What Are the Best Tips for Making a Chicken Fillet Burger?

Eugene P.
Eugene P.
Using a dry rub to season a chicken fillet burger can add flavor and spice.
Using a dry rub to season a chicken fillet burger can add flavor and spice.

A chicken fillet burger has a different and distinct taste when compared to a traditional beef burger. The fillets themselves sometimes need to be prepared so they will cook evenly and fill out a burger roll properly. They can be marinated for extra flavor or covered in a sticky sauce that becomes crisp as it is cooked. The low fat content and fast cooking time of a chicken fillet can make it perfect for roasting in an oven as a healthier alternative to frying. Alternately, a heavy, breaded coating combined with a mayonnaise-based sauce or mashed potatoes can make a hearty meal in a bun.

A chicken fillet is often thicker in the center than it is on the edges. This can cause some problems when cooking one for a chicken fillet burger. One solution is to cut the fillet in half to make two thin fillets that will cook evenly all the way through without the edges drying out and becoming hard, although the portion size might be smaller than desired. A better solution is to wrap the chicken in plastic wrap, pound it until flat and trim any excess, if necessary.

When deciding what spices to use for a chicken fillet burger, the type of roll that is being used, as well as any toppings, should be considered. A standard hard roll will mitigate more subtle spices, so the amount of spices used should be increased over the amount that would be used if the fillet were being served on its own. This is especially true for seasonings such as garlic, ginger and pepper, which can easily be overpowered. Similarly, if a special sauce is going to be applied to the roll, then those flavors need to be taken into consideration to create a balanced taste.

There are two main ways to get flavor into the meat of a chicken fillet burger. The first is to use a marinade. Marinades can impart a spicy, tangy flavor to chicken, especially with the addition of vinegar. It also can help to keep the chicken juicy while it is cooking. A marinade usually cannot, however, give the same punch that a rub or mop sauce can.

A rub is a collection of dried spices that are applied to the surface of the chicken to impart an intense flavor, especially once the spices are cooked. A mop sauce is the same concept as a rub, except it usually contains some sugar or honey so the sauce sticks to the outside of the meat and caramelizes as it cooks. Barbecue sauce, hot pepper, vinegar, brown sugar and garlic are all popular additions to a rub or mop sauce that will cook into a very spicy coating.

When it is time to cook a chicken fillet burger, it can be fried, roasted or grilled. Frying can help to make a more hamburger-like patty, with browned areas on the surface. Roasting can be used to avoid fats that might be needed with a frying pan and, at the appropriate temperatures, can even crisp a bread-crumb coating. Grilling can help to make a tasty chicken fillet burger by imparting a smoky flavor and grilled surface. Unlike beef, when a chicken fillet is done cooking, it can be placed on a bun and served immediately without having to rest first.

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Discussion Comments


@SarahGen-- When roasting chicken fillets in the oven, it's also possible to prevent them from drying by putting a pan full of water on the bottom of the oven for extra moisture.

I never have this problem because I always marinate my fillets overnight. Not for moisture but for better flavor. I marinate them with yogurt, onion and spices. It makes the chicken so tasty!

I also like using different sauces and condiments to top the chicken fillets.


@bear78-- Do you cook the chicken in oil and uncovered? Are you slicing the fillets to make them thin and even?

I'm assuming that these are causing the chicken to dry out while cooking. Something I like to do to avoid this is cover the pan for the first fifteen or so minutes so that the chicken cooks thoroughly without drying out. Covering it causes the chicken to release its natural moisture. Once the chicken has cooked nicely this way, I open the lid and cook for another five to ten minutes to give the chicken a nice, roasted color and flavor.


My biggest problem when making a chicken fillet burger is that the chicken turns out too dry! I've tried marinating it and it was still too dry for my liking. I cook the chicken fillets on a pan. Could this be the problem?

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    • Using a dry rub to season a chicken fillet burger can add flavor and spice.
      Using a dry rub to season a chicken fillet burger can add flavor and spice.