Chicken burgers. Marinate them?

Discussion in 'Food & Cooking' started by paxi, May 2, 2013.

  1. paxi

    paxi

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    Hi Folks!

    As i've posted here before, i run a small burger restaurant and at the moment we're only serving beef. Based on customers demand, we're forced to expand our menu to include chicken. Now we do a pretty mean beef burger (fresh premium meat, grind it ourselves, freshly ground quality spices etc) and would want the chicken to match our beef quality.

    However, i've been experimenting with chicken for the past  few days, but i haven't had any satisfactory results. The idea, that i have for chicken is, that i'll take boneless breasts or thighs, butterfly cut them or cut them into thin strips,  marinate/season them, pre cook them in a pot so it reaches a safe internal temprature, take them off the pot, let them cool and store in fridge, and when as the orders come i take a standard amount of meat and throw it on the grill, just so that it heats up.

    Here is how i'm marinating them currently:

    1-2 Tablespoon Pepper

    4 Tablespoon Yoghurt

    4 Tablespoon Balsamic Vinegar

    1 Teaspoon salt

    1 tablespoon crushed garlic

    All this goes on 1 KG of chicken. They're left in the fridge for a 2-3 hours for marination and are then put in the stove and cooked on low heat for 30 minutes, till the water seperates and evaporates. Once cool, they're then put in the fridge and used as required.

    Now the problem with this method is:

    1) The flavour of the chicken isn't blending with the burgers.

    2) The chicken doesn't look like chicken! Perhaps because of all the pepper or the blackening from the grill. It gets all greyish browning black. Does not look good!

    I would appreciate if you've any suggestion to improve my current recipe or if you have other recipe for chicken burgers that does not involve frying chicken(and utilizes chicken strips/chunks)
     
  2. koukouvagia

    koukouvagia

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    If you're pre-cooking and then reheating the chicken burgers you're better off using only dark meat, breast meat will dry out and it's tasteless anyway.

    It sounds like your chicken burger doesn't look like a burger because it's not a burger, if I order a chicken burger I expect it to be a ground patty of meat just like a beef burger.  If I ask for a chicken sandwich I expect a whole breast.  Where did you come up with the idea of strips?  It doesn't sound very good. 

    Don't think of it as being "forced" to expand, this is a good thing.  If people are liking what you're doing with burgers they're hoping to like what you're doing with chicken.  Having chicken on the menu will make more people walk through the door, provided the chicken burger is good. 

    Between you and me I don't eat chicken burgers, or turkey burgers if they're ground up - I like beef burgers.  But very often at good burger places (and there are many in my area) I'll order a chicken burger because it's a whole piece of meat, not ground.  Usually they offer both grilled and crispy, I usually opt for grilled. 

    Anyway, I think the balsamic vinegar is what's making your chicken black.
     
  3. paxi

    paxi

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    Thanks! Yep it could be the balsamic vinegar.
    Well, the only reason i'm going ahead with the strips is that there's just too much wastage (trimmings etc) if i go ahead with a full breast. The other options is then just ground chicken, which i also don't want to do.

    Should i use some other sort of vinegar other than balsamic? cut down on the black pepper?
     
  4. j20832

    j20832

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    Why not use white balsamic and white pepper?
     
  5. ordo

    ordo

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    What kind of fat are you using in your chicken burgers? 
     
  6. paxi

    paxi

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    Not using any fat on the chicken. It's just the meat with everything else trimmed away. White pepper and white balsamic vinegar sounds like a good suggestion. Will experiment with them. 
     
  7. dc sunshine

    dc sunshine

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    Paxi - what don't you like about chicken burgers?  Just curious...
     
  8. johnny santos

    johnny santos

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    When I'm doing any burgers I only add the salt just before the patty goes to the grill. Don't know if it would make a difference or if the salt would not go deep enough into the chicken.
     
  9. paxi

    paxi

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    About the chicken burgers that i'm making or just generally?

    Well to put it short, the part of the world where i'm from, beef isn't mass produced so you get quality organic grass fed stuff pretty cheap. Chicken on the other hand is the same mass produced poultry. Sadly people here have a preferences for chicken over red meat (they even have chicken steaks here!!) , so i guess that fuels my bias :)
     
  10. paxi

    paxi

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    Hmmm ... that definitely matters when it comes to beef. Not sure about chicken.
     
  11. johnny santos

    johnny santos

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    I would go with what someone posted earlier chicken burger seems like a good idea but the expectation and the idea of burger is already in people's mind and it does not taste like chicken hehehe
     
  12. ordo

    ordo

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    paxi: Problem is that the taste is usually in the fat, specially with chicken. I will make a try this weekend. Deep fry chicken skin until crispy, process in a mortar and make a chicken burger (raw ground meat) with that skin and some bacon. It sounds good in my mind. Le's see in my mouth.
     
    Last edited: May 3, 2013
  13. paxi

    paxi

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    Woah! That does sound epic. Perhaps, going with organic/free range chicken may aid the cause?

    I've been experimenting with fresh strips with the following spice rub:

    http://bbqpitboys.com/recipes/american-brown-sugar-dry-rub

    I just need to tailor it a bit, adjust the heat, and i'll be good to go. Have scrapped the reheating bit since that does make the meat really dry.
     
  14. ordo

    ordo

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    Here you are. My first ever chicken burger.

    Ground thigh and chicken leg meat. Chopped bacon and lard. I reserved the skin.


    The skin oven roasted to crispy.


    Fried some garlic cloves.


    Crispy skin and fried cloves.


    Everything goes into a mortar: the skin, the garlic, salt, black pepper, cayenne pepper, drops of lemon juice. Make a paste.


    Mix raw meat, raw bacon and paste into a burger.


    I pan grilled the burger. No need of additional fats. The bacon and lard made the trick. Mayo on the left, a little butter on top of the burger.


    Result? Try it and tell me.
     
    Last edited: May 6, 2013