Aug 162014
 

Ok, true confessions – I love me some big juicy beef burger. BUT, I also love my health so I’ve been experimenting with leaner meats and I’ve finally found my way to a fabulous chicken burger.  And lovin’ you all like I do — I have to share!

THIS was my lunch today. Chicken burger with kale, pickled peppers, and creamy lemon dill dressing on a toasted wheat bun. The dressing and pickled peppers offered a nice freshness and light tang that paired wonderfully with the deeper flavors of the meat and toasted wheat bun.

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Isn’t that GORGEOUS!!!??

Tastes good and is good for you!

And trust me, this was NOT dry at all.  Chicken burgers have gotten a bad rap – this was juicy and full of flavor.

And noooooooooooo, it didn’t taste like a beef burger – it’s not supposed to – it’s CHICKEN!!

Its a great sandwich period.

Here is what I’ve learned:

#1 – Don’t mix it.

You heard me. Seriously. No mixing. Of anything.

Just ground chicken.

Gently shape it into a patty and let it rest. Too much handling ruins the texture of the grind. Grind is good – mush is bad. Remember that. 😉

And for goodness sakes – make sure it’s COMPLETELY at room temp before putting it in the pan. This ensures the fastest and most even cooking.

Before placing patties into the pan – sprinkle your seasonings on the outside.  Trust me, it will be alright.  The seasonings will stay on and they will have the slightest toast to them adding a nuttiness that is fabulous.

I like a mix of sage, celery salt, garlic, and thyme. But whatever your little taste buds desire is fine.

look at that………………YUM.

20140816_125644 #2. HOT pan.

That golden crustiness up there? Hot pan.

Make sure your pan is hot before you place those babies in there. Hot pan –  And just a touch of oil in there. AND LEAVE IT ALONE. Cook on one side until you see the meat is cooking up the sides of the patties,  then – leave it a bit longer – then flip.

I know you want to see what’s going on under there, but really, let the pan sear that burger so all the juice stays inside.

The top side (that you’ve already cooked) should have a lovely crunchy coat on it – YUM!

The top will begin to puff up as it cooks – resist the urge to push it down!  After you’ve bitten your nails a while, hopped back and forth foot to foot a bit, seriously questioned if something is wrong, come back and read this post – then, and only then can you gently push it down to ensure even browning (really – give it a few minutes to char a bit on the bottom so you don’t lose all the juices when you press! )

 

#3. The Toppings

Remember, we’re not trying to fool anyone here – this is a chicken burger – a delightful burger that deserves it’s own thang. So get creative – top it with my creamy lemon dill dressing,  pickled peppers, and kale — or whatever else makes your tastebuds tingle – – but PLEASE no plain mayo or the dreaded catsup.

Do that and you should have a fabulous chicken burger – juicy and full of flavor.

Toppings

Fried Kale

After I removed the burgers from the pan I threw some fresh kale right in the same pan.

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You’ll want to press it down with something – I used an extra fry pan and my jar of pickling peppers (but be careful if you use a jar – the heat will travel right up and through that pan!)

 

 

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Just cook until it begins to smell a little toasted.

Creamy Lemon Dill Dressing

Place a couple of tablespons of mayonnaise in a bowl, add finely chopped lemon peel, a splash or two of the lemon’s juice, and dill to taste.  Mix well. (should be two servings)

 

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Pickled Peppers

This is one of those ‘by sight’ and ‘to taste’ things – and actually, this used leftover ‘pickle’ from a jar of cucumbers I had pickled last week. Bascially a 16 oz mason jar full of vinegar and water with sugar to taste (think bread and butter pickles) to which I added sliced green peppers. Let them marinate for a day or two.

When you put it all together

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Because I’m focused on increasing my fitness level right now I paired it with fresh grapes and a half a peach. The peach has some cinnamon sprinkled on it and this was SOOO good. 🙂

(The entire mean was roughly 550 calories according to my piecing it all together on My Fitness Pal. )

I’d LOVE to hear other chicken burger recipes – if you’ve got a favorite one, let us know in the comments below!

 

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