Fried Chicken Sliders Recipe – Crispy, Flavorful Fried Chicken Thighs on Freshly Baked Biscuits with Pickle Slices and a Drizzle of Honey.
Versions of fried chicken existed long before the southern United States coined it as their own. From Italian pollo fritto to Vietnamese ga xao, cultures throughout the world have regional variations on this crispy, fried dish. It rose to popularity in America during the early 1800s, when African slaves did most of the cooking in Southern homes. Chicken was more expensive than other meats and was considered a treat in the African American community. Early on it was served as a fricassee – fried and braised in sauce. Frying without sauce became the method of choice during the Civil War. Cooking chicken this way made it less prone to spoilage, which meant that women could send it to soldiers fighting in the battlefield.
In her 1881 cookbook What Mrs. Fisher Knows About Old Southern Cooking, African American cook Abby Fisher shared an early American recipe for fried chicken. Her version involves flour, fat, and a finishing of thin gravy:
Cut the chicken up, separating every joint, and wash clean. Salt and pepper it, and roll into flour well. Have your fat very hot, and drop the pieces into it, and let them cook brown. The chicken is done when the fork passes easily into it. After the chicken is all cooked, leave a little of the hot fat in the skillet, then take a tablespoon of dry flour and brown it in t he fat, stirring it around, then pour water in and stir till the gravy is as thin as soup.
With the advent of the automobile, roadside diners and restaurants began appearing in droves, and fried chicken was on most menus. In the 1940s Harlan Sanders, better known as Colonel Sanders, developed his signature fried chicken recipe. By 1952, his popular Kentucky Fried Chicken franchise helped to make fried chicken a common treat in households across the country. Today, fried chicken is considered a quintessential dish in American Southern cuisine.
A few months ago my family and I ate at Yardbird Restaurant in Miami Beach, Florida. They served a mouthwatering Fried Chicken Slider appetizer that we absolutely loved. When I got home I whipped up my own version. I added thin dill pickle slices and a drizzle of honey to complement the salty, spicy, savory flavor. These irresistible Fried Chicken Sliders on buttery fresh-baked biscuits are the perfect portable bite, just right for a road trip through the American South. Try them with a mug of Blackberry Vanilla Bourbon Lemonade for the ultimate Southern lunch.
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 1 tbsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp baking soda
- 1 1/2 tsp sugar
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 6 tbsp salted butter, salted margarine OR buttery flavored shortening, frozen (use margarine or shortening for kosher)
- 1 cup milk OR unsweetened non-dairy milk (use non-dairy milk for kosher - almond, cashew and soy milk work well)
- 2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 2 tbsp additional salted butter OR margarine (use margarine for kosher)
Fried Chicken Ingredients
- 1 lb. boneless skinless chicken thighs (4 thighs)
- 1 cup self rising flour
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 2 eggs
- 1/3 cup hot sauce
- 2 tbsp water
- 1/4 tsp garlic powder
- 3 pints peanut oil
- Pickle slices and honey, for topping
You will also need
- Baking sheet, sifter, pastry cutter, large pot, candy thermometer
To Make Biscuits:
- For buttery biscuits, use butter and milk. For dairy-free biscuits (kosher for serving with meat), use margarine or shortening and dairy-free milk in the biscuit dough, then brush with margarine.
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, sugar and salt in a large bowl. If you have extra time, chill dry ingredients in the refrigerator for 20 minutes before proceeding. If not, that's ok-- cold dry ingredients provide a better result, but they are not a requirement here (although you should make sure that the butter or shortening is chilled or frozen before proceeding).
- Add frozen butter, margarine or shortening to the bowl cut into small pieces. Use a pastry cutter or fork to combine the dry ingredients with the fat until only small pieces remain and it looks like sand.
- In a separate bowl whisk together milk or non-dairy milk with lemon juice.
- Make a well in the dry ingredients. Stir gently while pouring in the milk mixture 1/3 cup at a time. You may not need all of the liquid. Stir until just slightly combined, the mixture will be sticky.
- Turn onto a lightly floured surface, dust the top with a bit of flour and then fold the dough over on itself 4-5 times. Resist the urge to knead the dough, it will result in dense biscuits. Form into a 1-inch thick disc, handling as little as possible. Use a 2-inch biscuit or cookie cutter and push straight down through the dough, then slightly twist to cut out as many biscuits as possible.
- Place biscuits on a greased baking sheet in two rows, making sure they just touch along the edges. This will help them rise uniformly. Gently reform the remaining dough and cut out one or two more biscuits. You should end up with 8 biscuits total. Gently press a small divot in the center of each biscuit with your thumb. Brush biscuits with the 2 T. melted butter or margarine. Bake in the 450 degree oven for 20 minutes or until fluffy and golden, rotating the pan halfway through baking. Best if eaten while still hot, fresh from the oven.
To Make Fried Chicken Thighs:
- In a medium bowl, beat the eggs, water, and hot sauce together. Reserve.
- In another medium bowl, combine the self-rising flour and black pepper.
- Trim excess fat from thighs and split in half. Sprinkle chicken pieces generously with salt, then lightly sprinkle with garlic powder.
- Dip seasoned chicken in hot sauce mixture, then coat with seasoned flour. Pour oil in a large sauce pot and heat to 350 using a candy thermometer. Carefully submerge the chicken pieces into the hot oil. The oil temp will begin to decrease so you'll need to increase the heat to keep it at a steady 350 degree temp. Fry the chicken until crispy and cooked through (it should begin to float). This will take 4-5 minutes.
- Serve hot fried chicken thighs on fresh split biscuits. Top with pickle slices and drizzle with honey.
Other Great Recipe Ideas
In Jennie’s Kitchen: Pickled Jalapeno Watermelon Rind
Recipe Girl: Strawberry Brown Butter Shortcake
Edge, John T. (2004). Fried Chicken: An American Story. G. P. Putnam’s Sons, New York, NY.
McDaniel, Rick. An Irresistible History of Southern Food: Four Centuries of Black-eyed Peas, Collard Greens & Whole Hog Barbecue. Charleston, SC: History, 2011.