Friday, February 18, 2011

Garlic rosemary chicken burgers

Burgers are about as American a food if there ever were one.  What other food can be found at both black tie weddings and the most humble of backyard barbeques?  None that I can think of, that's for sure.  Miniature Kobe beef burgers have become trendy to serve as appetizers at all sorts of formal affairs (think the Governor's Ball after the Academy Awards).  On the other end of the spectrum, there isn't a more popular late-night snack food than a Big Mac or Whopper purchased at the drive-thru.  The burger has quite a wide-ranging group of friends, you might say.

As much as the burger means to American fare, so does beef to the burger.  It's available everywhere, relatively inexpensive, and just downright popular with the masses (save for the meat-haters out there, sorry!).  I'd bet that most people have only had beef burgers, and who can blame them?  Before a few years ago, I'd never strayed from the norm either.  And then it happened.  One day we were out to eat (for the life of me, I can't remember where) and I spotted a salmon burger on the menu.  Unique, definitely, so I figured I'd try it.  And BAM!  It suddenly became all I could think about... a burger made of something other than beef!

Since then, I've been on the hunt for anything-but-beef burgers: black bean burgers, turkey burgers, buffalo burgers, even portobello mushroom burgers.  I'm still looking for a lamb burger.  Now, before anyone goes and accuses me of hating a delicious cow burger, let me be clear -- I'm not saying one or the other is better, just different and equally tasty.  And totally worth your time and the calories!  After all, to me a burger in its simplest form is some sort of patty sandwiched between two buns, dressed however you like.

So, when I found this recipe for chicken burgers, my heart skipped a beat or two.  I think this is what the Chick-fil-A cows had in mind when they began telling America to "Eat mor chikin!"  But I'm taking it a step further -- not just a chicken sandwich, but a savory and juicy chicken burger.  Packed with fragrant rosemary and garlic flavored mayonnaise.  Cooked to perfection and still so tender.  Sandwiched between toasted buns with even more of the aioli (fancy word for anything mixed with mayonnaise), topped with sweet spinach greens.  Oh my goodness.

I'm not kidding when I tell you that the words uttered after my first bite aren't fit to print or repeat.  Just so damn good!  ...oops.  I served these to my number one taste tester and my somewhat picky eater of a sister last night... and they devoured them!  When I told them what was on the menu, I expected that I'd have to field questions.  Nope, none.  It was actually a very quiet dinner until someone asked for seconds.  I'd tell you to take my word for it as far as how good these chicken burgers really are, but you'd be doing yourself a disservice by not making them ASAP.  Have a fantastic weekend and eat mor chikin! :)

One Year Ago: Double chocolate cookies

Chicken Burgers with Garlic-Rosemary Mayonnaise
(adapted from Giada at Home)
-makes 4

A few notes: It's mentioned in the recipe, but it's worth saying again -- these burgers are very sticky before cooking.  Don't worry, they firm up nicely while remaining moist.  For an extra indoor winter picnic feel, I served these with Old Bay sweet potatoes and corn.  Yum for both the eyes and taste buds!

1 scant cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup fresh chopped rosemary leaves (or 2 Tablespoons dried rosemary)
1 clove garlic, minced
1 pound ground chicken
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 Tablespoon bread crumbs
4 sandwich rolls or burger buns of your choice
1 cup baby spinach (arugula works well, too)

For the mayonnaise, mix together mayo, rosemary and garlic in a small bowl and set aside.

For the burgers, preheat grill or grill pan over medium heat (or oven to 425F).  In a large bowl, add the ground chicken, salt, pepper, bread crumbs, and half of the mayonnaise mixture.  Using clean hands, gently combine the ingredients and form into 4 patties.  (Mixture will be very wet and sticky!)

If grilling, place the burgers on the grill and cook for roughly 7 minutes each side.  If cooking in oven, place on lined cookie sheet coated with nonstick spray and bake for about 15 minutes.  Place cooked burgers on paper towels and allow to rest for a few minutes.

Spread 1 teaspoon of the remaining aioli on the cut side of each roll.  Grill or broil for 1 to 2 minutes until lightly golden.

To assemble the burgers, spread a dollop of the remaining mayonnaise mixture on the tops and bottoms of the toasted buns.  Place the chicken burgers on the bottom halves of the buns.  Top each with 1/4 cup of greens and finish with the top half of the bun.  Enjoy!

1 comment:

  1. When I first heard burgers were going to be made without delicious beef, I thought, "Blasphemy!" But these chicken burgers have opened me up to a whole new world.