The Mule is not so much a chicken burger as it is a braai cocktail. As all of you who have spent a decent amount of time in any great cocktail bars around the world will realise, I quite clearly based the flavour combination of the Mule on the classic cocktail by the same name. As you will see, it works very well in braaied format. Marinating the chicken breast in the ginger beer for a few hours means you end up with braaied meat that is very juicy and which sports the great complementary taste of ginger. During the braai the sugar in the marinade also creates the fantastic look, texture and taste of caramelisation on the surface of the meat. The minted mayonnaise makes the whole meal nice and fresh, something I think many a South African braai dearly needs!
- 4 chicken breast fillets
- 4 burger rolls
- 1 can/bottle ginger beer
- 2 tots fresh mint leaves (finely chopped)
- ½ cup mayonnaise (creamy)
- butter or olive oil
- 2 tomatoes (sliced)
- 1 lemon
- fresh mint (for serving)
- Pack the chicken breast fillets on a chopping board and cover with cling wrap. Now pound the thick side of each piece of meat with a meat mallet, wine bottle, rolling pin, side of a meat cleaver or any other item of sufficient weight and size. You want the meat to relax so that the whole fillet is more uniform in thickness. This step will make the meat easier to braai, better-looking on your burger and more tender to bite. While the cling wrap will not aid in any of these goals, nor influence the final taste of the burger, it will prevent small pieces of chicken meat flying all over the place.
- Place the chicken fillets in a marinating bowl and pour the ginger beer over them. They just need to be covered in ginger beer so depending on the shape of the bowl you might not need the whole can and there might be ginger beer left over. Drink it if there is. Let the meat marinate in a fridge for 2 hours.
- At some stage during this time, wash and finely chop the mint leaves and mix with the mayonnaise.
- After 1 of those 2 hours of the chicken swimming in the ginger beer, light the fire and once the coals are ready an hour later, braai the meat.
- Braai the meat for about 6–10 minutes on hot coals until it is done. The nice thing about chicken breast fillets is that you can actually see the meat colour changing from raw to ready on the braai. Take the meat off the fire when ready. You can also add the chicken breasts to your fire proof pan or potjie, add the left over ginger beer and let this caramalise with the chicken.
- Butter or oil the rolls and toast on the grid, taking care not to over-toast (burn) them.
- Assemble the burger: Buttered and toasted roll, lettuce, tomato, chicken breast, minted mayonnaise and some extra mint on top.
- It is important to serve the Mule with a slice of lemon so as to have all the classic ingredients of the namesake cocktail present on the plate. Bonus points if you sear the lemon on the fire.
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