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Chicken-friend chicken burger
June 2019
Reading time 7 minutes
We can’t always rely on our BBQ weather - but this Chicken-Fried Chicken Burger from DJ BBQ can be cooked inside or out.
  • 40g garlic, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 3 lemongrass sticks, top third discarded, roughly chopped
  • 20g ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 30g coriander roots and stems (reserve leaves for later), roughly chopped
  • 3 large red chillies, roughly chopped
  • 45ml vegetable oil
  • 20g sea salt
  • 4 corn-fed chicken legs (leg and thigh attached, bone in)
  • 1.5 litres duck fat
  • 2 litres chicken fat
  • 200ml Japanese rice vinegar
  • 130g caster sugar
  • 12g table salt
  • 1 large cucumber, skin on, thinly sliced on a mandolin
  • 200g unsalted peanuts, roasted and partially crushed (in a tea towel with a rolling pin, or use a pestle and mortar)
  • 250ml kecap manis (not technically a soy sauce, but sometimes referred to sweet soy sauce)
  • 1 or 2 dried red chillies, crushed up into flakes – add more or less, depending on your chilli threshold!
  • 4 buns
  • Mayonnaise
  • 4 sprigs of coriander
  • 1 or 2 long green chillies, sliced
  • Handful of mizuna leaves (optional)

OUTDOORS: Not recommended.

INDOORS: Oven, plus deep saucepan on the hob (stovetop).

You’ll also need a blender.

  1. First, make the marinade for the chicken. Chuck all the ingredients into a blender and blitz on a high speed until smooth. Massage the marinade paste into the chicken legs. Place the chicken into a non-metallic dish and pour in any remaining marinade. Cover with cling film (plastic wrap) and refrigerate for 12 hours.
  2. Preheat your oven to 140C/285F/gas mark 1.
  3. Rinse the marinade off the chicken legs and leave them to drain in a colander for at least 10 minutes.Then place the chicken legs in a roasting tin (pan) that is just big enough to hold the legs snugly.
  4. Put the duck fat in a saucepan over a medium heat on the hob and warm through until it’s liquid, then pour it over the chicken legs. The legs should be fully submerged. Cover the tin with foil and cook in the oven for two hours. After two hours, take it out of the oven, carefully remove the foil and gently test a chicken leg.
  5. You want the flesh to fall away super-easily – but be careful, because if you try to pick up a leg, it may even just fall apart! You want to let it cool in the fat for at least a couple of hours before attempting to fry it. The best thing to do is chill it in the fridge for a few hours or overnight.
  6. Meanwhile, you can make the pickled cucumber. Gently heat the rice vinegar, sugar and salt in a pan until the sugar and salt have dissolved. Be careful not to bring this to the boil – boiling ruins the delicate nuances of a good-quality vinegar.
  7. You’ve now got what is referred to in Japanese cuisine as amazu, a highly versatile pickling solution (seriously awesome when used on mackerel). Allow it to cool to room temperature, then pour it over your cucumber slices and leave to steep for a good hour before using. You could also keep these beauties refrigerated overnight but it is best when they are freshly pickled.
  8. For the peanut soy, mix all the ingredients together and store at room temperature. It keeps indefinitely, but it is way better when freshly mixed and served right away.
  9. When you are ready to cook your chicken, put the two litres of chicken fat in a deep saucepan over a medium to high heat on the hob. When the fat reaches 180C/350F you are good to fry! Wipe off any excess fat and chicken jelly from your confit legs and place one leg at a time into the hot fat. Fry for about four to five minutes or until the skin is beautifully bronzed. Remove and drain on paper towels, then gently pull the bones away from the meat – they will slip away easily.
  10. Now, build! Add a squirt of mayo to the bun base, lay your confit chicken down, top with a spoonful of peanut soy, a slice of pickled cucumber, a sprig of coriander and as much green chilli as you can handle. If you feel guilty about the lack of healthiness, add a handful of mizuna leaves. And enjoy – you have earned this!

Extracted from The Burger Book by DJ BBQ (Quadrille, £12.99) Photography © David Loftus

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