Cooking Tips and Questions - Ground chicken?




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MindiV
02-27-2009, 11:53 AM
Ok...I've never cooked with ground chicken before, and I've FINALLY convinced my husband to give in and let me make something with it to see if he likes it. He's a total red meat fan, so this is a huge step.

I want to make some sort of chicken burger (you know...ease him in slowly by feeding him a burger)...but I can't seem to find any simple recipes that don't have enough crap added to them to make the patties as bad for you as a real burger.

Anyone have recipes to share?


mandalinn82
02-27-2009, 12:04 PM
Not so much a recipe as a technique...remember that chicken, since it has less fat, needs something added to it to keep it moist. Did you buy ground chicken BREAST? If so, DOUBLE that amount of moisture-neediness...it'll dry right out.

I prevent this with:
Adding 1 tbsp of olive oil per lb of meat when I use ground chicken breast - yes, this adds fat to the burger, but it isn't as much fat as would be in ground beef and is the healthy fat...and adds only 30 calories per 4 oz portion.

Grating veggies into my meat mixture - I do this with meatloaf and burgers, and it doesn't really change the flavor, but prevents the burgers from drying out...grating an onion produces both onion pulp and onion juice - mix those into your burger mix and it'll help. I also finely grate zucchini and even carrot. During cooking, water from the produce evaporates, producing steam inside the burger, which prevents it from drying out.

Do not overcook! I use a meat thermometer and pull when -just- done. Otherwise, the meat dries out very quickly.

Use a sauce of some kind. Ketchup and BBQ sauce are classics (and they make sugar free BBQ sauce with splenda, if you're into that sort of thing), but I make up burger sauces depending on how I spice my meat...tzatzikis, mustard sauces, etc.

My favorite burger recipe involves making a meat mixture with veggies, then stuffing each 4 oz portion with a teaspoon or so of a mix of laughing cow cheeses, coarse grain mustard, and spices (Per 4 burgers, I use 2 wedges, 1 tsp coarse mustard, 1/4 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp pepper, and usually 1/4 tsp italian seasoning). Once cooked, the cheese gets all melty and you have cheese-stuffed burgers. I'm pretty sure the cheese also helps to keep the meat moist.

MindiV
02-27-2009, 12:34 PM
Awesome tips! Thanks, Mandalinn!!!!

How do you cook your burgers? Open grill, in a pan, George Foreman or some other way???


mandalinn82
02-27-2009, 12:40 PM
I like my burgers cooked on a cast iron grill pan if they aren't being barbecued outside. There's something awesome about the flavor of a burger cooked on cast iron.

MindiV
02-27-2009, 12:41 PM
We've got a cast iron skillet, but it's so BIG it doesn't heat evenly on our stove. We use it for some stuff, but not too often. May just do our non-stick griddle.

corazonas
02-27-2009, 12:42 PM
holy CRAP mandalinn youre a genius! i'm headed to the store in a bit and will be picking up some ground chicken... mmmm... i want to cook this NOW!

TJFitnessDiva
02-27-2009, 12:48 PM
oh yummm!! I'm in the mood for burgers now :) Thanks for the ideas!

mandalinn82
02-27-2009, 12:51 PM
I knew I had a formal recipe for this written down...just had to go dig it up from my files.

Cheesy Stuffed Burgers with Caramelized Onions

Burger Patties:

1 lbs ground chicken breast
1 tbsp Worchestershire sauce
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 small yellow onion, finely grated, pulp and juice
1 small zucchini, finely grated
3 tbsp fresh parsley, minced
½ tsp black pepper
1 tsp chili powder
1 tbsp soy sauce
3 The Laughing Cow Light cheese wedges, Original Swiss flavor
2 tsp dijon mustard
1 tsp fresh rosemary, minced
¼ tsp black pepper

Buns and Toppings:

1 large red onion, sliced in thin strips
1 tsp olive oil
¼ tsp salt
¼ tsp black pepper
4 light hamburger buns, toasted
Lettuce, tomato, and pickle
Mustard, Tomato Ketchup, or Barbecue Sauce

In a large bowl, combine all burger patty ingredients through the soy sauce. Fork together gently until just combined. Do not overmix.

