Chicken Tinga Burgers with Cilantro Avocado Mayo
Although my research may not be scientific, I have found that Americans crave Mexican food the moment they leave North America. This happened to me when I moved to London, and it was the same story with the other American expats I met during my time abroad. Discovering good Mexican food became a typical weekend adventure, and after what seemed like never ending disappointment I came across a restaurant where I soon became a regular. One of my favorite things on the menu were the chicken tinga tacos.I always seemed to order them even though I tried other dishes. Inspired by these tacos, my burger incorporates the smoky, spicy chipotle and tomato of the tinga with the cool bite of cilantro avocado mayo all grounded by pinto bean spread.
Cilantro Avocado Mayo
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 avocado, pitted and quartered
1 tablespoon lime juice
2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
½ cup red onions, sliced thinly
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tablespoon tomato paste
3 tablespoons sauce from canned chipotles in adobo
2 chipotle chilies from canned chipotles in adobo
2 teaspoons kosher salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
2 pounds ground chicken
Pinto Bean Spread
½ tablespoon vegetable oil
¼ cup red onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
½ cup canned pinto beans, drained and rinsed
½ teaspoon cumin
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper
½ cup low sodium chicken broth
Vegetable oil for brushing the grill rack
6 hamburger buns, split
6 Romaine lettuce leaves
6 tomato slices
½ cup crumbled queso fresco or feta cheese
Prepare a medium-hot fire in a charcoal grill with a cover, or preheat a gas grill to medium-high.
To make the mayo, combine all the ingredients in a blender and process until smooth.
To make the patties, heat the oil in a flameproof skillet. Add the onions and cook for 5 minutes or until they are soft and starting to turn light brown. Add the garlic and continue cooking for 3-5 minutes or until the onions are caramelized. Add the tomato paste, chipotles in adobo sauce, chipotle chilies, salt and pepper. Cook for 3 minutes or until the mixture is heated through. Transfer to a blender or food processer and puree. Combine the pureed mixture with the ground chicken using a fork. Form into 6 patties and set aside.
To make the pinto bean spread, heat the oil in a flameproof skillet. Sweat the onions and garlic until soft and add the pinto beans, cumin, salt, pepper and chicken broth. Cook the beans for 5 minutes or until the liquid has evaporated. Mash the beans with the back of a wooden spoon. Set aside.
Brush the grill rack with vegetable oil. Place the patties on the grill cook for 5-6 minutes. Flip the patties and cook for an additional 5-6 minutes or until they are cooked through. When the burgers are almost finished cooking, toast the buns cut side down on the grill for 1-2 minutes.
To assemble the burgers, spread the refried beans on cut side of the bottom buns, and spread the cilantro avocado mayo on the cut side of the top buns. On the bottom bun place a lettuce leaf, tomato slice, chicken tinga patty and crumbled cheese and add the top bun.