Without a doubt, the idea of a Jerk Chicken Burger conjures up things associated with Jamaican culture. Jerk sauce, a staple in Jamaica, is pretty much known throughout the world and has become fairly popular in North America. This spicy marinade is blasting with flavor and popping with a nice dose of peppery heat. Perhaps the most popular way to use the sauce is with poultry and that’s exactly what I plan on doing for this jerk chicken burger.
Step one is to make the sauce ahead of time. I recommend doing so at least a half hour before the rest of the preparation in order to give the jerk sauce a chance to develop its flavor.
Jerk Sauce Recipe
- 3 scotch bonnet peppers (jalapenos or bird’s eye chili peppers are a good sub too)
- 4 crushed garlic cloves
- 1 small cooking onion, roughly chopped
- 2 – 3 tbsp white sugar (depending on if you need to tone down the heat)
- 2 tbsp. salt
- 2 Tsp. ground black pepper
- 2 Tbsp. thyme
- 1 tbsp ground allspice
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp nutmeg
- 1 tbsp fresh zested ginger
- 2 – 3 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 fresh lime, juiced
- 1 cup rice wine vinegar (regular white vinegar is fine too)
- 1 – 2 tbsp coconut water (optional)
- Put all the ingredients in a blender and let it rip until it’s a fairly smooth, consistent sauce. If you don’t have a blender or food processor, just make sure to chop everything finely and then mix well in a bowl.
- Don’t be afraid to play around a bit with this jerk sauce recipe because it is very forgiving. If you find the sauce is too hot and spicy, just add a bit more sugar to tone it down.
- Homemade jerk sauce will keep for weeks if refrigerated – which means it’s also great for doubling or tripling the recipe to use on other tasty dishes like grilled barbecue chicken or pork.
This light and sweet topping is a great addition to the flavor profile of the jerk chicken burger, plus it adds a wonderful, vibrant color and only takes a couple minutes to prepare.
- 2 ripe mango, roughly diced
- 2 tbsp red onion, finely diced
- 1 tbsp cilantro, finely chopped
- 2 tsp rice wine vinegar (regular white vinegar is fine too)
- salt and pepper to taste
The easiest way to get nice chunks of mango is to cut a thick side away from the pit of the fruit. Then with a knife, carefully “score” (make long cuts along the length and width) the slice of mango in a checker board pattern. Push on the back of the cut piece to “bloom” the slice and depending on how tender the mango is, use a spoon or knife to remove the nice little squares of mango. Add the rest of the ingredients and gently mix.
Jerk Chicken Burger Patty
Originally I was thinking I’d just baste the chicken burger patty with some jerk sauce as I grilled it but I decided I really want the sauce to be the prevalent flavor so I’m adding some directly to the meat mixture. This means I’ll also be using some binders because its going to be a pretty wet mixture. If you prefer a little less heat, a milder flavor, or don’t want to put binders in your chicken burger, then use the jerk sauce the same way you would a regular barbecue sauce and coat the burger while it’s on the grill.
- 1 lb ground chicken meat
- 1 egg
- 2 cups bread crumbs (or more depending how wet the mixture is)
- 3 tbsp jerk sauce
- 2 tsp salt
- Add all the ingredients into a bowl and thoroughly combine the mixture. Form the mixture into 5 – 6 ounce patties. Cover and let sit in the fridge for 30+ minutes in order for the patties to set (so they won’t fall apart on the grill).
- Cook the burgers on a well oil, preheated grill. After flipping the chicken burger, baste it with some of the remaining jerk sauce, and repeat a couple times throughout the cooking process. Remember to cook the jerk chicken burger patties until their internal temperature reaches a safe 165 F.
Assembling the Jerk Chicken Burger
A jerk chicken burger can pretty much stand on its own so there’s not much need for any other ingredients than what we’ve already prepared. I’ve put a bit of mayo on the top half of the toasted bun and also some green leaf lettuce … that way I can tell my wife I ate my vegetables today. Then of course I put a healthy spoonful of our mango topping on the jerk chicken burger and tucked in.
Well I’ve held off the entire article without doing a single Jamaican saying and I can’t hold back any longer, so here goes nothing. This jerk chicken burger will have you and your guests saying “Irie” (meaning “great”) and “Betta belly buss dan good food waste!” (meaning – it’s better to overeat than to waste good food).
Thanks for popping by and checking out the jerk chicken burger recipe. I hope you have a chance to enjoy it. Subscribe to our newsletter (located in the right sidebar), or follow us on Twitter, Pinterest, Facebook, YouTube, or Google +1.