Chicken Burgers with Maple-chipotle Mayonnaise and Pickled Cucumber

Looking for a lighter take on a chicken burger? Tart London's brilliant recipe is the answer, complete with plenty of delicious garnishes.

A Love of Eating: Recipes from Tart London
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Buy on Amazon / Waterstones

Introduction

This burger feels fresh and different – and it’s on the healthy side as far as burgers go. You could make it even lighter by ditching the bun, keeping the onions raw and enjoying it as a salad – perfect in the summer straight off the barbecue. We do love the whole fun of a burger, though, using your hands to eat and generally making a bit of a mess! We like to mince our own meat, as it has a better texture and flavour. Do try to get hold of the chipotle in adobo sauce, too; it really takes the burger to a whole new level. You can buy it from big supermarkets or online.

Makes about 10

Ingredients

700g chicken (minced or not; use a mixture of breast and thigh)
10 spring onions, finely chopped
4 tbsp finely grated Parmesan
75g peeled and grated fresh ginger
4 cloves of garlic, crushed
large bunch of coriander, stalks and leaves chopped
1½ tbsp rice wine vinegar
3 tbsp toasted sesame oil
1½ tbsp soy sauce
2 limes, zest and juice
groundnut oil (or other flavourless oil), for frying
For the pickled cucumbers:
2 tbsp rice wine vinegar
1 tsp caster sugar
½ cucumber
1 tsp toasted sesame seeds
1 red chilli, sliced
For the maple-chipotle mayonnaise:
6 tbsp mayonnaise
5 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce (or 1 tsp paprika and 1 tsp harissa)
1 lime, zest and juice
1 tsp maple syrup and salt and pepper
To serve:
burger buns (we like to toast them a little)
2 Little Gem lettuces, leaves separated
2 plum tomatoes, cut into 1cm slices
2 red onions, cut into half moons and fried until crisp

Instructions

1. First make the pickled cucumber. Mix the vinegar and the sugar together until it dissolves. Using a vegetable peeler, shave the cucumber lengthways, working all the way round but stopping when you get to the seeds. Pour the vinegar mixture over the cucumber strips and toss; set aside. When you are ready to serve, lightly toast the sesame seeds and scatter over the cucumber along with the chilli.

2. Make the mayo: put the mayonnaise in a blender with the chipotle peppers, lime zest and juice and maple syrup and season.

3. If you are using minced chicken then simply place in a bowl. If not, roughly chop up, removing any gristle and pop into a food possessor. Pulse until it is just minced – you do not want to form a paste. Add the rest of the burger ingredients to the minced chicken, season with salt and pepper and combine. Using your hands, shape into about 10 burgers and place on a plate, then flatten slightly with your hand (you don’t want them too thick as they must cook fully all the way through, unlike traditional beef burgers).

4. Heat the oil in a large frying pan over a medium-high heat. Add the chicken burgers and cook, in batches, for 4 minutes each side – they should be well seared. Remove from the pan and drain on kitchen paper (we would always check one by cutting in half to make sure they are fully cooked – do not serve pink).

5. Serve in toasted buns with lettuce, tomatoes, crispy onions, a generous dollop of the smoky mayo and the pickled cucumber on the side.

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