Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Basil Chicken Burgers

We made this last week and loved it so much. I made my own pesto because I have basil plants and happened to have the Parmesan and pine nuts. I also used Parmesan instead of Cheddar in the burgers. I think the Parmesan goes better with the flavors of pesto anyway. I also served the burgers on whole wheat buns and it was great! I found this recipe in the June/July 2009 issue of Family Fun magazine.

1 1/2 lbs. ground chicken
3/4 cup grated sharp Cheddar or 1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. ground pepper
1/3 cup mayonnaise
2 Tbsp. pesto (store-bought or try my recipe)
Oil for brushing the burgers
6 burger rolls
sliced tomatoes

For the pesto mayonnaise:
1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 Tbsp. pesto

In large mixing bowl, combine the ground chicken, cheese, salt and pepper, gently tossing the mixture with your hands or a large fork, until evenly blended.
In a small bowl, mix the mayonnaise and pesto, then add it to the ground chicken mixture and combine until evenly blended. Shape the meat into six 1/2-inch thick patties. Refrigerate them for at least 30 minutes to firm them.(The patties will be softer than traditional hamburgers.)
While the meat is chilling, prepare the grill and make the pesto mayonnaise. Then brush one side of each of the burgers with a little oil and place them on the grill, oiled side down. Lightly brush oil on the other side of the burgers and cook them for 5 minutes on each side, turning once, or until the meat is no longer pink inside. Serve the burgers on the rolls, dressed with lettuce, tomatoes and pesto mayonnaise.

Chopped Barbecue Chicken Salad

*I thought it was high time this post got an update since I first posted it 4 years ago! Enjoy. 
I got this recipe from a friend of mine who made it up after eating it at a local restaurant. It's been served at large gatherings and loved by all. It's light and refreshing and really easy to put together; perfect for your next barbecue or pot luck. I love it because it's quick to throw together and doesn't heat up your house during those hot summer months.

Copped Barbecue Chicken Salad
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, butterflied
2-3 cups romaine lettuce, chopped
1 cup shredded mozzarella or Monterey Jack cheese
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
2-3 slicing tomatoes, diced
2 ears fresh corn, kernels cut off
3 green onions, chopped
1 small jicama-julienned in thin strips*
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
favorite ranch dressing
favorite barbecue sauce
tortilla chips or strips

Coat chicken in barbecue sauce.  Preheat outdoor grill and cook until no longer pink inside; about 4-5 minutes per side.

While chicken is cooking, chop lettuce, tomatoes, green onions, jicama and cilantro. Place in large salad bowl.  Cut the kernels off two large ears of fresh corn.  Heat a large skillet over medium-high and drizzle a little olive oil.  Add corn and cook about 4-5 minutes, stirring frequently.  Set aside to cool.

Remove chicken from grill and set aside to cool for at least 5 minutes.  Chop into bite-sized pieces.  Once cooled, add chicken and corn to the rest of the salad.

Mix about 2 tablespoons each of barbecue sauce and ranch together.  Add 2 tablespoons to salad and toss.  Check for flavor and add more as desired.  Salt and pepper to taste.

Serve room temperature or chilled with tortilla chips or fried tortilla strips, it desired.

*Jicama is like a Mexican potato. It's shape is like a turnip only larger  and light tan in color. It's texture is like a chestnut and has a real mild almost radish-like flavor. The easiest way to prepare a jicama is to cut it into fourths then slice the peel off with a pairing knife. Cut into thin matchsticks.

**I have also used my Tomatillo Dressing, in place of the ranch, that I use with my Cafe Rio pork and it's really delicious also.
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