Hearty Chicken Burgers

Medium, Serves 4, Prep time: 50 mins.

If you, like me, have grown tired of frozen-food patties wedged between lifeless pieces of bread, and can get your hands on some boneless chicken, this is our collective salvation. Lo and behold, the classic (yet oddly underrated) chicken burger, made with love and a tiny bit of grease, from scratch.


Ingredients

  1. Chicken breasts, skinless, 4 nos.
  2. Red onions*, medium, 1 no.
  3. Garlic, 4 cloves
  4. Salt, 2 tsp
  5. Ground black pepper, 1 tsp
  6. Olive oil, 2 tbsp
  7. Iceberg lettuce, 4 leaves
  8. Tomatoes, large, 2 nos.
  9. Red onions, large, 1 no.
  10. Cheese slices, 4 nos.
  11. Aioli**, 100 gms
  12. Butter, 2 tbsp.
  13. Burger buns, 4 nos.

*Red onions can be substituted with green or brown onions.

** If you do not have some lying around, don’t fret, we have included an easy-to-follow recipe for the same, below.


Directions

  1. Cut the chicken breasts into approximately 1-inch pieces as uniformly as you can, to ensure an even grind. Lay them on a flat plate in a single layer and stick it into the freezer along with the grinder jar for 30 minutes or until the meat is rigid on the edges, but still pliable in the middle.

2. Finely chop the onions and mince the peeled garlic cloves for the burger patties. Once the chicken breast chunks have partially frozen, place them in the cold grinder jar and pulse the meat until ground, about 12 times for half a batch*. Make sure not to over-grind. Use your fingers to go through the meat and pick out any large chunks that the blade missed. Re-grind them along with the second batch.

* We divided our chicken chunks into two batches to prevent overfilling.

3. In a large bowl, combine the ground chicken, chopped onions, minced garlic, salt and pepper. Once combined, divide the mixture into 4 equal sized balls. Flatten each ball into a ~2 cm thick patty. Create a slight depression in the centre of each patty with your thumb so they cook evenly.

4. For the homemade aioli, smash 3 medium-sized garlic cloves. Add 1 tbsp of freshly squeezed lemon juice to the garlic, and set aside for 10 minutes. In a medium bowl, combine 1 egg yolk with 1 tsp salt, 1 tsp pepper powder and 1 tsp vinegar. In a separate beaker, pour 100 ml of olive oil. Using a spoon, add oil drop by drop into the egg yolk mixture, whisking it in simultaneously to form an emulsion. On reaching the 50 ml mark, strain the garlic infused lemon juice into the blended mixture. Continue pouring in the rest of the oil (you can go faster now) and keep whisking to form a stable emulsion. Finish off with 1 tsp of vinegar or lemon juice. This adds a little bit of tang to the aioli, and gives it a lighter, bleached colour. Cover, and place it in the refrigerator so it thickens.

5. Here comes the trickiest part of this recipe – cooking the patties. (But don’t worry, we’ve got you covered with this precise and simple step). Heat 1/2 tbsp oil in a skillet over a medium flame, add the burger patties and cook on one side (depressed side facing up) for 4 minutes till you get a beautiful brown crust. Flip and cook on the other side for another 3 minutes. Place a slice of cheese on top of the patty and cover the skillet for about 1 minute, till the cheese has melted.

6. Butter up your burger buns of choice and lightly toast them on a hot skillet.

7. When dealing with large quantities of ingredients, it helps to set up a “burger-assembly” station, like so:

8. The last, and our favourite step – assembling the burgers. On the lower bun, spread a generous amount of our home-style aioli. On it, place a leaf of lettuce, then our flavoursome patty, and thin slices of onion and tomato. Cover with the top bun, or leave deconstructed.

And there you have it – hearty and beautiful chicken burgers, ready for the breakfast table.

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