Monday, June 23, 2014

16 Burgers of Summer: Chicken Cordon Bleu Burger

Good evening everyone! When we decided to embark on a burger themed summer menu, I knew I wasn’t going to limit our options to beef based burgers. After all, there is a whole world of options out there and focusing solely on the beef would be a disservice to the burger theme. While we probably weren’t going to go crazy and focus on ostrich burgers or start frying up alligators, I did plan on working in turkey and chicken to the menu.

If you’ve ever cooked a turkey or chicken burger and have walked away less than impressed – you’ll understand my next point. Where beef can exist and even thrive on natural flavor, the “white bird” meats cannot. A turkey or chicken burger left alone, with no support or plan of attack simply turns into a bland piece of meat that does little to satisfy.

That meant I would not only have the challenge of finding a “out of the ordinary” burger, but one that would embrace and adapt with the limitations of the medium.

Fast forward a few weeks and as fate would have it, I stumbled across a chicken burger concept that was both creative and simple. This concept seemed like the best place to move our burgers of summer theme (temporarily) away from beef and on to a new medium: chicken.

The Recipe: Cordon Bleu Burger
Original Recipe From:

What You’ll Need:
(Serves 4)

1 Pound Ground Chicken
1/3 Cup Diced Ham
¼ Cup Low Fat Mayonnaise
1 Teaspoon Dijon Mustard
5 Tablespoons Chopped Shallot (Divided)
1 ½ Teaspoons Fresh Thyme (Finely chopped, divided)
4 Slices Swiss Cheese
4 Bakery Fresh Buns
Fresh Spinach to Top

In a small bowl, combine the mustard, mayo, 1 tablespoon of shallots and ½ teaspoon of thyme. Whisk until well blended. Store in the refrigerator until ready to serve. If you’re crunched for time, you can make this sauce a day ahead of time and store in a sealed container.

Preheat your grill to 500 degrees and clean the grates. If you typically have “sticky” grates (think steel / stainless steel) you’ll want to use a thick paper towel lightly coated in olive oil to quickly grease the grates (chicken is sticky). If you have cast iron grill grates you’re well aware that it takes quite a bit to have anything “stick” to your grates. Ignore the oiling and pat yourself on the back for your savvy grill purchase.

While the grill is preheating, work the ground chicken, ham and the remaining shallots and thyme together in a medium bowl along with a pinch of salt and pepper. Form the meat into four equally sized balls and then work those balls into roughly ¾ inch thick patties. Much like every burger recipe we’ve shared so far (and for every burger recipe we’ll ever share) we’re going to add a step here – place the patties on a plate and set in the refrigerator for at least 5 to 10 minutes (longer is better). This allows the patties to firm up and makes them easier to work with on the grill.

Once the patties are firm, reduce your grill heat to medium and cook for 3 to 5 minutes per side, or until the center of the patties register a nice, safe 165 degrees on an instant read thermometer. Right before removing the patties from the grill, top them with the swiss cheese and allow it to melt and envelop the burgers (30 to 45 seconds on a hot grill should do the trick).

To serve, simply spread the mustard / mayo mixture on the bottom of the bun, and top the burger with some fresh spinach leaves. Enjoy!

The Results:

When you enter the realm of “duplication” recipes, you’re never quite sure what you’ll end up with. In this case, the end result is a burger that is shockingly close to authentic cordon bleu. The sauce truly completes the illusion, blending with the swiss cheese to emulate that creamy, yet still sharp filling that the titular dish is infamous for. By simply working in a little ham to the chicken, a whole new dynamic is given to the normally neutral meat. That twist is enough to make the burger flavorful – but when complimented with the sauce and cheese, it takes the next step towards a truly delicious burger. If you’re bored of beef – this recipe is sure to satisfy.

(No picture tonight – a white burger on white bun smothered with white cheese didn’t exactly “display” well for the camera. Rather than present a less than appealing picture, I thought I’d let the words paint the picture tonight).
That’s all we have for you this evening. We’ve got a full week planned as Maggie will take to the kitchen during the middle of the week and I’ll close things out with another burger recipe – this time featuring a unique side dish suited for summer. Until then,


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