Recipe: The Mac 'n' Cheese Burger


This towering stack is best shared!!! At the base is a battered and deep-fried slice of creamy, cheesy macaroni pasta. A dollop of spicy homemade tomato and eggplant ketchup is spread upon the base and topped with ample fresh peppery rocket leaves. Next, strips of juicy chicken thigh meat slowly braised in pepsi, smoked paprika, garlic and onions, then shaped and rolled in bacon breadcrumbs before deep-frying for a crispy coating. Another battered macaroni slice completes this monstrosity. Rhett's has added cheese (as if there wasn't already enough) and plenty of fiery heat from red chillies and sriracha.


For The Buns

  • 500 g macaroni pasta
  • 50 g butter
  • 50 g plain flour
  • 320 ml whole milk
  • 200 g cheddar cheese, grated
  • 200 g Red Leicester cheese, grated
  • 50 g parmesan
  • 160 g plain flour
  • 320 ml milk
  • 1 tsp salt

For The Chicken

  • 6 chicken thighs
  • 660 ml pepsi
  • 1 onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 tbsp paprika
  • 1 small bowl plain flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 100 g dried breadcrumbs
  • 6 rashers streaky bacon

For The Relish

  • 3 tbsp tomato ketchup
  • 2 tbsp aubergine chutney
  • 1 fresh red chilli
  • 1 bunch fresh coriander

For The Toppings

  • 1 handful fresh rocket leaves
  • 2 slices of your favourite cheese
  • 1 squeeze siracha sauce
  • 1 dollop mayo

Step 1

Make The Cheese Sauce

Melt the butter in a pan, then stir in the flour. Pour in the milk a little at a time, only added more when the last amount has been absorbed and the paste or sauce is smooth, stirring all the time. Allow the thick custard like white sauce to bubble gently for 4-5 minutes to get rid of any raw flour taste. Add the grated cheese and mix to melt.

Step 2

Make The Macaroni Cheese

Cook the macaroni in a large pan of salted boiling water for 8-9 minutes, until just cooked. Drain the cooked pasta and stir into the sauce, then transfer the entire mixture to a large baking tray, lined with a silicon mat. Chill the macaroni cheese in the fridge for an hour or two.

Step 3

Cook The Chicken

Peel and dice the onion and garlic, then fry in a shot of oil in a large saucepan for 5 minutes until softened. Spoon in the paprika and all of the pepsi, before submerging the de-skinned chicken thighs in the liquid and heating to a gently simmer. Simmer for 30 minutes until the thighs are cooked, then scoop them out and leave them to cool.

Step 4

Make The Chicken Patties

Strain the remaining liquid into a small pan, through a sieve to remove any bits. Boil the liquid rapidly for as long as it takes to reduce down to a thick syrup. Pick and strip the chicken meat from any sinew, fat or bones and mix in a bowl with the pepsi syrup. Press into circular discs on a tray lined with baking paper using a large cookie cutter. Freeze these patties for 30 minutes just so that they become easier to handle.

Step 5

Make The Bacon Crumb

Lay strips of bacon on a baking tray and cook in an oven at 180°C for about 10 minutes until very crispy, but not burnt. Place the strips on kitchen paper to get rid of excess grease then blitz to a bacon crumb when cool. Toss the bacon crumb into the breadcrumbs in a bowl and prepare a bowl of seasoned flour and another bowl of beaten egg.

Step 6

Deep Fry The Patties

Roll the chicken patties in flour, egg then the bacon crumb, before frying in a pan of hot oil for 20-30 seconds on each side to get a golden colour. Place the golden, crisp patties on a baking tray so they are ready to reheat in the oven when required.

Step 7

Deep Fry The Buns

Whisk the 320ml of milk into the 160g of plain flour and season with salt and pepper. Cut the chilled macaroni cheese into discs the same size as the chicken patties using a cookie cutter. Heat a frying of oil to 190°C, then dunk the pasta discs into the batter and deep fry for 2-3 minutes until crispy and golden. Drain the patties on a wire rack or kitchen paper, then position on a baking tray to heat through in the oven when required.

Step 8

Make The Relish

Chop the coriander finely and stir into the tomato ketchup and aubergine chutney to create a brilliant tangy relish. Wash the rocket leaves and slice the red chilli.

Step 9

Assemble & Serve

Heat the pasta and chicken patties through in the oven for 10 minutes. Lay a pasta ‘bun’ on the base of the stack and spoon on some relish. balance a mound of rocket leaves on top, then sit the chicken pattie on top. Spread on more relish and an optional layer of cheese and chilli if you prefer before finish the burger with a second macaroni ‘bun’. Makes 2 burgers, which for comical effect can be stacked on top of one another.

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