The mention of a chicken burger does not usually bring great excitement in response to "What's for dinner?". This one just might be different. I was pleasantly surprised when I ate this burger after making the recipe from a new cookbook I recently bought, Mostly Plants by Tracy, Dana, Lori & Corky Pollan. The cookbook offers flexitarian recipes featuring the use of vegetables and smaller portions of meat.
This recipe calls for a mix of grated zucchini, grated onion, and other common ingredients to ramp up the flavor. The grated zucchini blends in with the chicken, not interfering with the meaty texture. Plus, it keeps the burger moist as chicken burgers can dry out during the cooking process. I decided to top the burger with Mediterranean flavors adding sliced tomatoes, pickled red onions and tzatziki sauce, which is Greek yogurt, combined with zucchini or cucumber, garlic and herbs. More zucchini, right? Of course.
Mediterranean Chicken Burger*
1 pound ground chicken
3/4 cup grated zucchini, drained of excess liquid
2 tablespoons grated onion, drained of excess liquid
2 tablespoons ketchup
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 large clove of garlic, minced
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1 tablespoon thinly sliced green onion
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
Place all of the ingredients into a large bowl. Using a fork, toss the ingredients together until well combined. Divide the mixture into 4 equal parts, forming into patties. The mixture will be quite sticky and moist. Place the shaped patties onto a small sheet tray or large plate lined with wax paper, refrigerate for 15 minutes to firm up.
Make the tzatziki sauce by combining 1 cup Greek yogurt, 1/2 cup grated zucchini or cucumber squeezed of excess liquid, 1 garlic clove finely minced, 1 tablespoon chopped mint or parsley, 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt and a pinch of black pepper. Stir to combine. The tzatziki uses many of the same ingredients as the burger. Just chop a bit extra for the tzatziki sauce.
Once the burgers have chilled and firmed up, place a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1 tablespoon vegetable oil to heat for a minute or two. Place the burger patties into the skillet, cooking on side one for about 6-8 minutes to brown this first side. Flip the burgers to continue cooking through. about 4-5 additional minutes. The internal temperature should read as 160 degrees.
Toast the buns if desired, highly recommended. Spread a tablespoon of tzatziki sauce on the bottom bun, next add the burger, topping it with sliced tomatoes, pickled onions, and a heaping tablespoon of tzatziki sauce. Serve with a side of salad greens.
*Recipe inspired by the cookbook, Mostly Plants, by Tracy, Dana, Lori & Corky Pollan.
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