Fried chicken in any form has a special place in my heart (and my belly)! I am continuously looking for ways to bring new joy to me eating crispy fried chicken from my curried chicken schnitzel (recipe coming soon) to my shwarama flavoured crispy goujons.
It was only a matter of time before I found a way to make a Persian version of a fried chicken burger and here it is in all its glory. Chicken thighs marinated in a blend of buttermilk, saffron, turmeric, chili sauce, onions and garlic. Then coated with flour flavoured with Persian mixed spice (Advieh), Za’atar, onion and garlic powder and then deep fried to perfection. Served in a toasted brioche bun with lashings of moosir mayonnaise, crispy onions, Persian pickled cucumbers, Thai basil, tomato and lettuce. This amazing variation to the classic crispy chicken burger really is worth going the extra mile to get your hands on three Persian elements which are not readily available in your local supermarket.
Advieh is the Persian equivalent of mixed spice. It is used in many dishes with the combination of spices varying from region to region in Iran. It is a fragrant mix of spices and can be compared in use to garam masala in Indian cooking, whereby the addition of advieh seasons the dish and adds a further layer of aroma. It can simply be sprinkled on a plain rice dish, added to stews and marinades for meat. The one I use is a mixture of nutmeg, rose petals, cumin, cardamom, coriander, cinnamon and black pepper. I buy it online from a supplier on Etsy; however, this can also be picked up from most Iranian or Middle Eastern food shops. This spice forms part of the flour dredge for the chicken thighs and takes the flavour profile to another level of delicious.
Moosir is described in English as a Persian shallot and similar to a Solo or Elephant garlic and, like the Solo and Elephant varieties, has a flavour profile similar to garlic but slightly sweeter and softer in its spiciness. They grow wild in the foothills of the Zagros Mountains, and have to be found and dug out of the earth – a similar process to truffles. It adds an amazingly distinctive flavour to dishes. You can buy moosir from most Middle Eastern food shops or online. It is available in its dried form and needs to be rehydrated by soaking in water overnight. Whilst we usually use this for our yogurt dip Maast O’Moosir, I started adding it to my mayonnaise and have not looked back. It is so delicious that I am pretty sure once you try it, you will also never want to have mayonnaise any other way. The Moosir Mayo compliments this chicken burger brilliantly.
Khiarshoor is the name we call our pickled cucumbers (translated as salty cucumber). They are baby cucumbers pickled in salt, vinegar and flavoured with tarragon. Our pickled cucumbers are not sweet like British pickled cucumbers and they really compliment this burger. You can buy them online or in most Middle Eastern supermarkets, but if you cannot get your hands on them then normal dill pickles usually used in burgers are absolutely fine.
With the exception of three items above, you should be able to source all the other ingredients from your local supermarket. Both Tescos and Waitrose now have Thai basil available but if you can’t get your hands on Thai basil, then Italian basil is totally fine.
See my how to reel on instagram via the link below.
Persian Fried Chicken Burger aka PFC Burger
- 500 ml buttermilk
- 1/8 tsp ground saffron
- 1/2 tsp turmeric
- 1 tbsp chilli sauce
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
- 4 cloves garlic (crushed or minced)
- 1 onion (medium sliced)
- 4 chicken thighs (skinless and boneless)
- 8 discs dried moosir
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- 250 g plain flour
- 2 tbsp advieh (Persian mixed spice - Cardamom, Black Pepper, Dried Rose Petals, Cinnamon, Nutmeg)
- 2 tbsp Za'atar spice blend
- 2 tsp garlic powder
- 2 tsp onion powder
- 1 tsp salt
- Vegetable oil (for deep frying)
- 4 Burger Baps (such as Brioche buns)
- Thai Basil
- Pickled cucumbers
Marinade the Chicken Thighs
- Take a large bowl, add buttermilk, ground saffron, turmeric, chill sauce, salt, pepper, garlic, onion and mix with spoon. Add the chicken thighs and ensure they are full submerged in the marinade. Cover and leave in the fridge to marinade anything between 8 hrs to 24 hrs.
Rehydrate the Moosir
- Rehydrate the moosir by placing n a bowl and adding boiling water. Cover and leave overnight.
- Drain the rehydrated moosir discs and rinse. Mince finely with a sharp knife, discarding any tough parts. Take a bowl, add mix the moosir and mayo. Cover the bowl and leave in the fridge for the flavour of the moosir to permeate through the mayo (no less than 3 hours before you want to eat your burger).
Prepare the Flour Coating and Fry the Chicken
- Make the coating by combining the flour, advieh, za'atar, garlic and onion powder, salt and pepper.
- Drain the chicken thighs and sliced onion, reserving the marinade. One by one, dredge each thigh in the flour, then dip in the reserved marinade, then dredge again in the flour, pressing on as much as you can to coat. Transfer the coated thighs to a large plate. Do the same with the sliced onions.
- Heat a 20cm depth of oil in a saucepan or deep-fat fryer until it reaches 175C (please be careful with the hot oil and do not leave unattended). Lower two of the thighs in at a time and fry undisturbed for 3 mins, making sure the temperature doesn’t drop below 160C (it should stay at about 170C). Fry until deeply golden and crisp on both sides. Lift the chicken out and transfer to a tray lined with kitchen paper to drain, then put on a rack and keep warm in a low oven while you fry the remaining thighs and sliced onions. When all the chicken and onions have been fried get ready to build your burger!
Serving the Chicken Burgers
- Lightly toast your burger buns. Spread the Moosir Mayo on both ends of the buns, layer with lettuce, sliced tomates, Perisan pickled cucumbers, the fried chicken thigh, ketchup, the crispy fried onions and Thai Basil. Pop the top of the bun on and tuck in! A side of fries go very well with this burger and hoepfuly there will be some of the Moosir Mayo left to dip into.