Mango & Lime Rubbed Chicken Sliders with Tandoori Bacon Take Appetizers to New Heights
I’ve been using the fantastic rubs from The Smokey Carter for years, but the Spiced Mango & Lime Rub is my all-time favourite. I love the flavour and gentle heat it brings. In the past, I’ve used this rub on full-sized chicken burgers, both with and without breadcrumbs. When having guests over for a low ‘n’ slow cook, I decided to make chicken sliders as an appetizer. A last-minute idea was to try the Tandoori Masala Rub on some bacon – it worked perfectly, so onto the sliders it went. The sliders were rounded out with sliced Gem Lettuce, Smashed Avocado, and Pineapple & Nigella Seed Mayonnaise. I made the mayo by combining The Smokey Carter’s Spiced Pineapple & Nigella Seed Chutney with regular mayonnaise.
Preparation and the Cook
For most of my cooks, I like to marinate the meat to infuse flavour and help protect it when cooking over direct heat. I mixed the Mango & Lime Rub with olive oil using mini metal whisks, which makes combining rubs and spices super easy. The chicken marinated for 8 hours, but less time could work if you’re in a pinch.
In advance, I also whipped up the Pineapple & Nigella Seed Mayo and refrigerated it.
The bacon got a light coating of Tandoori Masala Rub and chilled in the fridge for a couple of hours before cooking.
For this cook, I used the Weber GBS grill setup with direct and indirect heat zones to easily manage the cooking. If food is cooking too fast over direct heat, you can move it to indirect heat. I took the meat out of the fridge 30 minutes before cooking to bring it to room temp. I always use charcoal – typically the Premium Restaurant Grade from Green Olive. Right before adding the chicken, I added wood chunks for extra smokiness. The chicken thighs started over indirect heat, then moved to direct heat around 50°C to get nice charring. While the chicken was on the Weber, I cooked the bacon on the Blackstone griddle, then kept it warm in a drawer. Once the chicken reached 75°C, I removed it from the grill, wrapped it in foil, and let rest for 5 minutes before assembling the sliders.
To assemble the sliders, I first added sliced gem lettuce to the mini brioche rolls. Next, I layered on the mango-lime chicken, bacon, a dollop of smashed avocado, and finally drizzled the pineapple and nigella seed mayo on top.
I generally love small plates of food. There is nothing better for me than grazing on a few smaller plates and sharing with good company. These Chicken Sliders certainly hit the mark. The flavour on the chicken from the Mango and Lime Rub was fantastic and was perfectly matched with the flavours from the Bacon, Avocado and Spiced Mango & Nigella Seed Mayo. Whilst these worked really well as sliders, I’m going to do these soon as a ‘full-sized’ version. It just worked.
Mango and Lime Chicken Sliders with Tandoori Masala Bacon
- 12 Mini-Brioche Rolls (0r similar)
- 500 g Chicken Thighs (skinless and de-boned)
- 2 tbsp Spiced Mango & Lime Rub
- 2 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 2 tbsp Tandoori Masala Rub
- 6 Slices Smoked Streaky Bacon
- 1 Pack Smashed Avocado
- 5 tbsp Spiced Pineapple & Nigella Seeds Chutney
- 4 tbsp Mayonaisse
- 1 Gem Lettuce (sliced)
- Start by lying the Chicken Thighs flat on a chopping board. Scrape any excess fat off and then slice each thigh into 3 pieces. This may vary depending on the size of your thighs. They need to be the approximate size to fit the mini buns. Add to a bowl and put to one side.
- In a separate bowl mix together the Mango & Lime Rub with the Olive Oil and mix well. Pour over the chicken and then mix well making sure all the chicken had a liberal covering. Place in the fridge – ideally for a minimum of 8 hours.
- Next mix together the Spiced Mango & Nigella Seed Chutney with the Mayonnaise. Cover with clingfilm and place in the fridge until you are ready to use.
- Lay the bacon out on a chopping board and sprinkle the Tandoori Masala over the bacon. Flip the bacon over and repeat. Again, place in the fridge until you are ready to cook (I put the bacon in a tupperware container).
- About 30 minutes before you are ready to cook take the chicken and bacon out of the fridge. Set your BBQ up with 2 zones. When the BBQ is up to temperature, place the chicken thighs on the indirect area of the BBQ. I added some wood chunks to the coals for some added smokiness.
- When the chicken hit 50℃, I moved the Chicken to the direct area of the BBQ to get some char. At this point, you should start to cook the bacon. I'm fortunate enough to have a few BBQ's so cooked the bacon on the Blackstone Griddle. If you only have one BBQ, I would just cook the bacon on the indirect area and once the chicken is done, finish it on the direct area of your BBQ.
- Keep an eye on your chicken when cooking it directly. Some char is good but you don't want it to burn. Keep checking and turning and moving back to the indirect area if needed. When your chicken has an internal temperature of 75℃ take it off the BBQ. Wrap it in foil for 5 minutes.
- Now start the process of plating everything up. Add some sliced Gem Lettuce to the base of the mini-bun. Next, add the Chicken Thigh, followed by the Tandoori Masala Bacon, a dollop of Smashed Avocado and a drizzle of the Pineapple and Nigella Seed Mayo. Add the top of the bun and serve! So so good!!!!