In a small bowl, combine the cheese wedges, mustard, rosemary, and black pepper. Stir well.

Shape the meat mixture into 4 even balls. Make a deep indent with your thumb into each ball of meat, and fill with ¼ of the cheese mixture. Seal the indent well and shape gently into a patty, being sure that the cheese mixture stays enclosed.

Meanwhile, in a medium skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the red onion and reduce the heat to medium low. Sprinkle the salt and pepper, toss to combine, and cook slowly until deeply caramelized.

Grill the burgers on an indoor or outdoor grill over medium high heat, about 6 minutes per side, or until cooked through. Place one patty on each toasted bun, top with the caramelized onion, and serve with condiments on the side.

Yields: 4 burgers

MindiV
02-27-2009, 01:05 PM
Hmmm....well, the problem is I don't HAVE the ground chicken yet. And my little online searches of area stores show they don't stock it.

Whoever heard of a place that doesn't sell ground chicken!?

mandalinn82
02-27-2009, 01:34 PM
Ground turkey breast has a similar flavor and nutritional profile. Most stores DO stock that, even if they don't have chicken.

MindiV
02-27-2009, 01:35 PM
Wonder if I could sneak in ground turkey and not let him know? He's convinced he HATES ground turkey....refuses to try it. Grrrr.....

corazonas
02-27-2009, 01:37 PM
go for it... he'll probably nver know ;)

TJFitnessDiva
02-27-2009, 01:38 PM
Ground turkey and ground chicken look almost the same when cooked ;) So ditch the wrappers and tell him it's ground chicken lol

MindiV
02-27-2009, 01:39 PM
He may not...I didn't. The reason I even suggested ground chicken is because I thought they sold it at our nearby Wal-Mart supercenter. The brand name was Honeysuckle White, and it looked like chicken to me. Turns out they do turkey....I never looked very closely - just assumed I was right and told him the same!

beerab
02-27-2009, 01:47 PM
Pft- our husband's don't KNOW what they like lol- I just tell my husband eat it.

I made chili with boca meat and he didn't even know the difference :p

MindiV
02-27-2009, 01:50 PM
Any of you who DO buy ground chicken.....where do you get it?

beerab
02-27-2009, 01:56 PM
Do you have a Ralphs grocery store? I have seen it there.

MindiV
02-27-2009, 01:59 PM
I live in the boonies...it's 30 miles to our nearest Wal-Mart Supercenter and United, and 40+ miles to the nearest Albertson's....

Options are limited so it may be next to impossible.

:chicken:

TJFitnessDiva
02-27-2009, 02:01 PM
I buy it at Winn Dixie...maybe talk to the meat dept manager at Walmart to see if it's something they can try carrying?

Shannon in ATL
02-27-2009, 02:49 PM
I've gotten it at Publix, and I see it occasionally at WalMart, actually.

etznab
03-14-2009, 08:03 AM
This isn't a burger suggestion, but another trick to make ground chicken/turkey appeal to the meat eaters.

Ground fennel is one of the main ingredients that gives Italian sausage it's distinctive flavor. I mix it with ground turkey or chicken and proceed with recipes. My husband can't tell the difference ... other than commenting it seems less greasy than usual. But taste wise it's fairly close, especially if it's being used as an ingredient in something else like a breakfast casserole.

I also add fennel to plain spaghetti sauce and in my mind at least pretend I'm still having sausage.

BlueToBlue
03-15-2009, 03:44 AM
This is a fabulous recipe for ground chicken from Cooking Light: Spicy Chicken Cakes with Horseradish Aioli (http://find.myrecipes.com/recipes/recipefinder.dyn?action=displayRecipe&recipe_id=1206203). It's definitely one of our favorites. It doesn't even taste like chicken to me.

I make my own ground chicken by running chicken breast through my food processor. It comes out great and is lower in calories than the ground chicken my grocery store sells (since their ground chicken has more fat in it).