Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Pesto Chicken Burgers

It's my favorite time of the month, the week after I get my Food Network Magazine and try out all of yummy looking dishes in the latest issue!  This month had a lot of good recipes, but one that stood out was the Pesto Chicken Burgers.  I actually changed it up a little bit to make it kosher, and used the dairy-free pesto that I used for my pesto chicken rolls last year.  Also, my supermarket doesn't regularly have kosher ground chicken so I bought stir-fry chicken and ground it myself.  But even adding the time of grounding the meat myself didn't add too much time to this, so it still makes a good weeknight meal.

We did question the lack of seasoning in the chicken burger (it's just bread, chicken, salt and pepper) but honestly, the pesto added so much flavor that we really didn't think it was underseasoned at all.  Though my one note - when you cut up the roll to add to the chicken, I'd cut it into tiny pieces.  My pieces were small, but not tiny and I ended up having to separate them a lot more with my hands as I worked in into the meat.

We had this with a side of kale chips and it was a nice, filling, easy meal.  Definitely adding this to the rotation.  I may experiment with added seasoning in the burgers, but I would also make them again without.  And another good thing about this, the extra pesto that I made will end up being used for pasta next week.

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Pesto Chicken Burgers (adapted from Food Network Magazine) 

5 whole-wheat hamburger buns (1 cut into tiny pieces, 4 split open and toasted)
1 1/4 lb ground chicken
kosher salt
freshly ground pepper
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 medium tomato, thickly sliced
pesto (dairy-free recipe below)

- Toss the cut-up bun with 3 tbsp water in a large bowl; set aside1 minute.  Add chicken, 3/4 tsp salt, and pepper to taste.  Mix with your hands until combined.  Form into four 3/4 in patties (best to do this with wet hands)
- heat the olive oil in a large, non-stick skillet over medium high heat.  Add the chicken patties and cook until no longer pink, about 7 to 8 minutes per side.
- Serve the burgers on the buns; top each with a spoonful of pesto and a tomato slice.

Dairy-Free Pesto (from Adventures of a Gluten Free Mom)

2 cups fresh basil leaves, packed
1/3 cup Ppne nuts
3 medium garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 and 1/2 tsp. fresh squeezed Lemon Juice (more or less, to taste)
1/2 tsp. sea salt

- In a food processor or blender, combine the basil leaves with the nuts, lemon juice and sea salt.  Pulse a few times until mixture is reduced in volume and the mixture is well incorporated.
- Add the garlic and pulse a few times more.
- Slowly add the olive oil in a constant stream while the blender or food processor is running, stop to scrape down the sides with a rubber spatula.
- Taste.  Add more lemon juice and/or salt if needed.

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