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It’s March and that means one thing (and it doesn’t have anything to do with tricky leprechaun or a cute bunny)….the college basketball tournament is here. It’s that time of year when those of us who enjoy basketball religiously fill out our brackets in hopes that our team will go all the way. Fortunately for me, my college alma mater has made it to the tournament the last several years. They haven’t gotten very far, but, at least they made it.
Whether or not you bracket is already busted, there is one this that I think we can all agree on. It’s not a game day watch party of any kind without food. When is comes to basketball tournament season, my family loves a little “friendly” competition. Well, it sometimes becomes a heated competition because my son takes his college hoops and his tournament bracket VERY seriously. Even if you are not a fan of basketball, there is always the food to look forward to. These Zesty Chicken Cheddar Sliders, made with Cheez-It Hot & Spicy Grooves, are the perfect way to get your watch party started.
Let’s me first start out by saying that I always have a box of Cheez-It Crackers in the pantry. They have just the right amount of cheesy crunch and are perfect for snacking. I decided to kick the heat level up at our watch party and tried these Cheez-It Hot & Spicy Grooves and Cheez-It Srirarcha Snack Mix. If you like your snacks a little spicy, try these!
Sliders are the perfect party food! They may be smaller in size but they are equally big on taste. To make these Zesty Chicken Cheddar Sliders, I crushed some of the Cheez-It Hot & Spicy Grooves in the food processor to use as the breading. I cut some chicken breasts into small pieces so they will fit perfectly on a slider bun. After dipping the chicken in flour, egg then the Cheez-It Hot & Spicy Grooves “crumbs”, I lined them on the sheet, sprayed them with non-stick cooking spray and baked them for about 20 minutes. I prefer baking over frying to cut down on some calories, but you can certainly deep fry these too. When the are finished baking, add a slice of sharp cheddar to each and pop back in the oven for five minutes.
These are pretty spicy so I topped the Zesty Chicken Sliders with some ranch dressing to balance out the heat. Sandwich the chicken between a nice slider roll and you have perfection! This recipe will definitely score with your family and guests. Your basketball team may not end up winning the tourney, but these Zesty Chicken Sliders will.
You can find Cheez-It Hot & Spicy Grooves in the cracker aisle at Target. I also purchased all the other ingredients I needed to make these sliders too. Right now, Target has a great deal going on. Large boxes of Cheez-It products are 3 for $8 until the 1st week of April. These products are generally found in the Signal the Seasons Savor Spot section or near the Check Lane.
- 3 boneless chicken breasts cut into 2 1/2 pieces
- 2 cups Cheez-It Hot & Spicy Grooves
- 1/2 cup flour
- 2 Eggs beaten
- 4 Sharp Cheddar Cheese Slices
- Prepared Ranch Dressing
- 6 Slider Buns
- Lettuce for garnish
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Cut chicken into six pieces and set aside.
- Add two cups of Cheez-It Hot & Spicy Grooves into the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until small crumbs form.
- In three separate dishes - Add beaten eggs to one, flour to another and the Cheez-It Hot & Spicy Grooves crumbs to the third.
- Dredge pieces into flour, then egg and then Cheez-It Hot & Spicy Grooves crumbs. Line breaded pieces on a baking sheet.
- Spray with non-stick cooking spray. Bake 20 minutes.
- Remove from oven and add one slice of cheddar cheese. Place chicken back in the oven and bake for 2 more minutes until cheese is melted.
- To assemble sliders, add one piece of chicken, a piece of lettuce and some ranch dressing.