So, one of the things that gets more focus these days is food. Breakfast, lunch, dinner, we all know the drill. Nowadays though, the act of cooking provides some escape from the relentless sameness of every day. I did a chicken burger the other day, and posted it on Instagram – you can see the pics here.

I don’t think, beyond some extraordinary Arsenal moment, I’ve ever had as many comments on a post over there. So, as there aren’t even any ordinary Arsenal moments right now, I thought I might as well share the recipe/process.

Arseblog spicy chicken burger

The great thing about this is that you can easily modify it to your own taste. Make it spicier, less spicy, more cheesy, whatever. Everyone knows how to make a burger, so add/subtract what you like to make it more you. For vegetarian/vegan readers, I’m sorry – I don’t know what you can substitute in this one.

Ingredients

  • Chicken breasts
  • Bacon (streaky)
  • Burger buns (big ones, not little scabby ones) – Brioche if possible
  • Cheese – I use Easi Singles, and will address this controversial choice below
  • Pickles
  • Buttermilk
  • Spices
  • Flour and cornflour and potato starch if you have it.
  • Gochujang Korean red pepper sauce
  • Honey
  • Soy sauce
  • Ketchup
  • Mayo

Method

  • Get a bowl big enough to put your chicken breasts in.
  • Put on the radio in the kitchen or stream some good tunes off your phone.
  • Put the chicken breasts in the bowl.
  • Pour enough buttermilk into the bowl to cover the chicken.
  • Now add spices. I use some salt, a good whack of freshly ground black pepper, some garlic granules (not too much), a decent scronch of cayenne pepper, and some dried marjoram. If you want you can add a squeeze of your favourite hot sauce like Sriracha – because everyone’s favourite hot sauce is Sriracha and its many delicious varieties. You could always use some Tabasco or whatever else you like.
  • Allow chicken to marinade for at least 3 hours, but for best results do this in the morning if you’re making the burgers in the evening and let that sit around all day. This ensures the chicken stays moist after it’s cooked.
  • Oh, I forgot to say but I guess you figured out, give it a good stir around so the spices don’t just sit on the top. You need it mixed, not like a spicy top hat on the buttermilk.

3-12 hours later

Time to make two sauces.

  • Add soy sauce, honey and a tablespoon of Gochujang in a saucepan. Heat it up, till it gets all gooey and lovely and sticky. You can add a bit of water, just a splash like you were baptising a child, to make it a bit thinner as this can get a bit Kyle Walker – i.e thick.
  • In a bowl, squeeze in some ketchup and mayo, mix it around, and then take some of your sticky sauce and add that. Personal taste comes into it here, you can add other things to make your favourite burger sauce like mustard and stuff. Up to you.

Frying up that chicken

  • I use vegetable oil in a deep pan. Heat it up to a point where it gets all crackly if you add a drop of water to it. There’s probably an ideal temperature, but I don’t know what it is. If I had to guess, based on the Goldilockian Method of Thermodynamics, I’d go for ‘just right’, rather than too hot or too cold.
  • In a big bowl, add cornflour and plain flour. I’ve discovered that 79.34% cornflour to 20.66% plain flour works best. You can also take 10% of the plain flour away and add 10% of potato starch if you have it. You don’t have to do though. Add seasoning to flour mix, such as salt, pepper, cayenne pepper, paprika, dried spices like oregano, basil, marjoram etc (but not too much of any of them so they become overpowering). Mix it like you’re Carl Cox at 3am in a sweaty night club and everyone’s having a great time.
  • Take chicken out of buttermilk, let excess drip off, put into flour mix and make sure it’s all covered.
  • Optional: If you like a really crunchy outside, dip chicken back into buttermilk, then back into flour mix to give it a second covering. You get some real bite then.
  • Fry the chicken until it’s all golden and cooked through and that. You know the drill.

Now, much like the Avengers, it’s time to assemble.

  • Grill bacon until it is as crispy as a bastard.
  • Grill burger buns until they get a nice tan.
  • Add some burger sauce to the bottom bun while it’s still hot, then a slice of cheese.
  • The Cheese: the use of ‘plastic’ Easi Singles drew some irate comments – we’ve got enough to worry about at the moment lads! – and while there are obviously much better cheeses out there, I find these work best. You can do what you like though.
  • Add the crispy bastard bacon.
  • Add some sliced pickles. Or not. Or other stuff if you want. Like tomatoes or onions or lettuce or slices of beetroot. I don’t care. This is your burger after all.
  • Now lash the deliciously fried chicken on top.
  • Get your sticky sauce and use a kitchen brush to paint the top of it with the sauce. If you don’t have a kitchen brush … are they even called kitchen brushes? I don’t know .. I have little rubber one I got in Ikea I think … whatever. Just slobber that sauce on top of the chicken in the best way you can.
  • Add another slice of controversial cheese or whatever cheese you like.
  • Add some more of the burger sauce to the top bun.
  • Put the top bun on top of the whole lot.
  • Admire your handiwork for a few seconds.
  • Devour and halfway through wish you had another.

So, there you go. You can serve it with chips or onion rings or whatever you fancy. A side salad. A pie. Who cares?! Once it’s delicious. And it is.

Eat well folks. More from me tomorrow.