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Chicken Pizza Burgers

July 5, 2009

When planning dinner tonight, I was inspired by a dish that Elysabeth cooks, her Asian chicken burgers. She and I (mostly she) have made them on several occasions, both locally and in Wisconsin, with beef instead of chicken, in varying quantities and have more or less mastered the recipe. I wanted to do something similar tonight, but, if you can believe it, I have grown a bit tired of cooking Asian flavors at home and wanted to play with one of my other favorite flavor profiles, Italian. I did my best to substitute ingredients to maintain a similar texture with the new flavors, and the result turned out quite well. Feel free to up the spice factor by adding more crushed pepper, or to increase the acidity with a little more balsamic vinegar.

Chicken Pizza Burgers (Serves 4):

  • 1 lb ground chicken
  • 1 1/2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 medium red onion, grated
  • 1 large or 2 regular cloves garlic, crushed
  • 4 sun-dried tomatoes in oil, very finely minced (optional)
  • 1 1/2 tbsp dried italian seasoning (or 1/2 tsp each dried oregano, parsley, thyme, rosemary)
  • 1 tbsp. crushed red pepper
  • 4 tbsp. basil leaves, very finely minced, plus 12 whole leaves (separated, to top burgers)
  • 1/3 cup italian seasoned or plain bread crumbs
  • 1 tbsp. kosher salt
  • 1 tbsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 thin slices part-skin mozzarella cheese, broken into a few pieces each
  • 4 buns (knot, sesame, hamburger)
  • 1 8 oz can pre-made tomato sauce with basil, garlic, oregano or 8 oz homemade sauce

Instructions

  1. Combine first 12 ingredients in large mixing bowl. Mixture should be moist, but not very wet. Add more breadcrumbs if mixture is too wet.
  2. Form chicken mix into 4 patties and heat pan or grill to medium-high heat.
  3. When pan or grill is hot, coat with cooking spray and place patties down.
  4. Cook for 4-5 minutes a side or until patties are cooked through. Place 3 basil leaves and cheese on each patty.
  5. Toast buns while cheese melts, and place burgers on buns. Spoon 2 tbsp. of tomato sauce over each burger and serve immediately with extra sauce if available.

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