Peyton and I whipped up these burgers a few nights ago to critical acclaim from EVERYONE in the family, and I have to be honest with you, that almost NEVER happens, especially with a dish that is being tried for the first time. This recipe is our adaptation of one that I found in the latest edition of Bon Appetit magazine, and it is absolutely a keeper.
In the photo, I show the burger served sans bun, more like a salad with a little marinara drizzled to the side. My wife ate hers this way, I had mine between two toasted slices of a great, rustic pain francese from Iggy’s Bread in Cambridge, and the kids all chose to have theirs on whole wheat hamburger buns. Regardless of how we each prepared ours, we found the patties to be a delicious, moist and healthy alternative to a standard beef burger.
It was nice to be able to serve “burgers” without firing up the outdoor grill that night, especially since it was pouring rain and howling winds at around 50 MPH the night we cooked these….Ugh.
For those of you that have never worked with ground chicken before, it is a tad more fragile than beef, and requires a delicate touch when forming the burgers and coating them with the bread crumbs. I find that it helps to work with wet hands when forming the patties to keep the chicken from sticking to your fingers. These are “burgers” that you’ll always want to cook on the stove top and not on a grill, as they would most certainly fall-apart, and the crumb coating burn, if you cooked them over an open flame. Enjoy!
- 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- 2 cups panko bread crumbs
- 1/4 cup minced fresh basil, divided, plus 16 large basil leaves (2 per burger)
- 2 cups homemade or purchased refrigerated marinara sauce *
- 2 pounds ground chicken (white meat)
- 1 large shallot, finely diced and sauteed in EVOO until soft
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 large ball fresh whole-milk mozzarella cheese, thinly sliced
- 1 head Boston lettuce
- Freshly ground black pepper to taste
- * we used a new marinara recipe for this dish that was absolutely fantastic. It will feature in a post within the next week or so....stay tuned!
- Blend panko, the grated cheese and 4 tablespoons of the minced basil. Transfer to a pie plate.
- Mix marinara and remaining minced basil in a small saucepan. Transfer 4 tablespoons sauce to large bowl. Add chicken, 2 tablespoons EVOO, the sauteed onion, and 1 teaspoon salt. Season with pepper and blend.
- Shape the mix into eight 1/4 pound patties and coat with crumbs.
- Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat, and coat the bottom with a thin layer of olive oil. Cook patties until bottoms are crusty, 4 minutes. Turn patties over; top with cheese, and cook another 3 minutes. Cover; cook until cooked through and cheese is melted, about 1 minute.
- Assemble burgers with bread or rolls, lettuce, basil leaves, and warm marinara.