Loaded Buffalo Chicken Burgers

I’ve had this recipe sitting around for a while. And sitting and sitting and…well, you get the point. I figured now is as good of a time as any to share, especially since it’s peak grilling season.

I’m a big fan of buffalo chicken anything (well, almost anything. I mean, some people are out here making buffalo chicken hummus and stuff and I’m so not about that. Leave hummus alone, y’all. It’s wonderful the way it is.), and after a big crisp salad with buffalo chicken strips on top, I’d say this burger is my favorite form. Resting on a toasty onion roll, paired with a smoky/sweet bacon jam, all topped with a crunchy blue cheese “slaw”. This burger is enormous and will totally make your summer cookout.

First things first: Make THIS Maple Bourbon Bacon Jam (if you already have a favorite bacon jam recipe, make that – or – ::Ina Garten voice:: store bought is fine). I would recommend making the jam a day or two in advance, it takes some time (totally worth it).

Bonus: It makes a decent amount, so you can eat it on other things! Like toast. Crackers. And…um…spoons.

Next step: Prepare apple/celery slaw. Slice/dice apples and celery, toss in a bowl with chunky blue cheese dressing, a touch of white vinegar, salt and pepper, and set aside.

Snacking optional.

For the burgers, keep it simple. Mix ground chicken with salt, pepper, and 1/2 of an onion, grated. Shape into four patties, making sure to place a dent in the center of each to prevent the patties from puffing up while cooking. Grill over medium high heat for 6-7 minutes each side or until a meat thermometer inserted in the center reads 17o.

While the burgers cook, toast your buns! If you want.

I found that toasting the rolls makes for a more sturdy surface to handle all that burger. Also while the burgers are grilling, cook butter and hot sauce over medium heat until butter is melted and the mixture is bubbling gently.

When the burgers are done cooking, immediately dunk them in the butter and hot sauce mixture, coating on both sides.

Enjoy your bath, lovely.

Time to assemble dat burger.

Spread the bacon jam on the bottom of the roll, top with the buffalo sauce-coated burger, then the apple/celery slaw. Add the top of the roll (obvs), and. Dig. In.

I think these would really go nicely with some baked sweet potato fries. But you do you, boo. Enjoy!

“Loaded” Buffalo Chicken Burgers with Maple Bourbon Bacon Jam and Apple/Celery Blue Cheese Slaw

  • 1 batch Maple Bourbon Bacon Jam, made ahead and refrigerated
  • 1 lb lean ground chicken
  • 1/2 medium onion, grated fine
  • 1 Granny Smith Apple, julienne cut
  • 3 stalks celery, sliced on the bias
  • 1/2 cup chunky blue cheese salad dressing
  • 2 TB distilled white vinegar
  • 1 cup hot sauce (I use Frank’s)
  • 4 TB butter
  • salt and pepper
  • rolls of your choice (I used onion rolls)

Take bacon jam out of the fridge and set aside (You might want to just pop it in the microwave for a few seconds to take the chill off and make the jam ‘spreadable’). Mix dressing and vinegar in a bowl, add sliced celery and apple and toss. Season with salt and pepper. Note: if you’re  a big blue cheese fan like me, feel free to add some extra crumbled cheese to the slaw if you have any on hand. I didn’t have any this day but it would have made the slaw that much yummier. Refrigerate slaw while finishing burgers.

Mix ground chicken, grated onion, salt and pepper. Form into four patties, pressing a dent in the center. Grill over medium high heat, 6-7 minutes per side.

While the burgers are cooking, toast rolls in the oven if desired. Add hot sauce and butter to a small pan and cook over medium heat until butter melts and the sauce bubbles gently.

When the burgers are cooked through, toss each in the sauce until covered.

Assemble burgers and serve.

 

 

Kufta Style Lamb Burgers with Garlic Tzaziki

This post has been a few months in the making. It was one of those things that had been in the back of my mind to do but took a while for me to actually get around to cooking.

Back in February I threw my annual Oscar Party and served these Middle Eastern Kufta style sliders:

Hat tip to The ElVee for the photo. 

One taste of these and I knew I wanted to recreate them in a regular sized burger. The different spices gave the meat such an interesting depth of flavor that was only highlighted by its accompaniments – fresh plum tomatoes, caramelized onions, cool creamy garlic tzaziki, spicy store-bought harissa, and a savory dakkous. I didn’t have that many toppings this time around, but as far as I’m concerned, (nearly) anything goes.

Start by measuring out all your spices and set aside. Grate one half of a medium sized onion (white or yellow) into one pound of ground lamb. Add a clove (or two!) of grated garlic, and 1/2 cup finely chopped fresh parsley. Add spices and mix thoroughly to combine.

Form into 4 oz patties and allow to rest 20-30 minutes so the flavors combine and meat comes to room temperature. Press a small dent into the middle of the burgers when forming to prevent them from “puffing up” in the center while cooking.

While my burgers rested I made my tzaziki sauce. Greek yogurt, lemon zest, lemon juice, grated garlic, chopped dill, grated english cucumber, salt, pepper. Stir.

Set aside.

To serve with the burgers, I made Ina Garten’s Meditteranean Vegetable Salad, minus the chickpeas. It’s not a true fattoush, but many of the flavors are the same – cucumbers, tomatoes, lots of parsley, lemon juice and olive oil. So fresh and delicious. There’s a reason why Ina’s the queen, you know.

We also had dakkous, or a savory tomato sauce, for topping the burgers. It’s tasty and so easy to make. One can of diced tomatoes, one garlic clove minced, a bunch of cilantro, chopped fine. Bring to a low simmer in a pan with some olive oil, mash it up (I used my immersion blender), and serve.

So much better than ketchup. (Shout out to my friend Sara who made this in exchange for dinner.)

Onto grilling the burgers on my sad excuse for a grill.

Seriously, that thing’s getting replaced before next spring. That poor burner is hanging on for dear life.

Grill the burgers on medium high heat for about 4-5 minutes per side. Remove from heat and allow to rest for a few minutes.
I served the burgers in large, thin pita I found at a local market (Elias Market on Linden in Bethlehem. A little dumpy but some great finds.), but you can use any type you prefer — or just on a regular bun. I wrapped the pita in foil and placed them in a 250 degree oven for about 10 minutes before I was ready to serve. The pita were so big I was able to cut one in half for my burger.

Top burger with preferred toppings and serve. I went for it here – tzaziki, crumbled feta, tomatoes, the harissa, and dakkous.

It was messy but so worth it.

Lamb Kufta Burgers 

  • 1 lb ground lamb
  • 1/2 Grated onion
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped parsley
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp allspice
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/4 tsp ground cardamom
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon

Combine spices and set aside. Grate onion and garlic into a bowl with the ground lamb. Add chopped parsley and spices and mix thoroughly. Make four 4 oz patties, forming them with a slight dent in the middle of the patties. Allow to rest for at least 20 minutes. Grill over medium to medium-high heat for 4-5 minutes per side. Remove from grill, allow to rest, and serve.

Garlic Tzaziki

  • 1 cup Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup grated English cucumber
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh dill
  • 1 clove garlic, grated
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • salt
  • pepper

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and stir to combine. Adjust seasonings to taste. Allow to rest for 15-20 minutes and serve.