Wine Varietal: Pinot Grigio
I’m always looking for a way to incorporate more flavor into my cooking and this goes a LONG way!!Many chicken burgers can be on the dry side — this burger is moist and so very flavorful, due to the brining and also the moist ingredients in the burger mix. The green mango in the slaw is an unexpected surprise, offering a vegetable-like crunch, yet with a hint of the mango’s sweetness — and the cucumber relish packs a spicy-sweetness that rounds out the burger wonderfully!
Chicken and brine:
1 cup very hot water
¼ cup Kosher salt
½ teaspoon garlic powder
1/8 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon crushed dried red pepper flakes
1 small dried bay leaf
4 cups cold water
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 1 ¼ pounds) with some fat still on meat, cut into ½ inch cubes
2 boneless, skinless chicken thighs, (about ¾ pounds) with some fat still on meat, cut into ½ inch cubes
½ cup distilled white vinegar
¼ cup brown sugar
½ teaspoon salt
2 small Thai bird chilies, seeds and veins removed, minced (about ½ teaspoon)
2 tablespoons finely chopped cilantro
1 cup very thinly sliced English (hothouse) cucumber (about ½ of one large)
Green Mango Slaw:
1/2 teaspoon finely minced garlic
1 tablespoon finely minced Serrano pepper, seeded and veins removed
2 tablespoons minced cilantro
1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon fish sauce (Nam Pla)
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1/8 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
1 green (unripe) mango, peeled, flesh removed from seed and julienned
½ cup thinly sliced red onion, halved vertically and then in quarters
¼ cup loosely packed chopped fresh mint
2 cups shredded Napa cabbage
¼ teaspoon Kosher salt
4 tablespoons finely chopped roasted and unsalted peanuts
Remaining chicken burger ingredients:
2 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro
1 tablespoon minced fresh mint
1 ½ tablespoon minced lemongrass (about 1 stalk-use only tender white part near base)
1 ½ tablespoon brown sugar
3 tablespoons fish sauce (Nam Pla)
1 tablespoon minced Thai bird chilies, seeds and veins removed, minced (about 4-5)
1/8 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
2 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon minced fresh garlic
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
6 large white hamburger or sandwich rolls, such as Turano
Non-stick cooking spray or ¼ cup vegetable oil (for coating grill rack)
To prepare brine and chicken:
In a large bowl, add salt, garlic powder, thyme, red pepper flakes, and bay leaf to hot water; stir until salt dissolves. Add in 4 cups cold water. Add chicken to brine and stir well, adding additional cold water if needed so meat is completely covered. Cover and chill for 1 ½ hours. After 1 ½ hours, remove meat from brine (discard brine) and dry well using paper toweling, put into bowl and place in freezer while preparing relish and slaw (about ½ hour).
To prepare Cucumber Relish:
In a medium bowl, whisk vinegar, brown sugar, salt, chilies, and cilantro until thoroughly combined and brown sugar is dissolved. Add cucumbers and toss to combine; set aside while preparing remaining ingredients.
To prepare Green Mango Slaw:
In a small bowl, whisk the garlic, Serrano pepper, cilantro, lime juice, fish sauce, brown sugar and cayenne until thoroughly combined and brown sugar is dissolved. In large bowl, put mango, red onion, mint, and cabbage and sprinkle with the salt and toss well. Add dressing to slaw mixture and toss well so slaw is coated thoroughly; set aside while preparing remaining ingredients, tossing occasionally while preparing burgers. Just before serving, add chopped peanuts and toss lightly.
To prepare burgers:
In a large bowl, whisk the cilantro, mint, lemongrass, brown sugar, fish sauce, chilies, cayenne, lemon juice, garlic, and salt until thoroughly combined and brown sugar is dissolved. Remove chicken cubes from freezer and place in a food processor; using on/off pulses, grind chicken (in 2 batches if necessary) until it has the consistency of hamburger. Add ground chicken to bowl with cilantro/mint mixture; toss gently but thoroughly. Form mixture into 6 patties (mixture will be wet).
Heat grill to 450 deg F. Oil (or spray) grill rack well; place patties on grill rack and cook for 1 minute to sear patties, then turn heat down to 375 deg F and cook an additional 7 minutes. Using large spatula, CAREFULLY turn patties over and grill another 8 minutes on the second side, or until cooked through. Remove from grill and let rest 5 minutes, tented with foil. While burgers are resting, brush the inside of the bun tops and bottoms lightly with the oil; place oiled-side down on grill and cook until lightly toasted, about 1 minute.
To assemble the burgers: drain the Cucumber Relish well; place 2 tablespoons of the Cucumber Relish on the cut side of a bottom half of a roll; next, add a Thai chicken burger patty on top of the relish, then place a ¼ cup of the Green Mango Slaw on top of patty; add the roll top and serve. Repeat for remaining 5 burgers.