Friday, the traditional night of the week when our ancestors would go hunting for burgers, chips and beers and who am I to argue with an ancestral urge? I’ve seen some nasty burgers in my day but they don’t need to be bad for you. I mean, think about it, in its most basic form we’re talking about a big, juicy chargrilled slab of meat packed in some veggies what’s not to love about that?
These cheeky guys are one of my favourite flavours; a little bit smoky, a little bit spicy and a whole lotta de-freakin-licious. Topped with fresh, fruity mango and avocado salsa this meal took me right to the tropics, which is about as close as I’m going to get right now according to my husband, something about money not growing on trees, I dunno, I stopped listening at no…. good thing the burgers were shit hot.
Chicken & Chorizo Patties
I like to mix up the breast and thigh in this recipe (cue: grubby tit and leg man jokes). Thigh meat is tastier so it adds extra flavour but also, as it’s slightly fattier than breast it keeps the patties nice and moist, because no one likes dry burgers.
Get this stuff
1 chicken breast
1 chicken thigh
1 chorizo sausage
1 small finely chopped red onion
1 chopped garlic clove or more if you like it and you’ve got no one to pash tonight
A decent pinch of smoked paprika
Salt & pepper to taste
Do this with it
Chop the chicken and chorizo into chunks and toss it in the food processor with the onion, garlic and seasonings. Unless you want burgers the consistency of cat food, you want to pulse it rather than pulverise the shit out of it so you end up with a nice chunky mince. Throw it in a bowl and now you’re going to get personal with this chicken. This is not the time to be coy, get your hands in there and give it a good deep tissue massage, show that chicken some love and get all those succulent flavours all mixed up. Divide the mixture up into about 4 patties, depending on how fat you like your burgers. I rolled mine in a very, VERY light dusting of coconut flour just to stop them sticking to everything but you need to be careful with coconut flour, it’s a thirsty bastard and will suck all the juice out if you give it a chance.
To cook, heat a dollop of your cooking oil of choice in a fry pan, my preference is coconut because I love its mild creamy flavour and it adds a slightly sweet tropical note to compliment the flavour of the salsa. I find chicken is a fickle bastard and can has a tendency to dry out if you’re not careful so, to combat that, I like to turn the heat to the low side of medium, splash a little bit of water in the bottom of the pan and put the lid on so you get a bit of steam going on and help keep all those flavoursome juices inside the burgers where they belong.
Avocado & Mango Salsa
Get this stuff
1 small red onion
1 small garlic clove
About half a cup or so of coriander and about quarter of a cup of mint
1 small chilli or more if you like it hot
Juice from 1 lime
Do this with it
Now here’s the really tricky bit – chop it all finely and toss it around in bowl. Taste and then feel free to adjust the flavours to suit your palate. Job done.
To serve I ditched the traditional burger bun and traded it for big fat swiss mushrooms that I baked in the oven for about 20 minutes or so until they were juicy but still on the firm side. You want them to still hold their shape and not cooked to the point where they’re just a leaking brown mess. I also threw a few big chunks of red capsicum in the oven at the same time to layer into the burgers and a kumara (or sweet potato for the non-kiwis) chopped into chips to cook at the same time. When it’s all roasted and ready to go stack it on up – mushroom, capsicum, burger and a big dollop of salsa on top, salad and chips on the side.
Now stand back, survey your handiwork and ask yourself if there’s a burger joint in town that could do a better job than you? I’m picking the answer will be no, so why bother wasting your cash on half arsed burgers anymore when you can make these at home.