Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Chicken Garden Burgers

These are a two-fer, meat and veg all in one bite. They make a great work lunch or snack to bring on a road trip, too. Rachael Ray makes these with turkey, but since Dogtor J says, "All meats are naturally rich in glutamate and aspartate. Lamb (and eggs) are the lowest, while rabbit and turkey are the highest," I use pasture-raised chicken instead. Serves 5-6

1 lb boneless chicken breast*
2 large or 4 small scallions, equal parts white and green, thinly sliced
1/2 c carrot, shredded
1/3 c zucchini, grated
1/2 red bell pepper, finely diced
1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper or red pepper flakes (I prefer red pepper flakes)
2 TB fresh thyme leaves, minced

Cut up the chicken and put in a food processor with the metal blade; pulse until it's all ground up. Heat a large non-stick or cast iron skillet over just below medium heat. Combine everything except the EVOO and chicken in a large bowl and mix thoroughly.

Note: I always mix all the other ingredients first before adding the meat. I get more even distribution throughout the burger without overworking the meat, which as we know, toughens it. (Although my hands are always so cold, I doubt that's an issue in our house.)

Add the ground chicken, mix together, and form into 5 or 6 patties. I put down a big sheet of waxed paper to make the patties and lay them out for cooking for easy clean-up. Drizzle a little EVOO over each patty, top and bottom, and cook about 6 minutes per side till cooked through. Cook in 2 batches if you need to, to avoid overcrowding.

*You can buy chicken breasts much cheaper bone-in and cut the meat off yourself, keeping the bones in the freezer for chicken stock. Since it's going to all get ground up, you don't have to worry about making a hash of it.

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