Barbecue Chicken Burger

At our house we keep a notepad on the fridge, and if one of us uses the last of an item, or notices we’re low on something, we write it on the pad immediately. Then at the end of the week when I’m making my shopping list, I check the fridge and add anything from that list to mine. Prior to instituting this fridge list policy, we’d just make a mental note when we ran out of something and try to remember to add it to the grocery list later in the week, but it didn’t exactly have a high success rate. I was making second (and third and fourth) trips back to the store in a single week, which was, to put it nicely, not my favorite way to spend my time. I’m almost embarrassed it too us so long to put this plan into place, but better late than never I guess?

Barbecue Chicken Burger

Last week when the temperatures climbed into the 80′s several days in a row, I was not at all surprised to find that Shane had added “burgers/buns” to the fridge list. When grill weather arrives, there’s almost nothing he’d rather eat than the pre-made frozen burgers from BJ’s. Seriously, I could serve them for lunch and dinner seven days in a row and I doubt I’d hear a single complaint. By the time I went shopping again, we were back to typical March weather though, so I never bought those burgers for him. Maybe in a few weeks!

Instead, I struck a compromise, picking up a pound of ground chicken to make these barbecue burgers I had flagged. I’m always looking for new variations on a traditional beef (or turkey) burger and these fit the bill. Topped with cheddar cheese, grilled red onions and extra barbecue sauce they’re fun and flavorful – we both really enjoyed them. I’m looking forward to being able to grill them outside later this summer, maybe even with the one thing I eliminated from Josie’s recipe (only because we didn’t have it on hand): pulled pork! How good does that sound?

Barbecue Chicken Burgers
adapted from Pink Parsley

1/4 cup cornmeal
1 scallion, minced
1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
pinch cayenne pepper
2 teaspoons light brown sugar
5 tablespoons barbecue sauce, divided (I used this recipe for homemade)
1 lb ground chicken

for serving:
sliced red onion (I cooked mine along with the burgers)
sharp cheddar cheese
toasted burger rolls

Add the cornmeal, scallion, parsley, paprika, garlic powder, dry mustard, kosher salt, pepper, brown sugar and 2 tablespoons of the barbecue sauce to a medium bowl. Stir to combine. Add the ground chicken and use your hands to gently mix the ingredients together until incorporated. Set aside the remaining 3 tablespoons of barbecue for brushing the burgers as they cook.

Divide the chicken mixture into 4 equal portions, and shape each into a patty (mine were about 3/4 to 1-inch thick – the mixture was a little wet, just do the best you can.). Put the burgers on a plate, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

Set a grill pan over medium to medium-high heat. Spray the pan with nonstick cooking spray. Put the burgers on the pan, and cook for 3-4 minutes on the first side. Flip the burgers and brush the top (cooked side) with some of the reserved barbecue sauce. Cook for about 3 minutes on the second side then flip once more and brush the other side with the remainder of the reserved sauce. Add the cheese (if using), and allow it to melt. (These cooking times are an estimate – you’re looking for a final internal temperature of 165 F – avoid overcooking or the burger will be dry.)

Top the burgers with the onion slices (if using), and serve on toasted rolls.

Makes 4 burgers