Mediterranean Chicken Burger
by Charles Hartz, Owner, Hartz Spice, Portland, Oregon
This Greek-influenced take on the popular Smart Chicken burger is sure to get your mouth watering. The taste of the tangy feta cheese combines with the peppers and garlic to create a flavorful experience that will have you coming back for more.
- 1 pound ground Smart Chicken
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon cracked black pepper
- Non-stick cooking spray
- 1 avocado, sliced
- 1 loaf rosemary focaccia bread, cut into 2 burger-sized squares
- Mediterranean Relish
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 yellow onion, julienned
- 2 tablespoons minced garlic (about 4 cloves)
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 16-ounce jar roasted bell pepper, drained and julienned
- 1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme
- 1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
- 1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
Form the ground chicken into two patties, and season both sides with salt and pepper. Spray both sides of the chicken patties with cooking spray, set on a sheet pan, and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. (Doing this helps keep the burger together and prevents crumbling.)
If using a charcoal grill, start it now. While the charcoal grill is heating, make the Mediterranean relish.
Heat the olive oil in a sauté pan. Add the onions and cook for about 16 minutes over medium-low heat until the onions are slightly caramelized. Add the garlic, sugar, and salt. Continue to sauté for another 4 minutes. Add the roasted peppers, thyme, and vinegar, and sauté for another two minutes. Remove from the heat and add the feta cheese.
By this time the coals should be ready. Distribute the coals and place the grate back on. If using a gas grill, turn it to medium-high heat, about 400°F.
Place the chicken patty directly over the heat (coals or gas) and cook three minutes. After three minutes rotate the patty. (Rotating the patty creates the crosshatch grill marks) Cook another three minutes then flip over. Continue to cook the chicken for about six more minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 165°F. Remove from the heat and set aside.
Cut the focaccia square in half so that it resembles a bun. Toast the inside of the focaccia on the grill.
While the focaccia is toasting, warm up the Mediterranean relish.
Assemble the burger with the bottom focaccia, followed by the chicken burger, followed by the sliced avocado, followed by the Mediterranean relish, and set the focaccia top resting to the side. Serve at once and enjoy.
Pairing: pinot grigio