Oct 4, 2010

Pesto Chicken Burgers

I have a great love for chicken burgers. I love that you can flavor them any way that your heart desires, from very complex flavors to something simple. I love that they are hearty but you are eating chicken versus beef. I just love them.

This is a recipe that I dug out from the depths of my recipe collection to try. It's one that I have kept around for a long time but would always put back in favor of something else. There isn't much to these but I am so glad that I finally made them. The pesto is definitely the overwhelming flavor but I love it, so that was fine by me. The original recipe called for these to be open-faced on ciabatta bread but I used a hearty, delicious French roll and it was perfect!! I know that summer is officially over but one last burger won't hurt!

Pesto Chicken Burgers
Very slightly adapted from Better Homes and Gardens

lb. uncooked ground chicken or ground turkey
4 Tbsp. purchased basil pesto
1/4 cup finely shredded Parmesan cheese
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 tsp. kosher salt or salt
2 3-inch pieces ciabatta bread or four French rolls
2 Tbsp. olive oil
4 slices fresh mozzarella cheese
2 cups fresh basil leaves, arugula, or spring garden mix
8 small tomato slices
Red onion, thinly sliced
Ground black pepper

1. In bowl combine ground chicken, half of the pesto, the Parmesan, garlic, and salt. Shape into four 1/2-inch-thick oval patties (to fit bread).
2. Halve ciabatta horizontally. Brush cut side of ciabatta with olive oil; set aside (reserving any extra oil).
3. For a charcoal grill, place patties on greased rack directly over medium coals. Grill, uncovered, 10 to 13 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink (165 degrees F), turning once halfway through grilling. Top each patty with a mozzarella slice. Cover grill; grill 1 to 2 minutes more or until cheese is melted. Add bread and grill for 1 to 2 minutes per side or until toasted. (For gas grill, preheat grill. Reduce heat to medium. Place patties on grill rack over heat. Cover; grill as above.) Or cook on a grill pan.
4. Arrange greens and onions on toasted bread. Top with chicken patties and tomato slices. Stir any remaining olive oil into remaining pesto and drizzle over all. Sprinkle with coarsely ground black pepper. Makes 4 servings.

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