Chicken & bacon burgers with basil-avocado mayo
I’ve had way too many crappy chicken burgers in my lifetime – dry and flavourless, it’s a crushing shame! Done well, it’s a mouthwatering meal. A good bun can really make a burger great, so if you can, go to a bakery or a specialty foodstore and get some nice ones. The bags of ‘hamburger buns’ the supermarket are loaded with sugar and have a funny crumbly texture – but proper ciabatta rolls from the supermarket are amazing! The chicken mixture might feel a bit wet when you’re shaping it and you’ll have just to handle the patties with a little care. Don’t heat the pan up as high as you would for a steak, as the mixture may burn.
Note – if you have a food processor, trying making your own chicken mince by pulsing chopped chicken thighs to a course mince texture (not a paste!). Or use a mincer. The thighs have superior flavour and texture to the breast meat.
500g boneless, skinless chicken thighs (or 500g chicken mince if you don’t have a food processor)
½ an onion, very finely chopped
1 spring onion, finely chopped
1 clove NZ garlic, crushed
1 free-range egg, lightly beaten
1/3 cup chopped fresh herbs – basil, parsley, rosemary, thyme, chives
½ cup breadcrumbs soaked in ¼ cup evaporated milk (or normal milk)
½ cup chopped pistachio nuts
1 tbsp olive oil
Zest of 1 lemon
½ cup good-quality mayonnaise (recipe here)
1 ripe avocado, chopped
1 packet fresh basil, leaves torn
Squeeze of lemon juice
Burger buns, fried bacon, lettuce, tomatoes, cucumber, red onion, tomato relish
Preheat the oven to 220c fan bake.
If you have a food processor or mincer, make your own chicken mince. Chop the chicken up into pieces then pulse in the food processor to a course mince – don’t let it turn into a paste. You could even add a few pieces of bacon in there.
Add the chicken to a large bowl with the remaining the patty ingredients, season well with salt and pepper and mix thoroughly with clean hands. Shape into 5-6 patties, pop the on a plate and cover with glad wrap. Leave in the fridge for 15 minutes or until you need them.
To make the mayo, combine the ingredients in a bowl with a squeeze of lemon juice and salt and pepper.
Heat a little olive oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat. Add 2 or 3 patties and cook (without turning) for about 5 minutes. If you try and turn them too early they might break apart as they are quite delicate, but they’ll firm up as they cook. Turn them over and cook for another 10 minutes or so or until the chicken is cooked through.
Halve the burger buns and spread with butter -you could add a few slices of cheese to one half if you’re that way inclined (I am). Bake in the oven for about 3 minutes to crisp the up and melt the cheese.
I pile all the ingredients on the table and let everyone make their own burgers – spread a base with a little relish, add salad ingredients, a patty, the mayo and bacon. Deeeeelish!
- To use fresh bread instead of dried breadcrumbs, tear a slice of toast bread into small pieces and add to a plate with ¼ cup of milk. Let it all soak up then squish into the meat mixture.