Chef's Recipes

Dirty bird (chicken burger)

Australian Gourmet Traveller recipe for dirty bird (chicken burger) from Reuben Hills, Sydney.

  • 30 mins preparation
  • 25 mins cooking plus marinating
  • Serves 4
  • Print
"Reuben Hills' spicy chicken brioche burger is so addictive I want to make it for myself - and friends. Would you ask the restaurant for their recipe?" - Finn Williams, Darlinghurst, NSW
To request a recipe, email or send us a message via Facebook. Please include the restaurant's name and address, as well as your name and address. Please note that because of the volume of requests we receive, we can only publish a selection in the magazine.Begin this recipe a day ahead to marinate the chicken and pickle the slaw.


  • 2 (500gm) chicken breast fillets, halved horizontally
  • 200 gm Manchego, finely grated
  • 4 brioche buns, halved, to serve (see note)
Mexican marinade
  • ¼ cup dried Mexican oregano (see note)
  • 2 tbsp tinned chipotle chillies in adobo paste (see note)
  • 2 tbsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 50 ml canola oil
Dirty slaw
  • 200 gm caster sugar
  • 150 ml rice wine vinegar
  • 30 gm (¼ cup) sea salt flakes
  • 35 gm (¼ cup) caraway seeds
  • 1 tbsp cloves
  • 1 tbsp ground allspice
  • 1 each fennel bulb, Lebanese cucumber, Spanish onion and carrot, thinly sliced on a mandolin
  • ½ Savoy cabbage (about 750gm), thinly sliced on a mandolin
Tomatillo salsa
  • 250 gm canned tomatillos, coarsely chopped
  • 1 onion, coarsely chopped
  • ½ cup (loosely packed) chopped coriander
  • ½ tsp green habanero hot sauce (see note)
  • 1 tbsp ground cumin
  • Juice and finely grated rind of 1 lime
Chipotle aïoli
  • ½ cup (loosely packed) coriander
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbsp chipotle hot sauce (see note)
  • 2 tsp white wine vinegar
  • 1 garlic clove
  • Juice and finely grated rind of 1 lime
  • 200 ml canola oil


  • 1
    For Mexican marinade, combine ingredients in a non-reactive container, add chicken, turn to coat, cover and marinate overnight.
  • 2
    For dirty slaw, stir sugar, vinegar, salt and spices in a saucepan over medium-high heat until sugar dissolves. Bring to the boil, reduce heat and simmer to infuse (10 minutes). Strain and pour over vegetables in an airtight container and refrigerate overnight to pickle. Dirty slaw will keep refrigerated for 3 days.
  • 3
    For tomatillo salsa, blend ingredients in a food processor to a purée. Refrigerate until required.
  • 4
    For chipotle aïoli, process ingredients except oil in a food processor, then add oil in a thin steady stream until smooth and emulsified. Refrigerate until required. Aïoli will keep sealed and refrigerated for a week.
  • 5
    Preheat oven to 180C. Heat a char-grill pan over high heat, wipe off excess marinade from chicken and grill, turning once, until just cooked (3-4 minutes). Place grated cheese on the base of brioche buns and cook in oven until cheese melts (5-7 minutes).
  • 6
    Spread tomatillo salsa over cheese on bun bases and chipotle aïoli on top halves, add even amounts of pickled slaw on all bun halves, slice chicken, sandwich between bun halves and serve.


Reuben Hills use Brasserie Bread brioche rolls. Dried Mexican oregano, chipotle chilli in adobe, green habanero hot sauce and chipotle hot sauce are available from select delicatessens and online from and