Buffalo Chicken Burgers

April 3, 2011 - Dinner out for Carole's b-day
April 4, 2011 - Indian take-out
April 5, 2011 - Buffalo Chicken burgers

There has not been a ton of cooking these last few days.  Sunday we went out to dinner with the Shack's and their Neighbors as a belated birthday dinner for Carole.  We had a ton of fun and ate lots of yummy food. Monday I had started dinner early in the day and due to some kitchen clumsiness it ended up all over the kitchen floor.  I was so not in the mood to deal with it and luckily the Boy called and saved the day by suggesting Indian take-out.  He picked it up on his way home from work from our favorite local place and I couldn't have been happier.  What this all did though was put some serious pressure on me to cook something somewhat blogworthy last night.  Suffering from a lack of inspiration I went out to run errands and hoped an idea would come to me by the time I got to the grocery store.

I've been craving burgers like you read about lately but because of my schedule and other factors haven't had the chance to have that really great burger that kills the craving for a bit. Thinking of burgers, but not wanting to use my fave beef burger up yet I thought about chicken.  A few years ago a tried to make a buffalo chicken burger that just didn't work so well and have been meaning to give it another go since then.  It seemed like the perfect thing, since I wanted a burger and the boy will always happily eat buffalo sauce, as can be seen from my various buffalo-inspired recipes: pizza, lasagna, and nachos.

This version of a buffalo chicken burger was perfect, the Boy LOVED it and I'm fairly certain it didn't sink in that we can't have them again until next year.  To keep with the whole buffalo theme I serve them with raw carrots and celery and cooked up some simple green beans.  Not exactly burger type food, but I didn't  feel like making fries and I tend to eat string beans with my hands like fries. Completely weird, I know, but it worked for me.

Buffalo Chicken Burgers
makes 4 burgers

1 lb ground chicken
2 Tbsps buffalo sauce -  I love Archie Moore's, but Franks also makes a buffalo sauce that's good
1 garlic clove - minced
1/2 small onion - minced
1/2 tsp fresh cracked black pepper
2-4Tbsps bread crumbs
buffalo sauce for brushing on burgers
Blue Cheese Sauce - recipe below
4 hamburger buns - I used the Soft Sandwich Bread Recipe from HBin5 (my go to for buns)
tomato slices
red onion slices
iceberg lettuce

1.  In a large bowl carefully mix the chicken, buffalo sauce, garlic, onion, black pepper and bread crumbs.  Don't overwork the meat, once the ingredients are just combined carefully form into 4 patties. place on a wax paper lined plate or cookie sheet, cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge for at least an hour, to let the flavors marry and the meat cool.
2. When your ready to cook the burgers, heat a grill pan over medium heat.  Pull the burgers from the fridge, sprinkle with salt and pepper and place on the grill pan.  Don't crowd the pan, I had to grill mine in batches of two.  Grill for about 5 minutes or until the burger releases from the grill pan, then carefully flip and brush the top side with some reserved buffalo sauce.  Grill this way for 5 minutes.
3.  While the burgers grill heat the broiler, spread a bit of butter on the buns and place them under the broiler until golden.
4.  Flip the burgers again, brush with more buffalo sauce, cook for 3-5 more minutes per side or until a meat thermometer registers 165F.  Remove to a plate and cook the remaining burgers.
5.  Assemble to burgers by spreading blue cheese sauce on the bottom bun, top with a burger, lettuce, tomato, onion and the top bun.

Cooking these burgers in the grill pan threw off a ton of smoke, so get your vent working, or if you don't have one like us, open some windows.  As the Boy noted they'd likely work better on the grill.  Live and learn.

Blue Cheese Sauce
makes 1 cup sauce

1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup Greek Yogurt
1/4 cup blue cheese crumbles
fresh cracked black pepper

Mix all the ingredients at least and hour before serving.  Reserve in the refrigerator until ready to serve.