Chicken Mini Mac
Chicken Mini Mac- This chicken burger is loaded with all the fixings and special sauce, and it definitely rivals a popular fast food burger.
February 20, 2023 by Nicole Collins
What do you think of when you think of staples of American food?
Is it burgers? Is it hot dogs? Is it something else?
I have this item on my 2023 goal board that has me experiencing 5 new cultures through food. So last weekend, a friend and I visited a Georgian restaurant. I told her I wanted to do some research to find out what the traditional food items are for Georgian culture, because I wanted to get those items.
So she said to me “it’s all traditional Georgian food”. And I was like “yeah, but their staple items”. And I wanted to follow up with “like a _________ is a staple in American food”. And honestly, I couldn’t identify what item to use in my comparison!
If I put one particular food in front of anyone in the world, what would it be that anyone could identify as “Oh, that’s from America!”? I truly don’t know. The USA is such a melting pot of cultures and flavors, I really don’t know the answer to this question. So, I’m curious what your answer would be.
I do know that in a much simpler way, a quintessential American food item comes from a popular fast food chain. And though not exactly what I was going for in my thought provoking question, I did use that classic sandwich as inspo for today’s recipe.
Today, we’re making a Chicken Mini Mac!
I have to be honest…I went back and forth on what to call this sandwich. It has all the components and flavors of the ever so popular Big Mac, but we’re swapping out ground beef for ground chicken and slimming things down to make one burger patty instead of two. But other than those few small tweaks, when you close your eyes, this chicken burger transports you straight to those big golden arches.
So, let’s get into making our own!
Let’s start with the special sauce. You know the one. We’re going to make our own version of that classic sauce by mixing together a handful of ingredients like mayo, mustard, and ketchup. Then, we’ll add in some seasoning components like vinegar, dried minced onion, sweet relish, and french dressing. Mix it all together, give the flavors some time to meet each other, and you have a pretty spot on replica of that creamy, tangy burger sauce. (And yes, I know that McD’s doesn’t add ketchup to theirs, but it works great in this copycat version!)
For our burgers, we’re going to lighten these burgers up a little bit by making ground chicken burgers instead of beef. Ground chicken is known for producing a dry burger, but I have the fix for that with 2 special ingredients: minced onion and mayonnaise. The natural juices from the onion help to moisten up the meat while the fat in the mayo adds the fatty component that ground chicken naturally lacks. We’re also going to add some Worcestershire sauce to the burger to add a “meaty” umami flavor to the chicken. Then we’ll gently mix it all together, form the chicken into burgers, and cook the burgers on a grill pan.
Now once the burgers are finished cooking, I like to turn off the heat, add a slice of good ol’ American cheese to each burger, cover the pan, and let the steam melt that cheese until it’s ooey and gooey. I know that the cheese is not typically melted onto the burger in the OG sammie. But, this is our burger and we can do what we want!
To finish off the burger, we can sing the song and add some of everything. “Two all beef patties…” or one chicken patty…check! “Special sauce…” Check! “Lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions…” Check! “On a sesame seed bun.” CHECK!
Listen, I don’t even like pickles. I peel them off of any sandwich I get that has them. But, even I loved the pickles on this sandwich. It just works!
Between the fluffy bun, the juicy burger, the gooey cheese, the crisp veggies, and the tangy sauce; this burger is EPIC. I like a good burger, but I’m not one that could eat them every day. This burger, though. I could eat it every day, twice a day. It’s the perfect balance of all the flavors and textures. And, it truly does taste JUST like that traditional fast food burger. It’s pretty magical, actually!
Ok, everyone. I had a lot of fun recreating this fan favorite burger. What fast food chain item should we try recreating/lightening up next?
In the meantime, enjoy! And, let’s eat!
Chicken Mini Mac
Serves: 4 Print
For the Mac Sauce:
¼ cup mayonnaise
1 ½ tbsp French dressing
1 ½ tbsp sweet relish
¾ tsp sugar
½ tsp dried minced onion
½ tsp white vinegar
½ tsp ketchup
½ tsp dijon mustard
pinch of salt
For the Chicken Burger:
1 lb ground chicken
½ small yellow onion, finely minced
2 tbsp mayonnaise
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp pepper
1 tbsp avocado oil
4 slices American cheese
4 sesame seed burger buns
Shredded lettuce, to taste (I used romaine)
Thinly sliced yellow onion, to taste
Pickles, to taste
Make the Secret Sauce: Add all ingredients for mac sauce to a small bowl. Stir well to combine. Cover, and refrigerate for 1-2 hours before serving.
Make the Chicken Burgers: To a mixing bowl, add ground chicken, onion, 2 tbsp mayo, Worcestershire sauce, ½ tsp salt, and ¼ tsp pepper to a mixing bowl. Mix gently until just combined. Form into 4 patties about ½ inch thick, and set aside on a parchment lined plate. Use your thumb to make a light indentation in the middle of each patty.
Heat avocado oil in a large non stick grill pan or skillet over medium high heat. Place burgers in the skillet, and cook for 5-6 minutes per side until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees. Turn off the heat, add one slice of cheese to the top of each burger, cover the pan, and let sit covered for 1 min to melt the cheese.
Assemble the burger: Schmear mac sauce over bottom bun. Top with lettuce, onion, burger, and pickles. Schmear a little more mac sauce on the top bun. Close the sandwich with the top bun. Enjoy!
*I recently got this ceramic grill pan, and I LOVE it. It’s easy to clean, gets nice and hot, and cooks evenly. I totally recommend it for indoor grilling.
*Measure the burger toppings with your heart. Use as much lettuce, pickles, and onions as you like.
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