Mac n Cheese BBQ Pulled Chicken Burger


I had been seeing a lot of mac n cheese burgers popping up on my feed lately. I really was hesitant and skeptical about the idea. I mean, come on, deep fried mac n cheese with all the meaty patties is gonna give a heart attack! Until one of my Instagrammers requested that I should do my own version of it. So I thought, challenge accepted!

I had been pondering what should I use for the patty. Initially I was thinking of using breaded chicken breast with a tomato sauce, but the "buns" are already deep fried, so that probably wasn't a good idea. Just like The Fab 4 song, "I will get by with a little help from my friends", 3 of my Instagrammers suggested that I should use a BBQ sauce with pulled meat. It really was a light bulb moment and this burger is born; I was searching for something light to pair with the heavy deep fried mac n cheese buns.

I also made a very simple slaw to compliment the "meaty" components. To be honest, the slaw really cut thru' the burger nicely and balance everything else. The tricky part is trying not to break the mac n cheese during the panne and deep frying process. If you can see, my "buns" are not really even, as some bits and pieces fell off during the panne and deep frying process. Perhaps, I need to experiment more with different combination of cheeses and really test which will adhere better. I do not recommend eating this on a regular basis, but please give it a try once in your life, I mean, deep fried cheese? Come on!

Ingredients:

(Make 2 burgers)

  • Mac n Cheese Buns:

  • Elbow Macaroni, 225g

  • Unsalted Butter, 2 TBSP

  • Sharp Cheddar Freshly Shredded, 50g

  • Velveeta / Amercian Cheese Finely Diced, 50g

  • Parmigiano Reggiano Freshly Grated, 50g

  • Whole Milk, 175ml

  • Mustard Powder, 1/2 TBSP

  • Garlic Powder, 1/2 TSP

  • Cayenne, Pinch

  • Sea Salt, Pinch

  • Black Pepper, Pinch

  • Bleached All Purpose Flour, 1 Cup or More

  • Egg Lightly Beaten, 1

  • Japanese Panko, 1 Cup or More

  • Canola / Peanut / Vegetable Oil, For Deep Frying

  • BBQ Chicken:

  • Chicken Breast Skinless Boneless, 250g

  • Fennel Seeds Powder, 1 TSP

  • Smoked Paprika, 1/2 TSP

  • Brown Sugar, 1/4 TSP

  • Cumin Powder, 1/4 TSP

  • Sea Salt, 1/4 TSP

  • White Pepper, Pinch

  • Sesame Oil, 4 TBSP

  • Red Onion Finely Sliced, 1

  • Garlic Finely Sliced, 3 Cloves

  • Homemade BBQ Sauce, 1/2 Cup + More For Assembly

  • Chicken Stock, 1/2 Cup

  • Slaw:

  • Cabbage Shredded, 1/4

  • Carrot Shredded, 1/4

  • Green Onion Coarsely Chopped, A Handful

  • Fresh Lemon Juice, 1/2

  • Fresh Lemon Zest, 1/2

  • Sea Salt, Pinch

  • Black Pepper, Pinch

Equipment:

  • Sauce Pot

  • Cast Iron Skillet / Pan

  • Dutch Oven

  • Cookie Cutter 4"

  • Meat Mallet

Directions:

  1. Please visit my "The BBQ Chicken" page for the BBQ sauce recipe.

  2. Prepare the mac n cheese.

  3. Cook macaroni in a sauce pot of boiling water.

  4. Be sure to season the water with sea salt until the water tastes like the ocean.

  5. Cook macaroni until 1 min under al dente.

  6. Immediately, using a spider, transfer into another sauce pot over medium heat.

  7. Add in butter and stir to combine well or until the butter has melted.

  8. Add in the 3 cheeses and milk.

  9. Stir to combine well.

  10. Add in mustard, garlic and cayenne.

  11. Stir to combine well.

  12. At this time, the cheeses should start to melt.

  13. Taste and adjust for seasoning with salt and pepper.

  14. Continue stirring and cooking until the cheeses have melted thru.

  15. Transfer onto a baking tray lined with parchment paper.

  16. Using a spatula to even out.

  17. Chill in the freezer for 30 mins, no more, no less.

  18. Prepare a dutch oven with at least 2 inches of oil.

  19. Prepare panne dredging station: Transfer flour, egg and panko into separate individual shallow bowls.

  20. Using a cookie cutter, carefully cut out the mac n cheese into disc.

  21. You should have 4 discs.

  22. *You can freeze the remaining scraps. It can be kept in the freezer for 1 week. You can bake the mac n cheese in the oven if desire.*

  23. Dredge the mac n cheese onto the flour. Shake off any excess flour.

  24. Dredge into the egg and onto the panko.

  25. *To check if the temperature of the oil is ready, place a wooden chopstick into the oil.

  26. If bubbles start to form, the temperature is ready for frying.*

  27. Gently drop the mac n cheese into the oil.

  28. Deep fry until golden brown on both sides.

  29. Remove from heat and drain of excess oil on a wire cooling rack.

  30. Prepare the chicken.

  31. Using a meat mallet and pound the chicken breast until even thickness.

  32. Transfer the chicken to a shallow bowl.

  33. Add fennel seeds, paprika, sugar, cumin, salt and pepper.

  34. Toss until the chicken is fully coated with the marinade.

  35. Toss, toss, toss.

  36. Cover the chicken with cling film and marinade in the fridge at least 4 hours to overnight.

  37. In a cast iron skillet over medium heat, drizzle 2 TBSP of sesame oil.

  38. Once the oil has heated up, gently place the chicken into the skillet.

  39. Cook the chicken until lightly brown on all sides.

  40. *Do not over cook the chicken, it should take 1 min per side. When you slice into the chicken, the inside should be slightly pinkish and uncooked.*

  41. Remove from heat and transfer onto a working surface.

  42. Get your Wolverine claws on. Using 2 forks, pull the chicken apart into shreds.

  43. In the same skillet over medium heat, add the remaining 2 sesame oil.

  44. Once the oil has heated up, add in onion.

  45. Saute until the onion is translucent.

  46. Add in garlic and saute until aromatic.

  47. Add in the pulled chicken.

  48. Saute until well combined.

  49. Deglaze the skillet with BBQ sauce.

  50. Stir to combine well.

  51. Add in chicken stock and turn the heat down to low.

  52. Simmer and cook until almost all the liquid has evaporated. Stir occasionally to prevent burning.

  53. Remove from heat and set aside.

  54. Prepare the slaw.

  55. In a bowl, toss in all the ingredients.

  56. Toss until well combine.

  57. Taste and adjust for seasoning with salt and pepper.

  58. Cover with cling film and set aside in the fridge until ready to use.

  59. Assemble the burger.

  60. Transfer 1 mac n cheese bun onto serving plate.

  61. Spread thin layers of BBQ sauce onto the "buns".

  62. Top the bun with the pulled chicken, follow by the slaw and the "bun".

  63. Serve immediately.

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