Tuesday, March 23, 2010

My new favorite burger

Since last month's co-op pickup, I've had two one-pound packages of ground chicken breast sitting in the freezer, mocking me every time I'd go see what I had to create a meal plan around. The only thing I've ever made with ground chicken is chicken apple sausage patties. That's exactly what I had intended to do with them this time around, but I just wasn't feeling it.

Then I came across this recipe for chicken tequila burgers, another winner from Cara's Cravings. I modified it to exclude the tequila, as Jen the Beantown Baker did. I also made a version of Jen's Food Network-inspired drunken peppers to go on top. The beer we used was RedBridge, a gluten-free beer made by Anheuser-Busch.

Since the original recipe calls for 11oz of chicken breasts, and I had a full pound of ground chicken to use, I increased the quantities of the other ingredients a bit and ended up with five palm-sized patties instead of the original two servings. There would have been 6, but I made a pretty big one for The H and a small one for the little guy. See it there on the end?

The H and I both loved the combination of cilantro and lime with the ground chicken. Even the little guy ate about half of his, dipped in mustard. These are nice, summery-tasting burger that isn't heavy or greasy at all. The peppers and onions on top had great flavor that complemented the burgers really well. I look forward to making these quite a bit in the coming warmer months.

We served them with sweet potato fries, drizzled with olive oil and seasoned with kosher salt, cinnamon, ancho chili powder, and cayenne pepper, then baked at 400* and finished under the broiler while the burgers were cooking. I'm looking forward to the leftovers for lunch today... that's when you know it's good. :)

Chicken Burgers with Cilantro
adapted from Cara's Cravings and Beantown Baker
serves 6

1 lb ground chicken breast
2 large cloves garlic, minced fine
Two large handfuls fresh cilantro, minced (about 1/2 cup)
Zest from half of a lime
Splash of wheat-free tamari OR lite soy sauce
Sea salt and black pepper
1/2 cup plain dry oats
1/2 fresh lime, cut into wedges

1. Preheat broiler (to low, if you have a choice). Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and spray with nonstick cooking spray or olive oil.

2. In a medium bowl, combine chicken, garlic, cilantro, lime zest, tamari, salt and pepper, and oats. Using clean hands or a large spoon, portion the mixture into equal-sized mounds on the prepared baking sheet. Flatten and form into burger-shaped patties.

3. Place the burgers under the broiler for 10-12 minutes total, flipping halfway through cooking time. Serve on toasted buns (or gluten-free bread) with desired toppings and lime wedges for an extra flavor boost.

Drunken Peppers
serves 4

1 Tbsp olive oil
3 Poblano peppers, seeded and cut into strips (I used a large red pepper and a small orange pepper)
1/4 cup lager beer (we used the GF beer mentioned above)
1/2 medium onion, sliced
Sea salt and black pepper, to taste

1. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the pepper strips and onion; season with salt and pepper. Saute about 8 minutes, until veggies start to caramelize around the edges.

2. Add the beer and cover, cooking 5 minutes or until peppers are soft.

I do not have nutritional information for the burgers, since I modified them, but please check out the link to Cara's recipe above for the nutritional data from her original recipe.

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