Smashed Avocado-Chicken Burgers
These zippy chicken burgers are loaded with ginger, garlic, cilantro and scallions for fresh flavor and some textural crunch. The secret ingredient is a little mashed avocado that’s added to the ground chicken before cooking, which keeps the burgers tender and light. A citrusy soy-mayonnaise is used both inside the patties and slathered on top. (Fish sauce could be used in place of the soy. Decrease the amount and adjust to taste.) Kewpie is a Japanese mayonnaise made with rice wine vinegar and egg yolks rather than distilled vinegar and whole eggs, but you can just as easily use your preferred mayonnaise. Fresh jalapeños offer a satisfying crunch when biting into the burger, though pickled ones could be used for extra acidity.
- Serves: 4 persons
- ⅓cup Kewpie or other mayonnaise
- 1teaspoon soy sauce
- 1lime, cut into wedges
- Kosher salt
- ¼to ½ teaspoon red-pepper flakes, according to taste
- 1(2-inch) piece ginger, grated or minced (about 2 teaspoons)
- 3large garlic cloves, grated or minced
- 2scallions, light green and white parts only, thinly sliced
- 1packed cup cilantro leaves and tender stems, roughly chopped, plus more for serving
- ¼cup mashed, ripe Hass avocado (from about ½ avocado; slice the other half for serving) (see Tip)
- 1pound ground chicken, preferably dark meat
- 2tablespoons neutral oil, such as canola oil, or ghee
- 4brioche or burger buns, lightly toasted
- Butter lettuce or other tender lettuce, for serving
- 1jalapeño, thinly sliced, for serving (optional)
Step 1In a small serving bowl, combine the mayonnaise and soy sauce. Season with the juice of 1 lime wedge and salt as needed.
Step 2In a medium mixing bowl, use a fork to mash and thoroughly combine the red-pepper flakes, ginger, garlic, 1 teaspoon salt, chopped cilantro, scallion, mashed avocado and 1 tablespoon of the soy-lime mayonnaise. Add the chicken and gently combine. Form into 4 large balls.
Step 3Heat a large (12-inch) cast-iron or heavy skillet over medium heat until very hot, 1½ to 2 minutes. Add the neutral oil or ghee, then add the chicken meatballs, spacing them out in the pan. Use a metal spatula to press them until they form ½-inch thick patties. Cook without moving for 3½ to 4 minutes, until a deep golden crust has formed and they easily release from the pan. Flip the patties using the spatula and cook until done with a nice crust on the other side, about 3 minutes more. If the patties need more time, cover the pan and cook for 1 to 2 more minutes, adjusting the heat as needed to avoid scorching.
Step 4Squeeze a lime wedge over the patties and serve sandwiched between the buns topped with lettuce, a healthy slathering of the lime-mayonnaise, avocado slices, jalapeño slices if using, and cilantro sprigs, if desired. Serve with the remaining lime wedges and mayonnaise on the side.