My introduction to hash brown chicken burgers came by way of a typhoon.
In 2011, when Typhoon Pedring battered the eastern coast of the Philippines, power went out and water supply was cut off. That was September 26. I don’t remember what we ate for lunch and for dinner, I searched the September 2011 archive and found nothing about cooking anything on that day. Presumably, we had something that came out of a can.
Anyway, the night of September 26 was also the night that we played hangman on my iPad. I wrote about it and mentioned that we asked Speedy to buy junk food. I didn’t mention then what junk food we wanted but I’ll mention it now. We wanted peach mango pie from Jollibee. Sam also suggested that Speedy buy a hash brown burger for me so I could try it.
The idea of placing a burger between two pieces of hash brown is not bad at all. BUT you know how it is with fast food joints. You wrap something newly cooked in waxed paper and it gets soggy. PLUS I don’t think the hash browns were baked at all, as advertised. They were greasy as hell. If they were baked, well, they were probably baked in a pan of hot oil. Or they were pan fried or deep fried. Or, maybe, the burger was so greasy that the oil was absorbed by the hash browns. Whatever.
Still, the idea of a burger between hash browns appealed to me. Surely, if the hash browns and the burger were cooked properly, they wouldn’t be dripping with oil when served. So, I made these hash brown chicken burgers just to prove a point.
- 1/4 kilo ground chicken (see notes below)
- 1 small onion finely chopped
- pinch chili flakes or about 1/4 tsp. of chili powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon chopped parsley
- 1/4 cup panko (I can’t vouch for the results if you use regular bread crumbs)
- cooking oil for frying
- 4 store-bought hash browns frozen and DO NOT THAW
Mix together the ground chicken, onion, chili, salt, pepper, parsley and panko. Divide the mixture into two portions. Form each portion into a rather elongated patty, about the size of the hash browns.
Heat two tablespoonfuls of oil in a non-stick pan. Pan fry the chicken burgers over medium-high heat until nicely browned on both sides, about two to three minutes per side depending on the thickness of the patties.
Transfer the burgers to a plate and rest.
Reheat the remaining oil in the pan, if any, and dd enough cooking oil to reach a height of about a quarter of an inch.
Fry the hash browns until browned and crisp on both sides. Drain on a stack of paper towels to remove excess oil.
To assemble your hash brown chicken burgers, place a hash brown on a plate, top with a chicken burger and cover with another hash brown. Garnish with whatever you like. Thinly sliced raw onions would be good but, for lunch today, I kept it simple — just z drizzle of mayo, mustard and ketchup and a sprinkling of finely chopped fresh parsley.
Most ground chicken meat in groceries are actually breast meat which is really lean and dry and practically tasteless. Ground thigh meat used to be available but not anymore. Fortunately for me, I buy ground chicken breast meat at a place where people understand that a little fat in the mixture goes a long, long way (that’s the Monterey outlet near the entrance of Town & Country Homes along Marcos Highway). If you can ask your butcher, ask for ground chicken meat and skin.