Chicken Parmesan Burgers

I’ll just say this from the get go:  today’s recipe is definitely for the kids.  It got four out of five thumbs up from the DamFam last evening.  Would you believe the one dissenter was the Husband?  Yeah … and he normally likes everything.  I gave my approval because all three punks (including No Thank You Boy) liked it and said they’d eat it again.  So, it was deemed blog-worthy.  However, would I call it company-worthy?  If your guests are all under the age of …. oh, I dunno? 16 or so … then yes, for sure — I absolutely would.

And, actually, I liked these burgers quite a lot.  Between last night and this morning, I tweaked the recipe a little bit and now I like it even more.  I’ll give it to you as written in Cooking Light and also list my notes on how I fudged the original for today.

Don’t tell anyone but I just ate the one in the foreground for breakfast.

Serves:  2 as written
Source:, recipe from Cooking Light

2 (3 oz.) square ciabatta rolls
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 lb. ground chicken (Smart Chicken Organic Ground Chicken is on sale in 1 lb. packages)
1/3 c. + 2 T. good quality marinara sauce, divided
1/2 t. chopped fresh rosemary (or a pinch of dried, crumbled)
1/2 t. chopped fresh thyme (or a pinch of dried, crumbled)
1/4 t. crushed red pepper
kosher salt and ground black pepper
Cooking spray
1/4 c. shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese, divided (Beechwood Sweet Basil Jack is on sale and would be a great swap here)
8 large basil leaves (don’t skip this or I promise you’ll be sorry!)

Preheat oven to 375.  Cut rolls in half horizontally.  Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, combine chicken, 1/3 cup marinara, rosemary, thyme, red pepper, salt and black pepper.  Divide into two portions, shaping each into a 1/4″ thick patty.  Heat an oven proof skillet over medium high heat.  Coat pan with cooking spray.  Add patties to pan; cook for 3 minutes.  Turn patties, and place pan in oven.  Place rolls in oven alongside patties.  Bake for 8 minutes.  Top each patty with 2 tablespoons cheese; bake one more minute.

Layer bottom half of each roll with 2 basil leaves, 1 patty, 1 tablespoon marinara, 2 more basil leaves, and roll top.  Serve.

Here are my changes:

First of all, while I love (LOVE!) ciabatta rolls, I also love (!LOVE!) the Ecce Panis small French rolls, so I swapped those in and made about a dozen slider-sized burgers.

Second, I used 2 pounds of Sendik’s Ground Chicken (the Smart Chicken that’s on sale comes in a 1 pound package), and then I quadrupled the rest of the ingredients.  I also added about 1 teaspoon of Tone’s Pizza Seasoning to the mix.  When combined, the mixture seemed a little soupy to me – so soupy that I couldn’t really even form it into patties.  I added nearly a cup of dried breadcrumbs to help bind everything; this worked great, so I would recommend having some on hand in case you need them.  Alternately, just cut back on the marinara a little bit – I think that was my problem.

Third, when I made the burgers you see in the photo, I decided the bread needed a little something.  So I buttered both sides of the rolls and dusted them with a little bit of garlic powder before toasting them alongside the patties in the oven.

And there you have it … a kid-friendly, mom-approved dinner.  Can’t have Asparagus and Wild Mushroom Risotto every night – I’ve gotta throw the punks a bone every now and then.  Have a great week.  : )

Featured, Fresh, Frugal, Fabulous, News | April 17th, 2012