I’m sitting in what seems to be the red meat capital of the world, folks. Right smack dab in the Midwest. At my folk’s in a small town outside of Sioux Falls. (We even went to see bull riding last winter!) So it might be considered a bit of a stretch to serve my fave octogenarians a chicken burger. And Thai Chicken Burgers, no less!
The folks loved this, though admittedly Dad was bemoaning the fact it wasn’t beef! The chicken in these Thai Chicken Burgers, though, is a such great foil for the Thai flavors of garlic, ginger, scallions & lime.
About Thai Chicken Burgers:
A touch of ricotta (yep, I said ricotta! Don’t be scared) keeps the burger beautifully moist and a few breadcrumbs help firm it up. It’s a beautiful thing, this Thai Chicken Burger. By using the ricotta I was able to get by with a minimum of breadcrumb and up the protein at the same time. If you care about those things.
In case you’re wondering, you won’t be tasting that ricotta in the Thai Chicken Burgers – but you will notice the great texture. Dryness can be a big downfall of the chicken burger. I discovered that a little ricotta works really well with ground chicken awhile back when I tested hundreds of Chicken Meatballs for my Chicken and Ricotta Meatballs. And then I made about a hundred more because they were that good.
The burgers are a bit touchy in that they need just a bit of time to firm up. The mixture is kinda sticky when it’s first made, but once the breadcrumbs start absorbing the moisture in the Thai Chicken Burgers, you’ll be ready to rock n’ roll. Just be gentle with them.
Cooking & Serving Thai Chicken Burgers:
Thai Chicken Burgers can be grilled inside or out; today (90+ degrees – yikes!) I just cooked them inside in a non-stick pan. If you’re grilling, make sure your grate is clean and oiled. Thai Chicken Burgers might be a candidate for a little grilling technique I saw a friend use. He cooked on little squares of foil until the burger firmed up and then slipped the foil out and finished it right on the grates.
Serve Thai Chicken Burgers any way you’d like, with bun or without. We like them best piled high with some crunchy slaw (I used this Thai Slaw with a Peanut Dressing, but this Thai Inspired Cole-Slaw would be great, too) and a bright little Mango or Papaya Salsa on the side. Talk about “eating the rainbow!”
If you’re looking for something more like a french fry to go with the burgers, try my Stupid Simple Sweet Potato Fry or my Stupid Simple Fries. Either would be great, but my vote would lean towards the Sweet Potato Fries. Links to the recipes are at the bottom of the page.
Saving Money on Thai Chicken Burgers:
You know I like to give a little tip or two about shopping. I’m suspicious of store-bought ground poultry; I don’t know what parts are in it, and it’s usually pricier than it should be. I just chunk up some sales priced chicken, toss it in my food processor a few cubes at a time and pulse. Then I have ground chicken for under a dollar a pound.
Freeze your ginger and it will never go bad – it thaws quickly or can be grated while still frozen. Check your bakery for buns – they’re often less expensive than the ones in the bread aisle. Make your own breadcrumbs in minutes in a blender or food processor, see the link at the bottom of the page, as well as links for the other recipe mentions here.
As far as the Ricotta, it can be pretty pricey. It’s what I call a “near deli” cheese, often outside the deli in the store. Check around for hang tags and coupons or check the producer’s website and hang on to those coupons. The usually are dated for months out, Then when a sale comes up, pounce on it and stock up and freeze. It makes a significant difference in the price. Your coupon matching site should notify you of the good sales whether coupons are involved or not. Just get in the habit of checking weekly. Whew! That was a lot!!
Thai Chicken Burgers
- 1 pound ground chicken (I use white, dark is preferred)
- 1/4 cup dry bread crumbs (use panko or home-made)
- 1/4 cup ricotta cheese (cottage cheese can be used – just whir it up in the blender)
- 2 green onions, thinly sliced
- 1 lime, zested (use the juice for the slaw)
- 1 jalapeno, seeded and minced (use a bird chili if you like more heat)
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons minced cilantro, optional
- 1 teaspoon grated ginger
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 4 burger buns for serving
- lime wedges for serving
Place ground chicken in a medium-sized bowl. In a smaller bowl, mix together the bread crumbs, ricotta, green onions, lime zest, jalapeno, cilantro, and ginger. Add salt and pepper and mix together. Add to the bowl with the ground chicken and work it through, using clean hands, until well-distributed throughout the chicken.
Form into four patties. The patties will be very soft and somewhat sticky. Refrigerate for about 30 minutes if time allows; the rest is highly recommended if grilling. If you’re wondering about the flavor (does it need more of this or that) you can take about a tablespoon full and do a quick fry for tasting purposes.)
When ready to cook, add oil to pan and heat to medium-high. Add chicken burgers and cook about 4 minutes or until golden brown. Turn and reduce heat to medium and continue to cook until temperature reaches 165 degrees.
If grilling, oil the grate and grill, turning once until the temperature is 165 degrees.
Serve on buns, with lime on the side.