Chicken Salad Sliders with Pickled Beet Relish

We had a baby shower yesterday for my cousin and her baby girl Ava, it was so much fun!  I love it when all of the girls in our family are together, it doesn't happen often enough, so yesterday, I was in heaven.  I hung back from the crowd for a minute and watched the buzz happening around me.  It really was like a bunch a bees buzzing away, everyone was talking and laughing and really enjoying each other...this is family and I love it!!!

So the big question is what does a farmgal serve to a big group of gorgeous girls having a great time?  It's easy...farmgal man food here!!!  Everything was light and pretty and darn delicious!  We served fruit skewers, wild rice salad, chicken salad sliders, and gigantic ultimate chocolate brownies (yeah...I ate a whole brownie...).  Mmmm...I could go back in time and eat it all again...

It was all really easy to make, I think that the timing for cooking and preparation for a party is the most difficult thing.  Staggering the work, so that you feel like you haven't been worked to the bone is tricky, but if you can manage it, you end up having a great time preparing and later at the party.  No one wants to work like a dog and then be too tired to have any fun.  

I really enjoyed making these little sliders.  The whole idea was inspired by chef Tommy Nyugen from Taskashi and his little chai pork sliders with pickled diakon (ohhhh....soooo....goood).  I had to make something a little more girlie, so I opted for chicken salad.  Don't skip the pickled beets, they take the sandwich from ordinary to extraordinary by adding a little sweet and tang, plus beets are in season, SCORE!  I used chioggia beets because of their mild and super sweet flavors, plus they add some amazing texture with the striped colors.  You could easily use golden beets or even diakon, but I like the sweetness of the beets.

Backyard Farmgals

24 mini croissant rolls or mini brioche rolls, sliced lengthwise 

4 large chicken breasts, bone in
1 cup chicken stock
1 Tbsp salt
2 tsp parsley flakes
2 cloves garlic
1 Tbsp dehydrated onion
1/2 cup of mayonnaise
1/2 cup freshly shredded parmesan
5 green onions, thinly sliced
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
salt to taste
black pepper to taste

1 cup fresh beet greens, thinly sliced

3 medium sized chioggia or golden beets, julienned (use a mandolin with the smallest julienne slicer)

2 Tbsp honey (local if you have it!)
White wine vinegar to cover (about 1/2 cup)

In a large pot, add chicken breast, chicken stock, salt, parsley, garlic, onion, and cover with water.  Bring to a simmer and cook until the chicken is done.  (I did mine in the pressure cooker - chicken, spices and 1 cup of stock -no additional water- on high pressure for 12 minutes and natural pressure release for 20 minutes).  Remove chicken from liquid and allow to cool.  Shred with a fork and place in a large bowl.  

In a small glass bowl, mix honey and vinegar until honey is dissolved.  Add beets, stir.  Cover and place in refrigerator until you are ready to assemble the sliders. 

To the chicken, add mayonnaise, parmesan, onions, cranberries and pumpkin seeds.  Mix until it is well combined, being careful to not break up the chicken.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Chill. 

To Assemble:  Take a roll, place a few shreds of beet greens on the bottom,  top with a spoonful of chicken salad and then place a few of the shredded beets on top of the salad.  I don't press the top of the sandwich down, I love the colors all peeking out, so I just let it rest at an angle.  Arrange on a platter and then dig in.  You will love the combination of the sweet and tangy beets with the savory chicken and the crunch of the pumpkin seeds.  I love all of the fall flavors - pumpkin seeds, cranberries and beets, plus it's colorful and fun!  Perfect Farmgal food!!!


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