16 Sep // burger burger burger

Burgers have become such a massive thing. I mean they’ve always been popular, but it seems like now there are more burger joints than ever, and everyone has an opinion on what makes one good. What’s not to like though, right? Vegetables, meat or not, held together in a bun, dripping with condiments, and able to be picked up and eaten with your hands without judgement, they are close to being the perfect meal. Ever since I ate 17 burgers over 17 consecutive days back in 2011, I’ve had quite the affinity with this particular food group. And without, errr, wanting to describe myself as fussy, let’s just say I have high standards.

Some common mistakes when making burgers: too sloppy, bad quality and/or under-toasted buns, and my personal pet peeve: the careless addition of unnecessary ingredients. You know that saying less is more? That is very important when burgers are concerned.

Auckland burger joint Burger Burger has teamed up with Mainland and are encouraging everyone to enter their Burger by Design competition. You create a burger using a Mainland cheese, and the winner gets theirs on the menu at Burger Burger. Amazing!

So with all that in mind, I present to you a very excellent and delicious burger I have created (and just smashed for lunch) for you, my dear readers. A few things conspired to get this burger to you. Firstly: deciding to base my burger around blue cheese. Secondly: a few average chicken burgers of late and wanting to think about what would make a really good one. Thirdly: getting my hands on some buffalo wings sauce, but not being that excited about chicken nibbles. And so, behold, I took the concept of buffalo wings and turned them into a burger.

Some background: Buffalo wings are not buffalo but in fact chicken usually deep fried or grilled, and then doused in a hot sauce. They’re served with blue cheese mayo and celery sticks, and sometimes carrot. I took this idea and flattened a chicken thigh, fried it, doused it in buffalo wing hot sauce, and served it in a burger with blue cheese mayo with the celery folded through it, and with the simplest of accompaniments iceberg lettuce. It’s buffalo wings in burger form, and it is GOOD.

The key is it’s simplicity - I toyed with adding a few extra burger ingredients. Onion maybe? Tomato? Avocado? All unnecessary. You get the perfect mix of crunchy lettuce, crispy, spicy chicken, and tangy, creamy mayo. I used Wild Wheat burger buns and my friend and I ate them for lunch, sauce all over our hands and cheeks, and it was glorious. The blue cheese mayo - all creamy and punchy and with crispy thin slices of celery is one hell of a combination.  I mean, I still think you should enter the competition, but I’m not gonna lie, I think we have a winner.

Creamy Blue Cheese Buffalo Burgers

Makes two

Crispy buffalo chicken:

2-4 free range, boneless, skinless chicken thighs (depending on size - I used one per person but could have gone up to two)

Neutral cooking oil

¼ cup flour

Salt and pepper

1 tsp cayenne pepper

Buffalo hot sauce (I used Culley’s and it was amazing. You could try making it if you wanted to be fancy)

  1. Unfold the chicken thighs and give them a gentle bash (covered in glad wrap, then use a rolling pin) to flatten slightly.

  2. Heat 2cm neutral cooking oil in a heavy bottomed frying pan to a medium heat.

  3. In a medium bowl, place the flour, salt and pepper, and cayenne pepper, and stir gently.

  4. Douse the chicken in the flour to ensure it is well coated.

  5. Using tongs, place the chicken in the oil and fry until crispy and golden. This should take about 4 minutes per side (depending on the thickness of the pieces). I flipped mine a couple of times to ensure each side was golden. Test a piece of chicken to check it is cooked through if you’re worried.

  6. Cook the chicken in batches to avoid overcrowding the pan.

  7. Rest the chicken pieces for a couple of minutes in a sieve or on a wire cooling rack - this helps keep it crispy (whoever knew that paper towels were a bad idea?! I learned that and more about frying chicken from this article).

  8. Place the chicken pieces in a medium bowl and douse in buffalo sauce. Remove with tongs and add to the burger.

Blue cheese mayo:

60g Mainland Creamy Blue Cheese, crumbled

3 heaped tbsp mayonnaise

2 celery sticks, thinly sliced on the diagonal

Using a fork, mix the blue cheese into the mayo. Add the celery and mix well to combine.

 

To assemble the burgers:

2 burger buns of your choice, toasted or grilled (I used Wild Wheat hamburger buns - so good)

Iceberg lettuce

Chicken (above)

Blue cheese mayo (above)

 

Take your toasted buns, place iceberg lettuce on the bottom bun. On the lid, apply a thick layer of blue cheese mayo. Place the hot-sauced chicken piece (or pieces) on the lettuce, then place the lid on. ENJOY.  


If you’ve got a delicious idea for a burger, head into a Burger Burger store to fill out an entry, or simply check out the Burger Burger app here.