My attempt to find slightly healthier things to add to our diet is failing miserably. The problem is not so much that I fail to find healthy, delicious food or even cook it. That part is easy. What is hard is stopping either Andy or myself from sabotaging things. A few weeks back I made a supposedly healthy omelette (not really sure about that since it was loaded with bacon and potato) and Andy ‘finished’ it with a ridiculously generous grating of cheese.
And then earlier this week, I found this recipe for ‘herby chicken rissoles‘. Now, ‘rissole’ is a word that makes my skin crawl. If I had to pick a least favourite word this would be up there. Really. It’s horrible. It smacks of grey, bland, the worst excesses of the 1970s. ICK!
Also, I am not generally a fan of things made from mushed up chicken. Chicken sausages, as a rule, are quite frightening things. I’m pleased to report we have found an exception to that – my dad’s butcher (Brighton City Meats) makes these amazing chunky chicken sausages. They are chock full of big pieces of meat and have tons of texture in addition to flavour. And texture is the thing that chicken sausages and rissoles or burgers often lacks.
So I was interested to see how a home made chicken patty, rissole or burger would stand up to my somewhat critical eye.
We completely ruined the health aspect of this. With 500g of chicken mince we made a just a few enormous burgers (the original recipe suggests making 4 small rissoles from 100g of chicken mince) and we then put them into bread rolls, loaded with salad and and a smear (or two) of aioli. And in my case topped with a generous heap of kim chi …
Naturally, we also set one aside to feed to the small child who enjoyed it. If you are a parent who disguises vegetables, these burgers may be a way of sneaking zucchini and carrot past picky eaters.
On their own, the burgers did suffer a bit from a homogeneity of texture, which could potentially be fixed by a coating of panko before frying. Or by eating them in a roll – because the crusty roll and crunchy lettuce go a long way to adding necessary texture.
I think these would also work very well on a much small scale as a canapé. Again – you would need a panko crumb and you would also need a dipping sauce to serve alongside them. Something like a mojo picon would work beautifully.
- 500g chicken mince
- 3 cloves of garic, crushed and finely chopped
- ½ cup of breadcrumbs
- 1 zucchini (courgette), grated and if possible drained
- 1 carrot, grated
- packet of chives, finely chopped
- salt and pepper - to taste
- Mix the chicken mince with all the other ingredients. If you have not had a chance to drain the grated zucchini, you may find you need to add more breadcrumbs.
- Season well.
- Take a small ball of mixture and fry up to check seasoning.
- Form the mixture into bite size balls, rissoles or burgers, depending on how your planning on using it. Set the shaped mixture onto trays that have been lined with baking paper, lightly dusted with flour. Put in the fridge and leave to firm up for at least an hour.
- Add some oil (spray oil if you wish) to a pan and heat over medium-high heat and cook the burgers until done (timing will depend on how big you have made them!).
- You could also cook these on the barbecue.
- Alternatively they can be cooked in advance and reheated when you wish to serve them.