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Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Mozzarella-Stuffed Chicken Burgers

This recipe was originally for mozzarella-stuffed turkey burgers. I'm a rebel and not really a fan of ground turkey, I opted for ground chicken instead. This recipe came together quickly, which is wonderful for a weeknight meal. It was downright tasty. It was reminiscent of chicken parmigiana with a nice little surprise of melted cheese in each bite. Yum.

To make the recipe a bit more weeknight friendly, I opted to use pre-made marinara. I have included the recipe for the marinara. Give this quick, delicious dinner a try - your family (and your stomach) will thank you.

Marinara Sauce

2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups chopped plum tomatoes, with juices
6 oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, drained and finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil

Burgers1 pound 93%-lean ground chicken
1/4 cup finely chopped scallions
2 teaspoons minced garlic
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese, divided
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh basil
2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
4 4-inch-square slices bread, toasted

To prepare marinaraHeat 2 teaspoons oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and garlic, cover and cook, stirring frequently, until translucent, 5 to 7 minutes. Stir in fresh tomatoes and any juices, sun-dried tomatoes, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes have broken down, 8 to 10 minutes. Stir in basil and remove from the heat. Transfer to a food processor and pulse to form a coarse-textured sauce. Return to the pan and set aside.

To prepare burgersPlace chicken, scallions, garlic, Worcestershire sauce, lemon zest, oregano, 1/2 teaspoon pepper and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a large bowl. Gently combine, without over mixing, until evenly incorporated. Form into 8 thin patties about 4-inches wide and 3/8 inch thick.

Combine 1/4 cup cheese and basil and place an equal amount in the center of 4 patties. Cover with the remaining patties and crimp the edges closed.

Heat 2 teaspoons of oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add burgers and cook, turning once, until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the center registers 165°F, 8 to 10 minutes total.
Warm the marinara on the stove. To assemble the burgers, spread 3 tablespoons of marinara on each toasted bread, top with a burger, about 3 more tablespoons of marinara and 1 tablespoon of the remaining cheese.

Grilling Variation: To grill the burgers, preheat a grill to medium-high. Oil the grill rack (see Tip). Grill the patties, turning once, until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the center registers 165°F, 8 to 10 minutes total.

Source: adapted from Eating Well

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