Student food blog: Chicken and bacon burgers

Sophie EdmondsIt took me four years of living in Dunedin to get to Fergburger in Queenstown.

The other week, Alex and I took a day trip to Queenstown. Yes a day trip. We drove just under 3 hours there and 3 hours back. We left at 6am and returned at 10.30pm. It was an excellent day.

We climbed a great big hill (because we had zero dollars for the gondola), ate my favourite ice cream from Patagonia, dropped my $2 faux Ray Bans in the lake, crawled under a tourist platform on the lake and waded in, dodging massive trout and horrendous long black eels to retrieve said faux Ray Bans, drove to Arrowtown to geocache and then finished the day with a lakeside picnic of Fergburger.

In all my trips to Queenstown I had never once had Fergburger. Probably because the lines are always massive (and for good reason!). My favourite among the burgers was a chicken and bacon burger. It was "amazeballs''. It was such an excellent example of sandwich artistry that it inspired our dinner feast the following night.

Making the most of the semi-all right Dunedin summer evening (read not bucketing down or resembling a wind tunnel), the charcoal barbecue was fired up and our version of the Fergburger classic made its debut.

This is essentially a grilled chicken burger with bacon. You can cook up the chicken breasts in the frying pan if you don't have a barbecue. Each chicken breast you buy makes two burgers. You can slice them lengthways to get two thinner breasts. This way they cook faster, don't cause your burger to be massive and fall apart and half a breast is really what a portion of meat should be anyway.

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I used some cool chipotle salt that I found in Auckland, but have substituted some easy pantry spice staples that will recreate that flavour!

Chicken and bacon burgers
Makes 4

2 chicken breasts, cut into two thinner pieces
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp smoked paprika
1/2 tsp dried chilli
1 tsp salt
2 tbsp olive oil
4 large slices of shoulder bacon
4 ciabatta buns
tomato
avocado
red onion, thinly sliced
lettuce of your choice
tomato chutney
chipotle chili mayo (1/4 cup good-quality mayo mixed with a teaspoon or so of spicy chipotle sauce)

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A few hours prior to cooking, rub the chicken breasts in the olive oil, cumin, paprika, chilli and salt, making sure they are well-covered. Cover and keep chilled until cooking.

Fire up the barbecue to a medium/high heat and grill the chicken breasts and bacon until cooked through (when the chicken juices run clear and it's not pink in the middle) and the bacon is almost crunchy. I think this took about 15-20 minutes, but again it depends on the temperature of your barbie.

Cut open the buns, smother in mayo and chutney then assemble the burger with all the ingredients. Secure with a skewer if you wish.

Stuff in your mouth before it all falls apart.

Enjoy!