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The Perfect Chicken Burger, How to Use Ground Chicken

Updated on November 18, 2011

Ranch Burger - Juicy and Delicious!

I have a serious thing for burgers - of all kinds. Beef of course is at the top of the list, but if it sits still long enough I'll make a patty out of it and slap it on the grill.

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

To assemble:

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)

  1. Put all ingredients except chicken in the bowl of a food process and process until pretty smooth. You'll have a very loose paste.
  2. Add paste to ground chicken, and mix well, but as little as possible. Handling the meat more than necessary will make it tough.
  3. Divide meat into 8 equal portions, and shape into patties. Chill until ready to use.
  4. Cook bacon until crisp, set aside and keep warm.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. Grill the second side for 6 minutes. Remove to a platter to rest. Top with the goat cheese while they rest.
  8. 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.


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    • Indian Chef profile image

      Indian Chef 4 years ago from New Delhi India

      Dixie, these burgers look mouthwatering and I am sure to try them out soon. Going to tweet this and voting up.

    • profile image

      SandyBeech1 4 years ago

      I just made these Burgers tonight. They were AWESOME!! Thanks very much. I'm always looking for something new, but on the healthier side. There was lots of flavor and they were juicy. I will definitely be making these again.

    • DixieMockingbird profile image

      Jan Charles 7 years ago from East Tennessee

      Thank y'all - I'm excited to be here! And thrilled to have a way to share my food obsession! John - had my first heart issues show up this year - so while I can't help the Southern bacon grease issues, you'll see a lot of 'adapted' dishes that I refuse to have taste less than fabulous.

      RTalloni - punny! hee hee....

    • RTalloni profile image

      RTalloni 7 years ago from the short journey

      This is great! Thank you for the good info and recipe. Looking forward to more well-done articles, no pun intended!

    • John Cain profile image

      John Cain 7 years ago from Dayton, Texas

      I live on chicken due to my cholestorol level. Thanks for one more way to enjoy chicken. Welcome to Hubpages and I am honored to be your first follower.