Thursday, May 23, 2013

STUFFED! Balsamic Blast Chicken Burgers

Memorial Day is approaching and here in Washington we grill rain or shine. This Memorial day we will be taking the boys to a baseball game for their birthdays. I must take lots of pictures of all the food we eat (oh and the boys too)! Despite the fun we will have on this day off together we won't forget to remember the reason we "celebrate" this day. 

If you plan on remembering those that served our great country with family and friends gathered around the grill, how about cooking up these stuffed chicken burgers?! I first made these the "Build a Better Burger" contest and I want one just looking at this picture. We all know the balsamic, mushroom and goat cheese combo goes great together, but the ground chicken serves as a great base for this proven flavor blast.   

Chicken Patties:
1 1/2 pounds ground chicken
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon fresh thyme, finely chopped
4 large cloves of garlic, minced
1 sweet onion, finely chopped
1/3 cup Panko bread crumbs
4 ounces goat cheese
Balsamic Mushroom Topping:
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup mushrooms, sliced
2 large cloves of garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 tablespoon fresh Italian parsley, finely chopped
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon honey
Vegetable oil, for rubbing on the grill rack
6 whole wheat hamburger buns, split


To make the chicken patties combine all of the ingredients excluding for the goat cheese in a large bowl and mix well using your hands. Divide mixture into 12 and shape into equally sized balls. Flatten all 12 patties very thin and into appropriate size for the accompanying buns. Leave a slight indention in the middle of each patty to allow for goat cheese stuffing. Slice and/or crumble the goat cheese and equally top 6 patties with the cheese. Top each cheese patty with the remaining patties and press gently to seal and enclose the cheese. Set in the refrigerator until grilling.

To make balsamic mushroom topping heat canola oil in fire-proof skillet on the grill over medium-high heat. Sauté sliced mushrooms with garlic, salt and pepper. After mushrooms are nicely sautéed with a golden brown on the edges, remove from skillet and place in a medium bowl. Stir finely chopped parsley into the mushrooms, cover and set aside. Lower temperature in skillet to medium-low and add balsamic vinegar to the skillet, deglazing the pan and scraping any browned bits. Reduce heat to low and cook until vinegar reduces, about three minutes. Stir in butter. Remove from heat and pour over mushroom mixture. Gently fold in honey to the balsamic mushroom topping. Cover to keep warm.

Heat the grill to medium-high. When the grill is ready, with a paper or cloth towel, rub the grill rack with vegetable oil to prevent sticking.  Place the patties on the rack and cook until done, turning once until digital thermometer inserted sideways reads 170°F, about 14 minutes. Do not push down on the patty because this will release the chicken juices and cause the patty to squish through the grill grates. Remove the patties from the grill and place the buns, cut side down, on the outer edges of the rack to toast lightly.

To assemble the burgers, drizzle a spoonful of the balsamic mushroom topping liquid only on the bottom and top of each bun. Place a patty on each bun bottom and top with a generous helping of the mushroom topping. Top with the toasted bun tops. Finally, indulge in a decadent bite of juicy goat cheese chicken with a flavorful blast of balsamic.  

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