As the temperatures jump up like little kids on pogo sticks, people begin dusting off their webers and lugging home big bags of charcoal briquettes. A couple of weekends ago, I honestly thought a forest fire had engulfed my neighbor’s porch because their grill’s flames were so high! (Kind of glad they didn’t offer me a bite of the unsuspecting steak that couldn’t escape…)
Maybe the smell of their charcoal smoke sets my heart on fire. Or maybe I’m just jealous that I don’t have my own little hibachi to experiment with. Either way, I wanted to join in the warm weather grilling crazy that infected my entire neighborhood.
But until the FDA or Homeland Security deems it safe for me to play with [controlled] fire, I’m forced to stay inside and sulk amongst my pots and pans. With the tantalizing scent of juicy burgers and toasted buns wafting through my windows, I couldn’t take it any longer. I improvised with the oven and cooked my own mini “burgers”—complete with a red fireman’s hat on top. These little guys are prepared to fight my fires if I ever buy my own grill!
Mini Red-Hat Chicken Sliders
These can easily be made in advance. Toast the bread, cook the chicken, and cut all of the ingredients a few hours before, and assemble just before serving.
1 chicken breast
2 slices whole-wheat sandwich bread
2-3 large leaves of iceberg lettuce
9 cherry tomatoes
4-5 tbsp mustard
- Preheat the oven to 350°. Lightly coat both sides of the chicken breast with nonstick cooking spray, and season with salt and pepper. Bake for 20-25 min, or until no longer pink in the center. Using a doughnut hole cutter or something with a similar diameter, cut out 6 cylinders in the chicken breast. Slice each cylinder into thirds to end up with 18 circles of chicken.
- Lightly toast the bread until golden brown. Using the doughnut hole cutter, cut out 8-9 circles out of each slice of toast. Slice each round in half to end up with 16-18 circles.
- Cut 32-36 circles out of the lettuce with the doughnut hole cutter. Slice the cherry tomatoes in half.
- To assemble, place one lettuce circle on top of one bread circle. Lay a chicken circle on top of the lettuce, another lettuce circle on the chicken, ¼ tsp mustard on the lettuce, and another bread slice over the mustard. Place a cherry tomato half on top, and pin together with a toothpick. (Recap of order: bread, lettuce, chicken, lettuce, bread, tomato, toothpick.)