Tag Archives: ciabatta rolls

Chicken Burgers

These burgers are made from boneless, skinless thighs for a more moist and flavorful burger than you would get with white meat. You can grind (or really mince) chicken in a food processor, but you have to be careful not to turn it into a paste. I use the food processor to grind ham, and I might use it for beef, but poultry is so tender and sticky, that you need to be on your toes. A search on the web will show you that freezing the poultry chunks first can help you reach the right grind before it turns into a paste. Luckily, I have a grinding attachment for my stand mixer, so the grinding is really easy and foolproof.

I looked around at what others do to make such burgers and found that some just shape the meat. Some add breadcrumbs both inside and outside the burgers; some just outside. I thought about breading them, as I do my fishcakes, but I was hoping for a more traditional burger this time. I did add a small proportion—1/2 cup per 1 1/2 lbs chicken—of fresh breadcrumbs to the mix, just to make them a little lighter, but not enough to detract from the chicken. Two tablespoons of half and half was the only moisture added, no egg, which actually can toughen a meat mixture and dry it out. I didn’t overdo the flavoring additions, just some chives, salt, and pepper. They turned out flavorful and juicy, browned in a cast iron skillet and served on ciabatta rolls with a quick homemade burger sauce.

Regardless of how you grind the chicken, it will be sticky and hard to form into patties. I placed four mounds of the meat mixture on a sheet of plastic wrap, then placed another sheet over them to do the shaping. then I put them in the fridge for a few hours until time to cook. It helped keep the meat in the patties instead of stuck on my fingers.

Chicken Burgers

  • Servings: 4 burgers
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

1 1/2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken thighs

1/2 cup fresh bread crumbs

1/4 cup chopped chives

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

2 tablespoons half and half or milk

oil for browning

  1. Grind your chicken, unless you purchase it ground at the store.
  2. Mix all the ingredients, except the oil, lightly.
  3. Divide into four portions and place them apart on a sheet of plastic wrap.
  4. Place another sheet of plastic wrap over them, using the wrap to press down and shape the patties. You can refrigerate them at this point if not ready to cook. I cut them apart in the wrap to easier place them on a plate.
  5. In a large skillet over medium to medium-high heat, heat enough cooking oil to cover the bottom of the skillet. When shimmering, add the patties and cook for about 8 minutes per side, until browned and done in the middle. I used a thermometer to test for about 165°

The quick sauce was a mixture of mayonnaise, A. 1., ketchup, smoked paprika, salt and pepper. I would have added garlic powder if I had any!

Ciabatta Rolls

I’ve written a little about my past sourdough bread baking period when I wrote about my favorite bread cookbook. If you didn’t see the post, you can read it here: Cookbook: Breads from the La Brea Bakery. Every now and then I get the urge to make bread and I’ve been planning to try the recipe for ciabatta for a while, because I love breads made from a wet dough that end up all crispy on the outside and full of big holes inside. I used this ciabatta recipe from The Kitchn and wasn’t disappointed. It’s not a sourdough bread, but it does use a biga, which is a preferment mixture of yeast, flour, and water; it just doesn’t ferment as long as a sourdough starter. Left overnight, it becomes a gummy, bubbly addition to your dough, with more yeast and water and flour (and salt). It does work a little like sourdough in giving the resulting bread a chewiness, so I guess I would call it a wannabe sourdough starter.

The other thing I like about working with wet doughs is the feel. They are soft and puffy like a pillow after rising and refuse to be neatly shaped. You can corral them a bit with flour and a dough scraper, but you have to be relaxed and unconcerned about misshapen rolls and bread loaves. When I see ciabatta rolls that are perfectly square, I get concerned about quality. Sometimes the ones at the grocer are a little too chewy and dense, too.

So, here’s the biga when first mixed, like a lump of dry paste, and 24 hours later, all bubbly and sticky.

When you stir the biga into the rest of the water, flour, and salt, it still looks rough before you beat it. Beating it for 10-15 minutes creates a smooth, shiny dough. Then you let it rise in the bowl.

I just let the dough rise in the mixing bowl without oiling it, because I didn’t want oil on this dough; I wanted it to have a drier feel when I’m trying to shape it. It’s not a dough that you punch down and work much to shape. Wet doughs should be handled lightly. So, I just poured it out of the bowl after rising onto a floured mat, then I folded it over into thirds to make a long rectangle. At that point I pushed it lightly into a little wider shape to get two rolls of rolls. I pushed my fingers into the dough to press some, but not all, of the air bubbles out. Then I used the dough scraper to trim the edges and cut out mostly square shapes. Some resisted being square, but they were close enough. Then I gently, with my hand and the floured scraper, lifted them onto parchment lined baking sheets. the dough wants to stretch and flop a bit, but just handle carefully and don’t worry about it. Just drop it, if you have to, and let it puddle into a shape.

Then after baking, all the worries are over, because they rise up nicely with a crisp crust on the outside and a soft center with big holes. We ate a few with hamburgers, but they would be good with many fillings or just as is with butter.

ciabatta

The recipe is here, with its own nice gallery of photos: http://www.thekitchn.com/how-to-make-ciabatta-rolls-and-bread-at-home-baking-lessons-from-the-kitchn-159913