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What's The Difference Between A Chicken Burger And A Chicken Sandwich?

fried chicken sandwich on bun with toppings
fried chicken sandwich on bun with toppings - Ugur Karakoc/Getty Images

Chicken is one of the most versatile proteins in the culinary world. It tastes especially amazing when it's fried crispy and served on a bun -- which explains why fried chicken sandwiches are prevalent on fast food chain menus, as well as in many full-service restaurants. But if it's served on a burger bun, doesn't that make it a chicken burger? The short answer is no. There's a distinct difference between your classic chicken sandwich and a chicken burger, even though both options are delicious. It's all about how the chicken is prepared.

For a chicken sandwich, the chicken is typically a breaded fillet. Although fried chicken sandwiches are most common, the fillet can be cooked in other ways besides deep-frying it, it could also be grilled or roasted. The kind of bread doesn't matter, for example, a Nashville hot chicken sandwich uses two slices of white bread. Chicken burgers, on the other hand, use ground meat that's formed into a patty, like a classic beef burger. Like their beefy counterparts, chicken burgers are often grilled, and placed on a burger bun with your favorite toppings.

Read more: The Ultimate Ranking Of The Best Fried Chicken Chains

Tips On Using Ground Chicken In Recipes

chicken burger on bun with tomatoes and onions
chicken burger on bun with tomatoes and onions - Lauripatterson/Getty Images

If you love burgers but are trying to cut back on red meat, ground chicken is a tasty alternative. Ground chicken contains many vital nutrients, including protein, vitamin A, and magnesium. And you can find it just as easily at the grocery store or butcher as ground beef.

When it comes to making chicken burgers, how you flavor the ground meat is key to ensuring a delicious result. The mixture will need to be well-seasoned with salt and pepper, then consider adding minced garlic, fresh herbs like chopped parsley, and spices like paprika. Adding panko bread crumbs and an egg to the ground chicken mixture will bind the patty, and help it stay moist and juicy while cooking. It's best to cook chicken burgers at a lower heat than beef or pork burgers, due to the lower fat content. High heat can leach too much moisture out of ground chicken and leave it with a displeasing, dry texture. Ground chicken needs to reach an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit for safe consumption.

What Makes A Great Chicken Sandwich?

fried chicken sandwiches with pickles and sauce
fried chicken sandwiches with pickles and sauce - Joshua Resnick/Shutterstock

It's no secret that fried chicken sandwiches are having a moment -- and have been for the last few years. There are several key elements to consider whether you're ordering a crispy chicken sandwich from your favorite restaurant, or making your own at home. Because fried chicken is heavy and rich in flavor, including an acidic ingredient is just the thing to balance it out. Pickles are a standard topping for chicken sandwiches, but something like pickled jalapeños can add some heat and brightness.

For even greater flavor enhancement, choose your sauce carefully. If you love a touch of sweetness with savory foods, honey mustard is an excellent selection. When enjoying a spicy chicken sandwich, creamy ranch dressing perfectly offsets the heat. Smoky barbecue sauce is another good choice, as it features a nice balance of sweet and savory. Whether you prefer chicken burgers or sandwiches, rest assured that both offer massive flavor when you cook them properly and choose the right toppings.

Read the original article on Daily Meal.