mesh strainer to remove seeds and return to a clean sauce pot
• Add in salt and honey
• Simmer over low heat to thicken 5-10 minutes
• Add 2 cups of sauce to shredded chicken to moisten
• Reserve extra sauce for sliders

Cilantro Lime Slaw
4 cups cole slaw mixture or (3 cups shredded green cabbage, ¼ cup shredded carrot, ¼ cup shredded cabbage)
¼ cup cilantro- finely chopped
¼ cup fresh lime juice
¼ cup olive oil
¼ teaspoon black pepper
½ teaspoon kosher salt
• In a small bowl combine cole slaw ingredients – set aside
• In a small bowl whisk together lime juice, olive oil, salt/pepper
• Just before serving dress cole slaw with 3-4 Tablespoons of dressing- mix well

Milk Biscuits

4 cups all purpose flour
5 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoon salt
12 Tablespoons cold unsalted butter- cubed
1 ½ cups 2% or whole milk
• Preheat oven to 450 degrees- adjust rack to center of the oven
• In a large bowl combine flour, baking powder, and salt
• Add in butter and with your hands cut in the butter by pressing the butter and flour between your fingers flattening and smashing the butter into the flour until the mixture resembles coarse lumpy sand.
• Add in milk and stir slowly with a wooden spoon until just combined
• Turn mixture out onto a floured board and flatten to an even ½ inch thickness ( thin is better for sliders)
• Cut out biscuits and place onto a lined baking sheet
• Brush the tops with cream or milk
• Bake for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown
Assemble sliders by cutting biscuits in half , add meat, top with slaw and plenty of sauce.

17 comments… add one
  • Nicole July 7, 2010, 2:50 am

    You are awesome!!! That looks so good. so want to try this one!! It is beauty…Thank you so much for sharing. I will have to try out this Big Mista's BBQ when I am down in LA. Thanks for sharing.

  • gibknitty July 7, 2010, 11:32 am

    As always, I love the food pictures you take. Looks great!

  • Mary July 7, 2010, 2:30 pm

    Hopefully, second times a charm. First post seems to have been lost in cyberspace. Your sliders look wonderful and the rub and sauce sound out of this world good. It is a great post. I hope you are having a wonderful day. Blessings…Mary

  • 12th Man Training Table July 7, 2010, 5:21 pm

    I'm totally addicted to the carnitas salad over at Spilled Milk site, but we're in a bit of a rut with it. Might try yours this week with pork instead. Think I'd need to change anything in the chipotle sauce? Maybe just not so much of the sugars? Cheers!

  • foodexpressed.com July 8, 2010, 6:19 pm

    That looks phenomenal!

  • Nicole July 10, 2010, 2:11 am

    I wanted to ask you how you are able to get your pics so big on your site? Probably just a naive quesiton. You are a pro in my book so I was just a wondering.

  • Terri July 13, 2010, 3:54 pm

    My gosh, those look and sound so good.

  • Tess @ Moody Food Reviews July 14, 2010, 10:06 pm

    These look so good. It makes me want to try it. Love the photos!

  • lavienouveau July 16, 2010, 7:32 pm

    wow this looks amazing! adore your photos too 🙂

  • Amanda Stuckey July 17, 2010, 12:44 am

    I'd like a cup full of that sauce to suck down right about now! This looks so so delicious.

  • Joy July 20, 2010, 2:26 pm

    Wow, this is really beautiful! I wish I had this recipe when I went blackberry picking 🙂 Your pictures make my mouthwater, and your quote? I love!

    Hope you're having a wonderful week, you are so talented 🙂

  • Louilicious July 20, 2010, 9:48 pm

    I'm really enjoying your blog, so I'm linking to it.

    All the best,

  • Ravenous Couple July 28, 2010, 2:10 am

    awesome job making everything from scratch!

  • Carrie July 28, 2010, 3:54 pm

    Wow, what a gorgeous sandwich! It all sounds incredible, particularly the blackberry sauce.

  • Joanne July 29, 2010, 3:38 am

    I basically always crave barbecue. Even in the middle of winter. I crave barbecue. This pulled chicken looks just fantastic, especially with your homemade bbq sauce!

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