East By Southwest: A Chicken Burger Experience

Ahh the incomprehensible has occurred—employment rates have skyrocketed in Alyaville, and I am actually working now. If you must know, I work just a short walk down from the husband, and I do mean that literally. I was recently offered a short term position in his department (the details of which are inconsequential; we need only know that while it is not an ideal position for the fruity artsy writer/food-experimenter with her head in the clouds that I am, nevertheless I am grateful for the position and thankfully surrounded by good folks).

I just started, so my initial fear was What will this do to my blog?!??! Trust me, G has heard soooo much about my fears and whininess on this part it’s a wonder he hasn’t tried to get me fired just to appease the foodie inside me. But we are managing, just finding a pace which enables us to get work done, relax a bit, and find time to cook most days. I think in a way this will challenge me as well, to concoct a more diverse array of dishes that aren’t always so time consuming and simply by using just about whatever the heck is in the pantry considering I won’t be running to the store at the drop of a hat.

On the other hand, when I do run to the store, I tend to stock up. This blog entry: case in point. I don’t usually have avocados and wheat buns all the time, but I had a vision a while back so I decided to load on them. Plus the avocados were supposed to be for a literEature post which I haven’t had an opportunity to do yet, so more will have to be bought now. Alas. 🙂

Anyway, this burger turned out to be absolutely scrumptious (despite forgetting salt in my chicken marinade!!! Who does that??!?). A bit high maintenance but cooking is also my way of finding peace and sanity, even when the kitchen is a chaotic whirlwind of fright. Besides, homemade guacamole is a million times better (especially with green chillies chopped in!) and roasted peppers become so sweet and melty, the perfect complement to asian fusion chicken… but enough talk, let’s cook!

Ingredients

  • Alya’s guacamole (with chopped green chili like serrano! Just discovered that makes it better)
  • Thinly sliced chicken breasts

Marinade:

  • 2 tsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • SALT!!
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 ½ tsp honey
  • 1 red or yellow bell pepper, or 3-5 sweet mini peppers
  • Monterey jack cheese, sliced
  • Multigrain buns
  • Sri Racha sauce
  • Red onions, thinly sliced (optional)
  • Tomato, thinly sliced (optional)
  • Chips on the side

Firstly, get the chicken marinating—just whisk all the marinade ingredients (remember salt!! I forgot!), add the chicken to it and set aside. Follow my guacamole recipe, adding green chilis to spice it up perfectly. I swear this was the best guacamole I have made to date—creamy with a kick that punches your gut and then swaddles it in comfort.

In your oven, set to broil, place your red peppers on a pan and let them roast til the outside is charred (rotating occasionally). Once done, remove and let them cool, then chop them up how you like—in slivers or chunks. I chose a haphazard approach because I wanted this to be an wholesome untidy experience—perfect for after work when you just want to dive in with your hands.

Anyway, chop them up and set aside.

When ready, take out the chicken, heat up a frying pan and drizzle just a tiny bit of oil—letting it turn up to medium high. Let your chicken slices sizzle and fire up on the stove, about 6 minutes on the first side, less on the other. They should get a sweet darkened glaze from the marinade.

Now just Toast your buns, spread a little butter and hot sauce (I like Sri Racha) and assemble! Bun, chicken, cheese, guacamole, peppers, onions and tomato if you like, more cheese if you want, top bun.

Serve with chips and any remaining guacamole, and let the lazy sod in you relish in the freedom of losing yourself entirely in a warm brilliant burger fit for a summer afternoon.

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