When I’ve bought an unusual (aka expensive) ingredient or piece of kitchen kit, I make it a bit of a mission to find as many uses for it as possible, to justify the expenditure to myself.
I suspect that won’t be news to regular readers – whether it’s a friand tin, freeze dried fruit powders or the Instant Pot, you get the picture; I’m all about getting the most bang for my buck! With my Chicken & Bacon Burger with Ranch Slaw I get to make use of not one but two gadgets. Plus they are utterly delicious! This isn’t a sponsored post by the way, just me waffling on about the gadgets I love to use in my own kitchen.
You can’t buy chicken mince in the UK easily – perhaps your local butcher will mince it for you but it’s certainly not available in the supermarkets. But minced chicken thigh meat is so flavourful and has enough fat that you can use it in similar ways to beef, lamb or pork mince which are well marbled with fat so won’t dry out.
My Chicken & Pea Lasagne is a case in point. When my friend gave me a mincing attachment for my KitchenAid stand mixer, chicken mince was my first project, to feed Hungry Hubby’s chicken addiction! To up the ante flavourwise even further in my own homemade chicken burgers, I mince in some smoked back bacon which serves to season the meat thanks to it’s inherent saltiness as well as lending that sweet smokiness too. Honestly, what is the point of unsmoked bacon? These burgers are mouthwateringly succulent and delicious.
[clickToTweet tweet=”Make use of your mincer and make these Chicken & Bacon Burgers today!” quote=”Make use of your mincer and make these Chicken & Bacon Burgers today!”]
As with making burgers with minced beef, you must cook them thoroughly to ensure all the bacteria are killed, as the act of mincing (whether done by the butcher or your own mincer) means that the bacteria normally found only on the surface of the meat when it is in steak or joint form, gets mixed throughout the patty. Read more about cooking burgers safely on the Food Standards Agency website here. Enter my second useful piece of kitchen kit – the Thermapen thermometer.
It’s simply the best thermometer I’ve ever had, and believe me, I have tried a lot of them at various price points. As you will see in the FSA article, safe cooking temperatures are dependent on how long that temp is maintained for – I play it safe with burgers and cook them to the higher internal reading of 75˚C which needs to display for a minimum of 30 seconds to have effectively killed the bacteria within.
Take them off the heat, insert the probe into the centre and the Thermapen reads an accurate temp within 3 seconds. This takes any worry about cooking meat safely away, especially when using darker and pinker/redder meats that retain that colour, even when fully cooked.
Plus, the Thermapen has an antimicrobial coating and is very easy to clean when finished. Meaning you are safe to use if for future fudge, meringue buttercreams and macaron making! Now let’s move on to the delicious toppings to finish your chicken & bacon burger with…
Once your burger is sizzling away in the pan, your trendy brioche bun is toasted to perfection and waiting to be filled, slice up a ripe avocado and spritz with a little lime juice and sea salt. Then comes the crowning glory – a great big dollop of Ranch Slaw. Ranch dressing is buttermilk with chives, dill, garlic and onion powder most commonly but the spice mix itself isn’t readily available in the UK so I make my own.
It’s wonderful in dressings, like in this slaw but do try my Ranch Chicken Nuggets and Slow Cooker Buffalo Chicken once you’ve taken the trouble to make a jar yourself. It’s impossible to make just even slaw for just two servings but it will keep in the fridge for up to 48 hours.
A top tip is to store your leftover slaw in a salad spinner in the fridge – it stops it getting soggy as the shredded veg will give off a little liquid and the excess dressing can drip off. It stays crunchy for longer that way so none of it should go to waste.
A juicy and supremely tasty burger made from hand minced chicken thigh fillets and smoked bacon. Served in a brioche bun with ranch slaw and sliced avocado.
- 3 medium-large skinless, boneless chicken thighs
- 2 slices smoked bacon
- 1 tsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp mayonnaise
- 4 tbsp buttermilk
- 1 tsp ranch seasoning
- 1 small carrot, sliced into matchsticks
- 1 rib of celery, finely sliced
- 1/2 head white cabbage from a head of cabbage which weighs around 500-600g
- 2 spring onions, finely sliced
- 1/2 avocado, finely sliced and spritzed with lime juice
- 2 brioche buns
Start by preparing the meat. Cut the chicken and bacon into 1-2 inch cubes/slices and seasoning liberally with black pepper before feeding through a mincer with a coarse plate fitted. Form into two patties no more than 1.5cm thick and chill until needed. Can be done up to 24 hours in advance (cover with cling film and chill).
Next prepare the slaw - simply whisk the mayo, buttermilk and ranch seasoning together then add the prepared veg, tossing well. There is more than you will need to top the burgers but it can be kept in the fridge for upto 48 hours. Slice your avocado.
Heat a frying pan to medium high and add the oil. Place the patties into the oil and cook for 4-5 minutes on the first side without moving it to allow it to brown evenly and some of the fat to render out. Flip over and cook for another 4-5 minutes. Take off the heat and check the temperature registers 75˚C. If not, repeat giving 4 minutes cooking on medium-high on each side. Rest the meat for a few minutes before assembling the burger.
Split the brioche buns and toast under the grill or in a griddle pan to char the cut surface and dry them out slightly, to prevent a soggy bun. Layer up a good mound of slaw, a burger, sliced avocado and top with the second half of the bun.
If you prefer, you can sear the burgers in the saucepan on high heat for 2-3 minutes a side to get good colour then transfer to a preheated oven at 180˚C for 15-20 minutes until cooked through. I always check with a thermometer that internal temperature of the burgers are 75˚C to ensure they are safely cooked. Don't make them any thicker than 1.5cm or the middle won't cook through.
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