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Spicy Carrot-flecked Chicken Sliders

Buffalo Chicken Sliders
This is one of those times that the photos just don't do the dish justice. That's my fault. I've been so preoccupied this week. That always happens when I return from a trip—it takes me a few weeks or so just to get my brain and my surroundings back on a schedule. But despite the lousy pictures, these sliders are too tasty, too perfect for game day, and too simple not to share with you during our #10DaysofTailgate event.

Basically, they're just chicken meatballs. You could make them a bit smaller and crowd them onto a long crusty bun for a buffalo sub. Or just take one and center it on a slider bun for easy grab-n-go bites. Okay, I know it looks like even the slider bun is too big for these little guys, but once you actually give 'em a smash down to prepare them for a bite, the meatball spreads and fills up that extra space you see.

These could be made using your favorite hot sauce, but if you can get your hands on a bottle of Carrot Karma Hot Sauce by Intensity Academy, that is without a doubt, the way to go. Made with only a few natural ingredients, it is carrot-based, and therefore leaves beautiful orange flecks of sweet heat (there's also habanero in there) throughout the chicken and on the bun.

I did receive a free bottle of this hot sauce to play with while testing out tailgate recipes, but I'm sure you've seen me mention my affinity for all things Intensity Academy before...and you'll see it again.

These sliders (or the meatballs in some form) deserve a place on your game day menu this season!

Buffalo Chicken Sliders
Simple, flavor-packed chicken sliders that are perfect for game day.
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Spicy Carrot-flecked Chicken Sliders
by Heather Schmitt-Gonzalez
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Keywords: saute appetizer nut-free soy-free chicken game day tailgating American

Ingredients (16 sliders)
  • 6 ounces (12 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 3 tablespoons Carrot Karma hot sauce + more for finishing (or your favorite)
  • 2 pounds ground chicken breast
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons sea salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil + more as needed
  • 4 ounces blue cheese, cut into 8 slices (or Ranch dressing)
  • 16 slider buns or rolls, split and toasted
  • 1 rib celery, sliced paper-thin
Combine butter and hot sauce in a bowl.

Combine chicken, salt, pepper, and 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons of the butter hot sauce mixture. Form into 16 meatballs.

In a large nonstick skillet, heat oil over medium. Add meatballs; cook until browned all over and cooked through, ~10 minutes.

Sprinkle a few dashes of hot sauce onto each meatball (or put some into a bowl and dip each meatball). Top each one with a slice of blue cheese if using, and cover pan until cheese melts.
Brush remaining butter/hot sauce mixture onto the cut, toasted side of the buns. Build sliders with buns, celery, and meatballs (drizzle with some ranch if you're skipping the blue cheese).

     If you're not using Carrot Karma hot sauce, you could stir some very finely grated carrot into your butter and hot sauce mixture. It's a great way to sneak some nutrients into your typical "buffalo" slider.

-adapted from EveryDay with Rachael Ray, September 2014 issue
Buffalo Chicken Sliders and Carrot Karma Hot Sauce

#10DaysofTailgate 2014
This post is part of #10DaysofTailgate. As part of this ten day event, we will be giving away all sorts of prizes—14 to be exact! To see what we're giving away and enter to win one of the amazing prizes, click on over to my #10DaysofTailgate Kick-off (aka The Program) announcement. You will also see a list of participating bloggers and our awesome sponsors.

Keep up with the tailgating fun by following the #10DaysofTailgate hashtag, and find even more tailgating recipes and inspiration on the #10DaysofTailgate Pinterest board!

Today's Tailgate Menu

Our generous sponsors are providing the prizes free of charge. Participating bloggers may have received product related to these brands to use for #10DaysofTailgate. All opinions stated are their own.