My wife doesn’t eat red meat. If it’s got fins, feathers, or shells, that’s OK. If it has fur, no thanks. Yeah, it’s sad, but it forces me to be creative, and moreover, it really does make me eat a healthier diet. So even though I might want to break out the meat grinder and a chuck roast for a fresh, kick-ass burger, more often than not I’ll go to Whole Foods and buy their ground chicken thighs. The gold standard for a poultry burger is the turkey burger, but frankly, I think ground chicken thighs have more flavor than turkey. But not enough to make it a tasty burger.
I also don’t care much for those poultry burgers that add flavor with the addition of onions, garlic, worcestershire, feta and three different herbs. You’ve turned the damn thing into a burger salad, for god’s sake!
So I add two things to my ground chicken: some low-fat ricotta and some McCormick’s Seasoned Salt. That’s it. The ricotta adds some depth to the texture of the chicken, some juiciness, and just some overall balance. If it’s not there, the burger ends up not feeling right in your mouth when you eat it. The Seasoned Salt will probably be viewed as an abomination to some foodies, but frankly, I love the stuff in this burger (and on oven-roasted potatoes from time to time!).
You mix a pound of ground chicken thighs with about 1/4 cup ricotta and a teaspoon of the seasoned salt. Gently form 3 patties (wet your hands first, as this stuff really likes to stick to you). I usually fry up my chicken burgers in a dry non-stick skillet, as this stuff does like to stick (and my grill hasn’t been functional in quite some time). You don’t want too high of heat, as these suckers, unlike beef burgers, really need to be cooked all the way through. The burgers will brown and then just start to develop a slight char — that’s when you flip them.
It’s as simple as that. Is it healthier than a regular burger? Beats me, as that’s not why I eat them. Does it satisfy even my 14 year old? Yup, but he’d still like some bacon on that sucker!