What is comfort food? The answer is subjective.
Some may say it is food that reminds them of home or a loved one and some may say it is something cold on a hot night and hot on a cold night. To me, its fat. Stuff that does not come under the “guilt-free” tag but needs to be eaten with zero guilt. I like a layer of fat on the plate and another layer around my lips after each bite. And of course, this needs to be balanced with veggie rich sauce/salad/whatever. That just makes it taste better and feel better too?
So, the easiest and fastest way to get cozy and comfortable is witttthhh.. burgers. Fat loaded, meat packed, mayo slathered on like its nobody’s business. I like that.
But here is the thing, making a burger is like painting an original watercolor, or painting something outside the lines. There are no rules really, but you just have to be creative with the flavors.
There are three basic components- the bread, the patty/ meat and the condiment(s).
It can be just that simple or (this is always better), go crazy creative and get everything you crave for on that bun!
Bread: I like a regular sesame seed bun, but Hawaiian roles/pavs make great sliders.
For the patty/ meat component : Any meat will do, I prefer boneless lamb pieces with fat that has been ground manually or a chicken thigh.
Condiments: mayo, guac, ketchup, ranch, salad, any vinaigrette, cheese, mushrooms, mustard, mustard onions, caramelized onions, savory jams, sunny side up egg, egg salad, pico de gallo, salsa, cream cheese with spices, marinara, coleslaw are some of the options.
Right, so here is my recipe for a delicious fried chicken burger- two ways.
Patty/ fried chicken: To make the fried chicken, start with preparing a flavourful broth with chicken stock, bay leaf, pepper, salt, garlic. This step is similar to brining and will give the chicken a thin pellicle which gives you that delicious crunchy fried chicken skin. Take two pieces of boneless chicken thighs with skin intact, massage it in the broth and let it sit for an hour.
Meanwhile, prepare the flour for coating the chicken with AP flour, salt, pepper, cayenne, garlic powder, onion powder and any other spice you like. Save the same spice mixture for later. Dab the excess moisture from the chicken using a kitchen towel and coat it with the flour mixture. Dunk this in buttermilk that has been seasoned with salt pepper and cayenne. Let the excess buttermilk drip and coat it with the flour mixture again, gently. You can let it sit for 30 minutes and coat it with the flour mixture again for that thick layer of fried goodness or deep fry it right away.
Fry the chicken till it is golden brown, take it out and season with the same spices you used for the flour mixture (minus the flour).
Condiment: I used simple coleslaw in one with purple and green cabbage, mayo, salt, pepper and a few drops of pineapple juice. For the other, I used ranch dressing (homemade) and some salad leaves tossed in olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper.
Grill buttered bun on a hot griddle till the edges are brown. I spread some mayo for the coleslaw one and ranch for the salad burger.
Assemble and gorge on this masterpiece! And please don’t forget fries. Mine are shallow fried, I thought would be healthier.
Watch this space for more on burgers!