Would you like to try my fried chicken burger slathered with creamy ZoOSh Peri Mayo?
Well, you ain’t gonna have it because this insanely delicious Peri-Peri Fried Chicken Burger is all mine! You hear me? M-I-N-E! If you want it, you will have to create your own to join in the burger fun for this year’s National Burger Day which is just around the corner, on 28th of May. I know everyone has his own opinion on what is considered the best burger. Double patties? With cheese? Bacon? Or a fried egg on top? Must have beetroot? The Works? With onion rings? Did I mention bacon? I can go on. I do love a good cheese burger with juicy beef patties smothered in melting cheese, but I simply can’t say no to a sexy fried chicken burger. The soft bun, the big hunk of golden fried chicken that is so crunchy on the outside yet juicy on the inside. Oh, deep breath, calm down my swelling sweat glands and my palpitating heart.
I have teamed up with ZoOSh to create my own ultimate fried chicken burger for this year National Burger Day. So here are my 5 top tips on how to make the best fried chicken burger:
If you are just frying up a piece of chicken in hot oil and serve, then forget it. The most important part of a good fried chicken is to get some flavours into the chicken meat. As we all know chicken breast is usually tasteless and bland, so a good marinade and a dry rub will solve this issue. Not only that, marinade will also help to tenderise the meat and retain its juiciness. For me, I usually marinate my chicken in a buttermilk and brine solution. If I can’t find buttermilk, I will just use cream with a squeeze of lemon. The acid of the lemon will help to break down the protein, and adding salt will also start giving the meat flavour.
Before deep frying, you need to coat the chicken in flour for that crunch. But why just flour when you can add some flavours to it? This is an important part to make a good tasty fried chicken. Of course you can go for a simple seasoning of just flour, salt and pepper. But I usually use Cajun spices seasoning for those Southern American flavours. Mm-hmm!
3. A Good Crunch
This is probably the most difficult part to tackle. A good piece of fried chicken should have that golden rippled batter that is earth shatteringly crunchy, crumbs showering down on every bite. A simple way to coat chicken in batter is by dipping it in an egg wash and then in the dry seasoning flour mixture. If you want a thicker coat of batter then just repeat the process one more time. But make sure you let the first coat set for at least 5 minutes, or else the coating will just come off the chicken. For this recipe, I also added Shredded Wheat biscuit crumbs in the mixture, to give the chicken that extra crunchiness and also a beautiful nutty flavour.
I think most people have forgotten about how important sauce is in a burger. You need sauce to drive the burger, or else it will be too dry to eat and a good burger wasted. Think about it, you will add ketchup to a sausage sizzle, sausage roll or a meat pie, then you should do the same to a burger. For a beef burger, I would go with BBQ sauce but I love a good mayonnaise to go with fried chicken. Since I am making a Southern American style fried chicken burger, the ZoOSh Peri Mayo works like a treat with that subtle spicy heat. I am actually also quite impressed with how thick and creamy the mayo is, it sure adds that extra decadent richness to the burger.
5. Balance with salad
A good burger should have balance in flavours, textures and even richness. It needs something clean and refreshing to cut through the richness of the deep fried chicken. Usually lettuce and tomatoes brings some refreshing relief to the richness of the burger, then you will have a pickled gherkin or a coleslaw because its acidity will cut through the richness. Or even chilli helps! Trust me, you simply don’t want to eat a burger that is so rich and feeling sick afterwards.
So here it is, my sexy, delicious, crunchy, Peri-Peri Fried Chicken Burger!
Peri-Peri Chicken Burger
2 chicken breasts halves
1 cup thickened (heavy) cream
Juice of a lemon
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup full cream milk
vegetable oil, for frying
4 burger buns
2 tomatoes, sliced
1 cos lettuce, stalk removed, rinsed and dried, torn into big chunks by hands
4 slices cheese of your choice
ZoOsh Peri Mayo
50g wheat biscuits
1 cup all-purpose plain flour
1 tablespoon Cajun seasoning
1 teaspoon salt
1. To make the seasoned flour, put crackers in ziplock bag and crush them with a rolling pin until they resemble coarse breadcrumbs. Alternatively, pulverise them in a food processor. Combine the crumbs with the remaining seasoned flour ingredients in a large shallow bowl, stir to mix well and set aside.
2. Cut each chicken breast in half crossways. If the breasts are too thick, butterfly them to about 1cm in thickness. Place chicken in a mixing bowl, add cream, lemon juice and salt; use your hands and rub chicken until well coated. Transfer chicken to a refrigerator and let it marinate for at least 1 hour but no more than 3 hours.
3. Remove chicken from refrigerator. Scrape the liquid off the chicken pieces back into the bowl, then set chicken pieces on a tray. Add eggs, milk to the leftover marinade, stir to mix well. With one hand, take a piece of chicken and dip it in the egg mixture, shake off excess liquid then place it in the seasoned flour. With the other dry hand, sprinkle more flour to cover the whole chicken, coat it thoroughly and shake off the excess flour, then place chicken on a clean tray. Repeat with the remaining chicken pieces. Leave them to rest for 5 minutes. If there are extra egg liquid mixture and seasoned flour left over, then you can double coat the chicken pieces by dipping them in egg wash and flour once more until all ingredients are used.
4. Fill a large saucepan with oil until 1/3 full and heat it up on medium-high heat. The oil is ready when a fleck of flour dropped in the pan sizzles. Once piece at a time, slowly lower the chicken into the hot oil, do not overcrowd the pan. Fry the chicken for 2 minutes then remove chicken and place on a wire rack above paper towel to catch the oil.
5. To assemble the burgers, cut buns in half horizontally, place handful of lettuce on the bases, then tomato slices, top with fried chicken, then a layer of cheese. Squirt a good dollop of ZoOSh Peri Mayo on top and sandwich with the bun tops.
You can find out more about ZoOsh product on their Facebook page. And if you want to try it, you can buy them at Coles and independent supermarkets.