This post is going to be a two-fer. Not only will you get a recipe for a juicy, flavorful, unique chicken burger, you will also get a recipe for the bun you serve the burger in! I recently saw both of these recipes in Food Network Magazine, and I immediately got the urge to try them together.
First, let me talk about these pretzel rolls. They come from Food Network personalty Guy Fieri, who incidentally has been making soft pretzels since he was just a kid. You learn something new every day! Anyway, I skipped right over the recipes in the article for stuffed pretzels, and went straight for these Pretzel Rolls. We've bought pretzel rolls and eaten them here at home, and we've always thought they were so good. There's just something about the combination of yummy burger and soft, slightly salty pretzel roll that I find hard to resist. A match made in heaven!
Though making these pretzel rolls is a guaranteed time commitment, I firmly believe that they are worth it. The dough is very simple and very easy to work with. I had a blast forming the rolls; the hard part was just waiting through the two rise times. Once they have risen, you throw them in a huge pot of boiling water and baking soda, just for a couple minutes each, and that gives them their unique, pretzel-y crust. You take them from the water, drain them, and then transfer them to a baking sheet. Sprinkle them with some salt, and they're ready to be baked!
I was so excited when I peeked into the oven and saw that they were forming a crusty top, and I could already tell that they smelled like pretzels! I probably could have baked them even longer than I did; they're a bit lighter than pretzels tend to be. Inside, though, they were unbelievably soft and tender, yet they held together quite well and were the perfect vessel for a burger.
Man, that burger! I haven't even told you about it yet! It's an Asian Chicken Burger, and it tastes pretty much just as it sounds. There's a variety of Asian flavors included in the patty, such as soy sauce, sambal oelek, and hoisin sauce. You grate down a bunch of onion, carrot, and ginger and add it to the rest of the ingredients. I couldn't get over just how moist the grated veggies made the burgers! You totally couldn't tell I used such lean meat in the patties; there was so much flavor and good burger texture. You top off the burgers with a marinated mushroom and red onion mixture, and that just makes the whole thing. Oh, it was yummy! Some may say that an Asian burger with a pretzel roll is an odd pairing, and I may be inclined to agree. But I've tasted it, and I'm here to tell you that it worked! Plus, it was just super cool to be able to say, "Hey, honey, I made burgers for dinner, from scratch! Including the buns!"
Guy's Pretzel Rolls
makes 4-6 rolls
1 Tbsp. active dry yeast
2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
1 Tbsp. sugar
1 tsp. kosher salt, plus more for sprinkling (I used fleur de sel for sprinkling)
Vegetable oil, for the bowl
1/3 cup baking soda
1. Put 1 cup warm water (110 to 115 degrees F) in the bowl of a stand mixer and sprinkle the yeast on top. Set aside to bloom, 5 minutes. Meanwhile, combine the flour, sugar, and salt in a large bowl.
2. Add the flour mixture to the yeast mixture and mix with the dough hook on the lowest setting until the dough comes together. Increase the speed to medium and continue to mix until the dough is elastic and smooth, about 8 minutes.
3. Form the dough into a ball, place in a large, oiled bowl, and turn the dough to coat it with oil. Cover with a damp kitchen towel and let rest in a warm place until doubled in size, 30 to 35 minutes. Line a baking sheet with foil or a silicone baking mat, coat generously with cooking spray, and set aside.
4. Punch down the dough, then turn out onto a floured surface. Knead just until the dough is smooth and springs back when poked, about 1 minute. Divide into 4 pieces and form into 5-by-5-inch oblong rolls. Place the rolls on the prepared baking sheet and cut four 2-inch diagonal slashes across the top of each. Cover with a damp towel or cover loosely with plastic wrap, and let rise in a warm place until almost doubled in size, 15 to 20 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 425 degrees F and bring 8 cups of water to a boil in a large saucepan over high heat.
5. Stir the baking soda into the boiling water (it will foam up slightly). Add 2 rolls and poach 2 minutes per side. Using a slotted spoon, remove the rolls, drain, and place on the baking sheet, cut-side up. Sprinkle with salt. Repeat with the reamining rolls.
6. Bake the rolls until golden, 12 to 15 minutes. Let cool slightly on the baking sheet before enjoying.
Asian Chicken Burgers
makes 4 to 6 burgers
1 small carrot
1 small red onion, halved
1 lb. ground chicken (I used a combination of 99% lean ground chicken and lean turkey)
1/4 cup panko breadcrumbs
1/4 cup hoisin sauce
1 Tbsp. grated, peeled ginger
4 tsp. low-sodium soy sauce
3 tsp. hot Asian chili sauce, such as sambal oelek
8 oz. white mushrooms, thinly sliced
2 tsp. toasted sesame oil
Juice of 1 lime
4-6 burger buns
1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Mist a baking sheet with cooking spray. Grate the carrot and 1/2 onion into a large bowl. Add the chicken, panko, 2 Tbsp. hoisin sauce, the ginger, 3 tsp. soy sauce, and 1 tsp. sambal oelek and mix until combined. Shape the chicken mixture into 4 patties and place on the prepared baking sheet. Bake until cooked through, about 20 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, thinly slice the remaining 1/2 onion. Toss with the mushrooms, sesame oil, lime juice, and the remaining 1 tsp. soy sauce in a bowl. Mix the remaining 2 Tbsp. hoisin sauce and 2 tsp. sambal oelek with 1 Tbsp. water in another bowl.
3. Warm the burger buns in the oven (or use pretzel rolls warm!). Serve the burgers on the buns with a drizzle of the hoisin-sambal sauce and some of the mushroom mixture.