When Rob pushed his chair away from the table last night, he sighed contentedly and thanked me for making something new. I know my dinners have been sitting at a dead-end lately, but what I didn’t realize is that everyone else knew it, too. Yikes.
Maybe that’s why Ben’s asked to cook this week, or Jackson’s decided he’s taking over Saturday morning summer breakfasts on the weekends we’re at home. Clearly, our meals are in need of a little makeover, and fortunately the motivation I’ve been looking for has arrived in spades. I’m happy to say I foresee a week of noteworthy dinners ahead of us, and the first creation hit the table last night in the form of these Chicken Parmesan Sliders, a four-thumbs-up family-approved dinner everyone at the table – cheese-hater included - enjoyed.
To get started, I slowly simmered some homemade marinara sauce in the afternoon while I kept busy with the kids. This definitely isn’t a requirement to successfully making this meal, and if store-bought tomato sauce is more your thing, by all means, please feel free to use it. Just be sure to choose a flavourful sauce because you’ll use it twice in the dish: once as a flavour booster to the meat mixture, then again as a condiment on top of your cooked slider.
Speaking of sliders, I made mine out of ground chicken, and covered the outsides with a light coating of panko to add a touch of crispiness to the dish. Fresh mozzarella cheese and basil leaves round out the toppings and the result is an Italian-inspired bite-size burger that tastes a little like homemade pizza. How bad could that be?
Chicken Parm Sliders
Makes 8 sliders
- Olive oil
- ½ Spanish onion, finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 lb. ground chicken
- ¼ cup Parmesan cheese
- 1 cup marinara or tomato sauce
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon fresh ground pepper
- ½ cup panko breadcrumbs
- 8 slider buns, halved
- 8 slices fresh mozzarella cheese
- Fresh basil leaves
1. Warm one tablespoon of oil in a large skillet set over medium heat. Add onion, oregano and garlic and cook for 3-4 minutes, or until slightly softened. Transfer to a mixing bowl and allow to cool. Set the skillet aside.
2. Add the chicken, Parmesan, ½ cup marinara, salt and pepper to the bowl and mix well with your hands. Shape the meat mixture into 8 slider-sized patties.
3. Pour the panko onto a dinner plate and coat the sliders with the crumbs, lightly pressing them into the sides. Refrigerate sliders for 10 minutes.
4. While the meat is chilling, arrange the buns on a baking sheet and preheat the oven to broil.
5. Return the skillet to the stovetop and set over medium heat. Drizzle another tablespoon or two of oil into the pan, add the patties and cook for 10 minutes or until cooked through, turning once.
6. Place a patty on each roll and top with a teaspoon or two of the reserved marinara. Cover with a slice of cheese, add a little more marina and broil for 90 seconds or until the cheese melts. Garnish with basil leaves and top halves of buns.
Inspired by Cooking Light