Creating your own restaurant-quality fried chicken burgers is easier than you might think.
Dubai-based burger joint Pickl is going global on the strength of its crowd-pleasing range of burgers, and one of the most popular picks is the fried chicken ‘sando’ burger.
Pickl chef Steve Flawith says the secret to making a good fried chicken burger lies in the temperature of the cooking oil and using buttermilk and flour to create the perfect crunch.
“You can fry chicken in different ways,” says Flawith. “Every culture has a fried chicken [dish], but the way we do it is with flour and buttermilk – and that gives us nice consistently crunchy chicken every time.”
Blend flour with salt, pepper and your preferred seasonings for added flavour. For a tasty combination, try smoked paprika, cayenne pepper, garlic powder and dried oregano.
Flawith warns that the biggest mistake people make when whipping up fried chicken burgers is heating the cooking oil to incorrect temperatures. “Have it around 175/180 degrees and keep it at a consistent temperature,” says Flawith.
The final steps – seasoning the fried chicken and adding sauce and toppings to your choice of bun – are crucial.
Pickl won’t reveal the highly guarded secret ingredients of its sauce or spice mix, but any shop-bought mayonnaise can be spiked with condiments such as chipotle hot sauce or chilli oil to create a delicious burger sauce.
“The sauce is up to you,” says Flawith, “and the spice is where you can get really creative and make your own thing.”
Spice is dusted over the fried chicken just before serving. Try mixing salt, white pepper, smoked paprika and garlic powder in a saltshaker to season the chicken, and then layer the meat in a bun with your spicy mayo, pickled gherkins and – in a nod to nutrition – crisp shards of lettuce, though many prefer to accessorise their chicken burgers with crispy bacon.
4 skinless chicken breasts
100g plain flour
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp smoked paprika
2 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp garlic powder
vegetable oil for frying
1. Place each chicken breast between two pieces of clingfilm and bash with a rolling pin until 2cm thick.
2. Add to a bowl with the buttermilk, cover and chill for 2-12 hours – the longer the better.
3. Mix the flour, oregano, paprika, cayenne pepper and garlic powder on a large plate.
4. Remove the chicken from the buttermilk, dredge in the seasoned flour and shake off the excess.
5. Fill a third of a large pan with vegetable oil and heat to 175/180C (test with a piece of bread, which should brown in 40 seconds).
6. Cook the chicken, in batches, for 4-5 minutes turning halfway, until deep golden brown. Drain on kitchen paper and keep warm.
7. Pile up the burger bun with the chicken and your choice of toppings, which could include lettuce, pickled gherkins, and your choice of dressing, from spiced mayonnaise to mustard.