Success! Greek-inspired Lemon Coriander Chicken Burgers
After a self (read Mom) imposed exile from blogging (thanks to preparing-for-writing-for-90-minutes-stuff-that-I'll-never-use-in-my-life, i.e, exams), I'm am now a free bird. Sort of. I am now an MBA with a job that starts in a month. Needless to say, knowing me, I jumped at this chance to ravage the microwave, to destroy the kitchen and wreak similar such havoc. Cook (believe me, I'm not exaggerating. When I cook the kitchen looks like a war zone).
And cook I did. Greek-inspired Lemon Coriander Chicken Burgers. They were FANTASTIC even if I say so myself. R sulked from across the city that he wants it. THAT good. The burger had that Greek lemony-garlicky-herby smell that makes one think of olives and Athens and a vacation. The chicken was very tender, juicy, falling to the touch and still soaked in all the goodness of the marinade. The buns could have been a bit better, given that this was crumbly. The garlic aioli was to die for, it served so well as a spread as well as a dip. The chicken was a bit under-seasoned, but that I owe to me not having an idea of how much salt to add. It all comes from practice (this I say to an ambitious myself and a very worried looking mother).
I now get Food First on my TV, and that means that instead of watching FRIENDS on repeat mode, I'm now listening to Gordon Ramsay teach how to pick, wash and saute mushrooms, Miguel Maestre make yummy tropical foods, Claire Robinson whip up gourmet stuff in less than 5 ingredients. In short, for this holiday, I'm all set. This recipe I've taken from Chris Saleem's Boho Kitchen. I have photos too (eeeeee! I have photos of MY cooking! Can you imagine?)
Greek-inspired Lemon Coriander Chicken Burgers
What You Need
2 chicken breasts (cut into 4 pieces each is usually good for 4 people)
Olive oil (for marinade and for frying)
7-8 cloves of garlic
A bunch of very fresh coriander (dhania re!)
Salt and pepper to taste
Juice of one lemon
Onion cut in rings. DO NOT chop. Man I've made that mistake.
Mayonnaise (garlic mayo if you can find it)
Burger buns (please insist on freshness, else like me you'll end up with a plate full of breadcrumbs and no bun when all you wanted to do was slice it)
How I Made It
(Kind of sounds like How I Met Your Mother. No, it's not that long drawn out).
1. First wash the chicken, cut it into smaller pieces if need be. Dry it with tissues. Then pound it gently with a mortar or a hammer to flatten it out, it'll cook way better and faster. Why dry it first is because if it has water in it, it will turn into keema when you pound it.
2. Make the marinade. Crush the garlic cloves, but don't mash them. Leave some whole bits. Take olive oil enough to soak at least 8 pieces of chicken, the lemon juice, salt and pepper, the garlic and the coriander. Before you put the chicken in, cut slits in them, it'll help absorb the lemony-garlicky taste better. Give it a nice maalish (stuff the cloves of garlic in the slits) and refrigerate for at least three hours. Just before sending it into the fridge it will look something like this:
The marinated chicken
3. The rest is really easy. Take oil in a pan and fry the chicken pieces. The oil will splutter like its life depended on it. Take care not to let the garlic burn, keep it moving in the pan. Fry it till the surface becomes nice and golden. Keep the fried chicken aside. Sneak a few bites :) The chicken should look something like this:
The gorgeous golden fried chicken
In the bottom left you can see some crumbs. Those are actually fried garlic and chicken bits. Lovely snack they make!
4. Slice the buns, spread the garlic mayo generously. A lot of flavour comes from this. It provides a base from which the taste of the chicken springboards. Plus the for a burger there is nothing called too much moisture. Put the chicken, as you see fit. Place the onion rings. If you want you can use lettuce too. Keep it in ice water for the crunch. Place the top half.
There you have it. A really delicious Greek flavoured burger. If you want, you can serve it without the bun too, like I did for one plate. If you want you can put it in a pita pocket or simple layer a roti with the garlic mayo and fold it. Add as many fresh vegetables as you want. Drizzle with a mix of olive oil, lemon juice and salt & pepper. This is what my first independent attempt looked like after it was done plating:
The special plate for my special grandmother
Try it and let me know how you liked it, and any changes you think can be made.