A chicken fillet burger has a different and distinct taste when compared to a traditional beef burger. The fillets themselves sometimes need to be prepared so they will cook evenly and fill out a burger roll properly. They can be marinated for extra flavor or covered in a sticky sauce that becomes crisp as it is cooked. The low fat content and fast cooking time of a chicken fillet can make it perfect for roasting in an oven as a healthier alternative to frying. Alternately, a heavy, breaded coating combined with a mayonnaise-based sauce or mashed potatoes can make a hearty meal in a bun.
A chicken fillet is often thicker in the center than it is on the edges. This can cause some problems when cooking one for a chicken fillet burger. One solution is to cut the fillet in half to make two thin fillets that will cook evenly all the way through without the edges drying out and becoming hard, although the portion size might be smaller than desired. A better solution is to wrap the chicken in plastic wrap, pound it until flat and trim any excess, if necessary.
When deciding what spices to use for a chicken fillet burger, the type of roll that is being used, as well as any toppings, should be considered. A standard hard roll will mitigate more subtle spices, so the amount of spices used should be increased over the amount that would be used if the fillet were being served on its own. This is especially true for seasonings such as garlic, ginger and pepper, which can easily be overpowered. Similarly, if a special sauce is going to be applied to the roll, then those flavors need to be taken into consideration to create a balanced taste.
There are two main ways to get flavor into the meat of a chicken fillet burger. The first is to use a marinade. Marinades can impart a spicy, tangy flavor to chicken, especially with the addition of vinegar. It also can help to keep the chicken juicy while it is cooking. A marinade usually cannot, however, give the same punch that a rub or mop sauce can.
A rub is a collection of dried spices that are applied to the surface of the chicken to impart an intense flavor, especially once the spices are cooked. A mop sauce is the same concept as a rub, except it usually contains some sugar or honey so the sauce sticks to the outside of the meat and caramelizes as it cooks. Barbecue sauce, hot pepper, vinegar, brown sugar and garlic are all popular additions to a rub or mop sauce that will cook into a very spicy coating.
When it is time to cook a chicken fillet burger, it can be fried, roasted or grilled. Frying can help to make a more hamburger-like patty, with browned areas on the surface. Roasting can be used to avoid fats that might be needed with a frying pan and, at the appropriate temperatures, can even crisp a bread-crumb coating. Grilling can help to make a tasty chicken fillet burger by imparting a smoky flavor and grilled surface. Unlike beef, when a chicken fillet is done cooking, it can be placed on a bun and served immediately without having to rest first.