I recently got an amazing gift from a reader of the blog – a couple of boxes of fantastic cook books! I’m starting to work my way through them, and yesterday I picked up one by Spike Mendelsohn (of Top Chef fame) – it’s a fun cookbook dedicated to food that makes you feel good. There are about 20 recipes for burgers; recipes for shakes, floats & freezes; and all kinds of fun stuff. As I was flipping through, my eye caught on a Chicken Burger.
Spike’s recipe calls for some smoky bacon & garlic laden wilted greens, and some homemade gingered honey mustard. I changed the recipe entirely – I think the only thing I kept from his original was the mixture of spices inside the chicken itself. I did wonder if a ground chicken burger would be flavorful and juicy enough – well let me tell you, these were awesome. I even went back for seconds a few hours later (so bad, right?).
1 ½ lb. ground chicken (I made 4 HUGE burgers out of this)
1 large sweet onion (Vidalia…Walla Walla…whatever sweets you have near you), sliced
Canadian bacon (1-2 slices per burger)
1 tsp. cayenne pepper
1 Tbl. Paprika
1 tsp. garlic powder
3 eggs, beaten
BBQ Sauce (I used Jack Daniels right off the shelf)
1 tomato, sliced thick
In a pan, heat up some olive oil and add the sliced onions. Over medium heat, cook the onions (stirring frequently) until they caramelize. Do not add salt – this will sweat them instead of allowing them to caramelize. This could take 15 minutes or so, but watch to make sure you don’t actually burn them. They should be brown to dark-brown in color around the edges. Once they are nicely browned, remove and set aside.
While the onions are cooking, heat up a large pan with a little olive oil and cook the Canadian bacon on both sides (just until cooked through). Remove from the pan and set aside. Leave any liquid in the pan – although you will probably still need to add some olive oil. In 3 bowls, have the flour, beaten eggs and bread crumbs standing by. In another bowl, combine the ground chicken, cayenne, paprika, garlic powder, and some salt. The quantities worked for me, but by all means experiment with them (or change up the spices all together – rosemary might have been nice in this as well). Mix it all together thoroughly and separate into balls to make burgers. Shape your burgers, and then coat each one in flour, then the egg mixture, then the bread crumbs.
Heat up the same pan again over medium-high heat. Place the burgers in the pan and cook for 6-8 minutes each side until browned and cooked through. While these are cooking, in a small bowl combine some mayonnaise and horseradish sauce (this is completely to taste – I generally have to make 2 versions, a spicier one for me and a not so spicy one for my husband). Spread this mixture on both sides of your buns. Then add a dollop of BBQ sauce to the top bun. Place the finished chicken burger on the bottom bun, top with Canadian bacon, then tomato slices, and finally the caramelized onions and the top bun.
Optional: I served mine with seasoned waffle fries to complete the comfort food feel. Enjoy!