Friday 21 May 2010

Chicken Burgers.....a first time try by Recipe Trawling

We have all cooked something for the first time with varied success. 

So what is important when you cook something new? 

- For me I think the key to cooking something tasty, first time out is to understand the cooking process involved.
- Also you need to think what is the most important part of this meal you are doing. What are the key ingredients?

Some years ago I use to always try and cook something new at least once a week. My catch phrase at the time to whomever I cooked for was: give me 3 ingredients – then I would go about creating a meal from these 3 ingredients. My logic was that the person I was cooking for would enjoy the meal regardless, as I was cooking exactly what they wanted to eat as in most cases they were giving me their favourite foods.

Once I figured what I wanted to cook with the ingredients I would then do something that I now call “Recipe Trawling”. What I do here is establish the key ingredients and then trawl thru 3-5 recipes from the sites I respect online to decide the other ingredients that will compliment the meal or recipe. (you can see these on the left toolbar under "Food Sites I Like") This way you also see how the same recipe is cooked but from 3-5 different perspectives to again understand what you want to do.

As a example to this whole concept, tonight I really wanted to cook Chicken Burgers from scratch, something I never did before....

So what I did here was to establish what you need to do to make a Chicken Burger
1. You need to mince chicken, so I researched this and learned it you should chop your chicken up into 1inch cubes and blitz. Checking all the time to ensure you do not over mince
2.The burger then follows the similar process as the beef burger with a egg yoke and breadcrumbs being used. This time though I decided to make fresh breadcrumbs and toast them in the oven to offer a fresher alternative than the beschuit biscuits I normally use
 3. So we not have the basis to the burger. Next I checked about 5 different recipes to see what other recipes would use in their burger. In the photo above I would simply scribble down the ingredients I liked and what I thought would work well. In the end I decided to put slightly sautéd red onions, spring onion, fresh coriander, cayenne pepper, seeded mustard.
4. I will top the burger with Mayo, iceberg lettuce, roasted red pepper, carmelised/balsamic onion and some avocado

I wanted to make 2 burgers but in fact this recipe is for 4 burgers.

2 Chicken Breasts
1 red onion
Clove of Garlic
Spring onion
Handful Coriander
1 Egg
5 slices of bread
Teaspoon of grained mustard
2 seeded burger buns

1 large white onion
Clove of Garlic
Red Pepper
Slice of avocado
Iceberg lettuce


Cooking utensils
Food processor
Chopping board
Sharp Knife
Oven dish for breadcrumbs
Large mixing bowl
2 Non-stick frying pans (burger & onions)

-    Blitz your bread into breadcrumbs – remove the crust
-    Finely chop your red onion & white onion
-    Use the middle third of your spring onion – just the green part – finely chop
-    Finely chop your Coriander

-    Chop your chicken into cubes and place in food processor.
-    Slice your red pepper in preparation for roasting.

 - Toast your breadcrumbs in a warm oven (200C) for 5 minutes or until golden brown – leave to cool
- Lightly sauté your red onion with some garlic – leave to cool

 - Combine your burger ingredients – Chicken, egg yoke, mustard, spring onion, sautéd onion & a dash of cayenne pepper
 - When combined now add your breadcrumbs – this should absorb most of the moisture.
- Make your burgers into 4 even sized balls (I made 2 very large burgers tonight)
- Heat a frying to a medium to high heat

- Place your burger ball down onto it, pushing down to make a even sized burger
- You want to cook at a high heat for the first 45 seconds each side
- Turn over to other side and seal for 45 seconds on this high heat – now turn the heat down and cook for a further 4 minutes per side…with chicken it is important that everything is cooked thru so keep pressing down on the burger and turn every minute until cooked….

Serve in a toasted Burger bun with your choice of garnish.

Tonight went for: 

Carmelised onions

Roasted Red Pepper
Iceberg Lettuce


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