Thursday, July 26, 2018

Basil Chicken Burgers

Do you ever run into recipes where, before you can make the recipe, first you have to make some of the recipe components?  For instance, if you're making a trifle, first you have to make the cake, pastry creme or pudding, and whip the cream.

I ran into just that sort of recipe yesterday, when I made Basil Chicken Burgers.  First I had to grind the chicken and make the pesto.  In order to make the pesto I had to toast the walnuts.  Luckily, toasted walnuts only have one ingredient, or I'm sure I would have had to make something else before toasting the walnuts, too.  In order to serve the burgers, I had to make buns.

And you are absolutely right.  I could have purchased ground chicken.  But why would I pay three times as much when I can grind it myself?  I could have purchased pesto (and have, in fact, purchased pesto in the past).  But why would I when I have basil in abundance, and all of the other ingredients on hand?  I could have purchased the walnuts already toasted.  But why would I when I have 2+ pounds of raw walnuts in my freezer?  I could have purchased the buns, but why would I when my homemade ones taste so much better and don't contain high fructose corn syrup or preservatives?

You may be relieved to hear that I did purchase mayonnaise to use in this recipe.  I could have made my own, but why would I, when I made $0.50 on the "purchase" of this mayo (and it also doesn't have high fructose corn syrup or preservatives)?

I found this recipe in a Family Fun Magazine years ago, and I can't find the recipe online anymore, so I've posted it below.  Since this is one of the recipes on my two week rotating menu plan, I tripled the recipe and froze the extras.  Hooray for batch cooking!

Chicken Basil Burgers
(click here to print this recipe)
Ingredients (serves 6)
    For the burgers:
    • 1 1/2 pounds ground chicken (I grind my own in the food processor)
    • 3/4 cup grated sharp Cheddar or 1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
    • 1/3 cup mayonnaise
    • 2 tablespoons pesto (store-bought or your favorite recipe)
    • Oil for brushing the burgers
    For serving:
    • 6 burger rolls
    • Lettuce
    • Sliced tomatoes
    For the Pesto Mayonnaise:
    • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
    • 2 tablespoons pesto

    1. Line a medium-size baking sheet with plastic wrap and set it aside.
    2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the ground chicken, cheese, salt, and pepper, gently tossing the mixture with your hands or a large fork, until evenly blended.
    3. In a small bowl, mix 1/3 c. mayonnaise with 2 T pesto, then add it to the ground chicken mixture and combine until evenly blended.
    4. (Because I have kiddos who don't like cheese, I combine all the ingredients except for the cheese, then divide the mixture into two even portions, and add half the amount of cheese to one portion)
    5. Shape the meat into six 1/2-inch-thick patties, placing each one on the lined baking sheet as you go. Cover the burgers with plastic wrap and refrigerate them for at least 30 minutes to firm them. (Note: The patties will be softer than traditional hamburgers.)
    6. While the meat is chilling, prepare the grill and make the Pesto Mayonnaise (just combine the ingredients in a small bowl).
    7. Brush one side of each of the burgers with a little oil and place them on the grill, oiled side down. Lightly brush oil on the other side of the burgers and cook them for 5 minutes on each side, turning once, or until the meat is no longer pink inside.
    8. Serve the burgers on the rolls, dressed with the lettuce, tomatoes, and Pesto Mayonnaise.
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