Saturday, August 9, 2014

Moroccan Chicken Burgers

Chicken and turkey burgers have to have some sort of special element to be really tasty, in my opinion. I have had some truely awesome versions, but also some that are dry as a bone and flavorless. These chicken burgers fall into the former category, luckily. Minced onions, fresh ginger and mint, and harissa seasoning keep the burger moist and flavorful, and I'm totally crazy about the toppings. You guys know I love my shredded carrot salad, and here it's spiced up with mint and cumin and provides a crunchy topping that's unusual but delicious. A sprinkle of feta adds salt, and a mini pita holds everything together. Well, sort of...this is definitely a knife and fork burger. At least with the mini pitas we bought, these were way too messy to pick up and eat. The only thing I might change is adding a sauce -- although the burgers are far from dry, I always like some sort of sauce on mine. A smear of garlic-spiked yogurt would be divine.

Moroccan Chicken Burgers with Feta and Carrot Slaw
Serves 4

1 small onion, peeled and quartered
1 bunch fresh mint, divided
1-1/2 tsp minced fresh ginger
1-1/2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp dry harissa spice mix
1 pound ground chicken (preferably not 100% breast meat)
3 medium carrots
Juice of 1/2 lemon
2 tsp sugar
1 tsp cumin seeds
4 mini pitas
Crumbled feta, to serve

1. Place the onion in a mini chopper (you can also use a food processor or do your chopping by hand -- the mini chopper just speeds things up and has the least cleanup).  Pulse several times until the onion is finely chopped.
2. Pick off a small handful of mint leaves, and rinse under cold water.  Add to the mini chopper with the fresh ginger and pulse until the mint is chopped.
3. Put the onion mixture in a large bowl and add the cumin, harissa spice mix, and 3/4 tsp salt.  Stir to combine.  Add the chicken, and mix well with your hands.  Form into 4 patties and set aside on a plate.
4. Trim, peel, and grate the carrots into a medium bowl.  Set aside.
5. Heat a large non-stick skillet over medium heat.  When it's hot, add the chicken patties.  There's no need for oil unless you're not using a non-stick skillet (in that case, add a little before adding the chicken).  
6. Cook the chicken patties on both sides until nicely browned and cooked all the way through, about 4-5 minutes per side.
7. While the chicken is cooking, make the carrot slaw.  To the grated carrots, add the lemon juice, sugar, and cumin seeds.  Chop up about 2-4 more tablespoons of the fresh mint (depending on how much you have and how much you like fresh mint -- I added a lot!), and add that to the carrots as well.  Stir to combine.
8. When the chicken patties are cooked through, assemble your burgers.  Split open the pitas, and fill each one with a chicken burger, a generous scoop of carrot slaw, and a sprinkle of crumbled feta.  Unless you are extraordinarily coordinated, these are knife-and-fork sandwiches (or extremely messy sandwiches)!

Note: Although there are a lot of steps here, this is actually a pretty quick weeknight dinner.  I would guesstimate it took me no more than half an hour to put together.

1 comment:

  1. Yumm. I actually really like chicken and turkey burgers. I always feel better eating them over a beef burger. You should enter this (or a variation) in the Build a Better Burger contest!