Topped with a tangy Red Cabbage Slaw, these Instant Pot BBQ Chicken Sliders are fun enough for a Game Day bash, but easy enough to enjoy on a hurried weeknight.
Today’s article is the next installment of the KK Cookbook Club. Each month I’ll be sharing several recipes from a cookbook with my own personal notes and tweaks. For January, I am featuring Melissa Clark’s Dinner in an Instant. Please note that Amazon links within this article are affiliate links that help support Kitchen Konfidence!
The base of this recipe is a homemade BBQ sauce prepared with ketchup, dark brown sugar, chipotle chiles, molasses, Worcestershire sauce, apple cider vinegar, garlic, paprika, and dried mustard. The sauce is simmered for a bit in an Instant Pot before chicken thighs are stirred in. Everything gets cooked for just 15 minutes on high pressure! The resulting BBQ chicken is smoky and juicy with a little heat from the chipotle chiles.
To turn this BBQ chicken into a full meal, I decided to stack it up in a slider along with a crunchy, vinegar-based slaw. Made with shredded red cabbage and sliced green onions, the slaw comes together while the chicken is cooking in the Instant Pot. Continue reading for the recipe.
I would highly recommend using chicken thighs for this recipe, because they will stay juicy and tender as they cook in the Instant Pot. I tried this once with boneless, skinless chicken breasts, and it just wasn’t as good!
Making a cabbage slaw at home is really simple. My quick version starts with red wine vinegar, sugar
If you want to make these sliders for a party, I would recommend cooking the BBQ chicken on the day of the event, and putting the slaw together just before guests arrive. Make up a big tray of sliders and serve them alongside a bucket of ice cold beers.
Instant Pot BBQ Chicken Sliders with Red Cabbage Slaw
Adapted from Melissa Clark’s Dinner in an Instant.
For the chicken:
- 2 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs
- Kosher salt
- 1/2 cup ketchup
- 1 tablespoon packed dark brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon chopped chipotle chiles in adobo sauce
- 2 teaspoons molasses
- 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
- 1 1/2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
- 2 garlic cloves, finely grated
- 3/4 teaspoon hot smoked paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon dried mustard
For the slaw:
- 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 3 green onions, thinly sliced
- 1 small head of red cabbage (about 1 pound, shredded)
- Freshly ground black pepper
Toasted slider buns, for serving
Season both sides of the chicken thighs with salt and set aside while you make the sauce.
Set the Instant Pot to saute on high, then add ketchup, brown sugar, chipotle chiles, molasses, Worcestershire sauce, apple cider vinegar, garlic, paprika, pepper and dried mustard. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the mixture darkens and thickens to a paste (4 to 5 minutes). Stir in the chicken, cover and cook on high pressure for 15 minutes. Let pressure release naturally.
While the chicken is cooking, prepare the slaw. Add vinegar, sugar and salt to a large bowl, whisking to combine. Add green onions and cabbage to the bowl, tossing to coat in the vinegar. Let sit at room temperature until you are ready serve, tossing occasionally. Season to taste with more salt and freshly ground pepper right before serving.
Using tongs, transfer the cooked chicken to a bowl, leaving any liquids in the Instant Pot. Return the Instant Pot to saute on high, and reduce the remaining liquids to a thick sauce (like the texture of a BBQ sauce). This should take 5 to 10 minutes. While the sauce is reducing, shred the chicken. Toss the chicken with some of the BBQ sauce. It should be evenly dressed in the sauce, but not swimming in it. Season to taste with salt. Serve remaining sauce on the side.
To serve, pile shredded chicken on a slider bun, then top with slaw.
If you’d like to participate in this month’s KK Cookbook Club, pick up a copy of Dinner in an Instant, make a recipe for the book and share your experience with the hashtags #KitchenKonfidence #KKBookClub.10