August 24, 2012

Italian Chicken Burger

I sometimes feel sorry for chicken. It can get a really bad rap. The whole salmonella thing freaks people out. (Of course it does Holly, its salmonella!). I've eaten chicken in all forms- slightly undercooked, perfectly cooked and so overcooked that you could throw it against a wall and it would bounce back at you! Believe it our not, I'm going to state the obvious here, be prepared-when chicken is cooked perfectly, it is one of the nicest things going.   

It has got to be shown some love. Don't just bung some chicken breasts in the oven and forget about them for 2 hours! Realistically, a chicken breast will cook in 15-25 minutes. Chicken is one of those go- to meats,  because it cooks so quickly. Honestly though, it can get so boring.

I opened the fridge the other day and saw a whole chicken there,  'uggh, not again'. It was a lovely day outside, and the idea of whle roast chicken just wasn't doing it for me. So, I decided to make chicken burgers. Ok, I dissected the chicken into 8 pieces and from those 8 pieces I removed all the meat and blitzed it. OH DON'T GO-PLEASE! I'm not suggesting you do the same. Buy minced chicken from your butcher. I defo will next time!

And yes, there will be a next time for these burgers. They are beautiful. I feel the love for chicken again! They are incredibly juicy and packed full of flavour. Chicken takes on flavour really well because it is quite bland. Sautéing the red onion, pepper and garlic gives them a lovely sweet flavour and means you won't be biting into a raw piece of onion. These burgers have great texture. The soft chicken mixed with the chunks of vegetables makes  a party in your mouth. Speaking technically,  chop the onion and peppers into a 1/4 inch dice-so that they're not too small or too big. The parmesan adds a lovely cheesy saltiness. A delicate, refreshing almost ladylike air comes from the basil and lemon zest. Be sure to season the burgers really well. Salt and pepper, people, salt and pepper!

All I'm saying is that chicken-you can be the King/Queen of boring meats!


Holly x

Italian flavours: parmesan, basil and garlic.

Gently sauté the vegetables and allow them to cool before adding them to the minced chicken.

Once the onion mix is cooled-add to the minced chicken along with the basil, egg, parmesan and lemon zest.

Shape into 5 balls, lay on a baking sheet and flatten slightly to give a burger shape.

A little bit of pan frying before the burgers go into the oven gives them a lovely golden crust. Completely up to yourself. They'll still taste amazing if you just bake them!

Recipe, Makes 5 burgers

650g Minced Chicken
1 Red Onion
1 Red Pepper
1 Garlic Clove
Bunch Basil
50g Grated Parmesan
Grated Zest 1 lemon
1 Egg
Salt and Pepper
Olive Oil

Preheat oven to 200°C.
Chop the onion and pepper into a rough dice. 
Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a saucepan.
Add the onion, pepper, salt and pepper and gently sauté until the vegetables are slightly softened-about 5 minutes.
Grate the garlic over the onions and peppers and cook for 1 minute.
Turn off the heat and pour the onion mix onto a plate in an even layer so that it cools down. 
In the meantime, grate the zest from the lemon, grate the parmesan cheese and chop the basil.
Chop the basil by laying the leaves on top of each other, rolling them up and slicing through. This can be seen here.
Place the minced chicken in a bowl along with the cooled onion mixture, grated parmesan, chopped basil, lemon zest and egg. 
Mix everything really well.
Divide into 5 burgers, moulding them into balls and flattening them out slightly.
Lay them onto a baking sheet and bake at 200°C for 20-30 minutes. 
Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a frying pan, lay the burgers in and fry for 1-2 minutes on each side, before placing on a baking sheet and baking for 20-30 minutes. This gives them a lovely crisp golden crust.
The burgers should feel firm when touched. Cut in half to see if they're cooked if you're not sure. 

Burger Building Necessities

Burger Buns
Sliced Onion
Sliced Tomatoe

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