Spending time on the boat is one of my favorite things to do. Regardless of the season, time of day, activity planned (fishing, happy hour, cruising, etc.), I love the boat. And the age-old question that a girl like me wonders every time we're packing for a boat trip: what food should I bring? There is a part of my brain constantly churning when I cook that says "How can I make this smaller? More portable? Easy to eat in case a fish takes a line out and I need a hand to grab the reel?" There's no sense in bringing plates or utensils on the boat -- ain't nobody got time (or space) for that. Subs are usually the answer, but I simply don't like deli meat, and those big old things can get messy even when they're cut in half. Many times I just wind up eating crackers and palmetto cheese all day and no real meal.
Several of our friends decided to get together for a boat happy hour recently. A perfect Friday night with a goal of anchoring out in the Wando River, watching the sunset and seeing if we would be able to hear the Hootie and the Blowfish concert at the Family Circle Cup Stadium. If we could hear it, great! If we couldn't, we'd still have a perfect happy hour spot in the water. I came up with this recipe as an answer to my boat food problem -- these are perfect for a small group, they are surprisingly quick to make, and are perfect for wrapping up into cute little packages to be eaten at leisure on the boat.
Of course as I was in the middle of slicing these rolls, chicken already marinating, my dogs slunk in the kitchen and hid between me and the counter. And while I was asking them what's wrong, I heard it. The low rumble of thunder. And I looked out the window and it was a downpour. Although the rain eventually let up, we wound up scrapping the boat trip and had our friends over to the house. Same boat foods, same boat drinks, same boat fun. Just on solid ground. It turned out to be a great night, and the sliders were still perfectly suited to grab and snack on. I was thankful to enjoy company without the stress of an entire dinner, dishes and cleanup. Planning to keep this recipe in my back pocket for the next boat trip, and probably for the next tailgate party as well.
Buffalo Chicken Sliders
1 Red Tomato, sliced
1/4 Cup Ranch or Bleu Cheese Dressing
Preheat your grill to medium heat. Pound the chicken breasts between waxed paper until chicken is thin. Cut chicken into pieces that approximately fit on a Hawaiian roll. Place in buffalo sauce, turning pieces to coat them, and marinate them in the fridge while you prepare the rest. Slice slider buns in half horizontally, and assemble first onion, then tomato and then lettuce on the cut side of the top halves of the rolls. Each should get one ring of onion (cut smaller if the rings are too big), one tomato slice and one lettuce piece. Remove chicken from marinade and put on the grill. Cook about 6 minutes per side, or until chicken is cooked through. While chicken is cooking, spoon 1 teaspoon of ranch dressing onto the cut side of each bottom bun. Top with cooked chicken and place the top bun and vegetables on top of cooked chicken to make a small sandwich.
If transporting these sandwiches, wrap each sandwich in waxed paper and secure wrapping with a toothpick. Serve hot or cold.