The Perfect Chicken Burger, How to Use Ground Chicken
Ranch Burger - Juicy and Delicious!
Not too long ago, one of our local grocery stores finally decided to carry ground chicken - and they had acres of it on sale for less than .50 a pound. That's low enough for me to justify playing with a bunch of it!
I came up with several variations on the chicken burger and along the way I came up with ways to avoid most of the pitfalls of trying to cook ground chicken on the grill - or any other extra lean meat.
The first problem is that any patty you make will be fragile - there isn't much fat in there to cause the thing to have much cohesion. they completely fall apart on the grill. This is overcome through the use of a binder - I found that a well whipped egg white did wonders.
The second is drying - again, because of the lack of fat, a chicken burger can quickly become a hockey puck. Use higher heat on a well oiled grill, and don't turn it until the time comes. Letting the chicken caramelize will allow the proteins to release from the grill - and you can flip your burgers in a single piece with no divine intervention necessary.
The third major problem is lack of flavor. Very lean meats lack the prime delivery method of flavor - you guessed it - fat. You'll need to replace the flavor with something that won't overwhelm the flavor of the meat itself. You want to enhance the chicken flavor, give it a direction - but don't send it off to hide.
This recipe meets all the criteria I set out - moist, flavorful and delicious. Great flavor - but you can still taste the chicken. And finally - it's just easy and quick. It got the highest accolades at my house - all four kids loved it and asked for more. YAY!
2 lbs ground chicken (dark meat if you can find it, if not white is fine)
1 packet ranch dressing mix (not dip)
1 egg white
½ tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
1/4 cup onion
2 small cloves garlic
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes (optional)
2 Tbl fresh parsley
Oil for the grill
1/2 cup sour cream (reduced fat works well)
16 slices thick cut bacon (skip this or use half slices to lower the calorie and fat content)
Red leaf lettuce
8 burger buns (you can use the 123 bread dough for this if you like - it's yummy)
1 cup crumbled goat cheese (or something else but this is delicious, or skip the cheese)
- Put all ingredients except chicken in the bowl of a food process and process until pretty smooth. You'll have a very loose paste.
- Add paste to ground chicken, and mix well, but as little as possible. Handling the meat more than necessary will make it tough.
- Divide meat into 8 equal portions, and shape into patties. Chill until ready to use.
- Cook bacon until crisp, set aside and keep warm.
- Preheat grill to medium high. Make sure the temp is nice and hot, and that the grill is well oiled. This is what keeps the burgers from sticking - and helps insure that you'll have beautiful grill marks.
- Grill the burgers on the first side - without turning them! - covered for 7 minutes. Flip them - ONCE. Turning them more often will increase the likelihood of sticking.
- Grill the second side for 6 minutes. Remove to a platter to rest. Top with the goat cheese while they rest.
- To assemble - while the burgers rest, grill the buns for just a minute until toasty. Spread the warm buns with sour cream, and add the burgers. Top with lettuce and a couple of slices bacon each.
Get the good napkins out.
- The Thrillbilly Gourmet
Combining classic technique with everyday food for spectacular results!
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