Monthly Burger Series: Sweet Chili Chicken Burgers
Can you believe it’s only two days until Christmas? Well, we would be remiss if we didn’t (loosely) theme our December burger around this beloved holiday. This month’s burger—and the last in our year-long series—features red and green flavor elements and packs a punch in terms of taste and nutrition!
Our featured burger for December is a Sweet Chili Chicken Burger with Broccoli Rabe! Learn more about this recipe below!
Sweet Chili Chicken Burgers with Broccoli Rabe
Chicken burgers often get a bad rap; they can tend to come out dry or lacking in flavor. But if prepared properly, with help from some extra ingredients, they are quite the tasty—and healthy—alternative to a traditional beef burger.
These Sweet Chili Chicken Burgers also get a flavor boost from a red chile sauce glaze (similar to your favorite Asian sweet-and-sour sauce), garlicky sautéed broccoli rabe, and a bright and tangy lemon mayo. With plenty of flavor and a whole serving of veggies, you don’t have to feel guilty about enjoying these delicious burgers!
Check out the step-by-step recipe, then read on to learn more about the various ingredients!
- 4 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil, divided
- 1 Sweet Onion, minced
- 2 Cloves Garlic, minced
- 1/2 Cup Fresh Cilantro, chopped
- 1 Teaspoon Chinese 5-Spice
- 1/2 Teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
- 1/2 Teaspoon Dry Mustard
- 1 Teaspoon Salt
- 1/2 Teaspoon Ground Black Pepper
- 1 Tablespoon Soy Sauce
- 1 Tablespoon Rice Vinegar
- 1 Egg
- 1 Pound Ground Chicken
- 2 Cups Breadcrumbs, made from toasted Martin’s Butter Bread
- 3/4 Cup Sweet Chili Sauce
- 6 Martin’s 100% Whole Wheat 12 Sliced (Slider) Potato Rolls
- Garlicky Broccoli Rabe:
- 2 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 3 Cloves Garlic, minced
- 4 Heaping Cups Chopped Broccoli Rabe
- Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper, to taste
- Lemon Mayonnaise:
- 1/2 Cup Mayonnaise
- 1 Heaping Tablespoon Lemon Zest
- 1 Tablespoon Lemon Juice
Preheat the oven to 375°F.
In a medium skillet, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium heat. Add onion and sauté until tender, 4-5 minutes. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute more.
Transfer onion and garlic to a large bowl and let cool slightly. Stir in the cilantro, 5-spice, cayenne, mustard, salt, pepper, soy sauce, rice vinegar, and egg. Mix well to combine.
Add the ground chicken and mix to combine. Add breadcrumbs and mix just until fully incorporated. Divide meat mixture into six even portions, and form into patties.
In a large oven-safe skillet, heat the remaining 3 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat. Add the patties to the pan and cook until evenly browned, 3-4 minutes per side. Glaze both sides of each patty with 1 tablespoon sweet chili sauce, and transfer the pan to the oven. Continue to cook until the patties are fully heated through, 8-10 minutes more.
Meanwhile, prepare the broccoli rabe: in another large pan, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add garlic and reduce heat to low. Cook for 1 minute, then add the broccoli rabe and continue to cook until tender, about 5-6 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Keep warm.
Prepare lemon mayonnaise: in a small bowl, stir the mayonnaise, lemon zest, and lemon juice together until combined.
To serve, spread mayonnaise onto each bun, then place a patty on top, followed by the broccoli rabe. Finish with the top bun, and serve immediately.
Recipe adapted from: www.andyboy.com
About This Recipe:
Ground chicken burgers are a much leaner alternative to traditional beef burgers. And if you’re consuming these following some heavy holiday feasting, that may be a welcome change of pace. However, because of the lean source of protein, these burger patties do need a few supplemental ingredients to ensure they’re just as tasty as always.
In order to keep these ground chicken burgers juicy and flavorful, the ground meat is mixed together with some fresh breadcrumbs (made from toasted Martin’s Butter Bread) and an egg. Both of these ingredients help prevent the patties from drying out too much as they cook.
Ground chicken can also tend to be a bit lacking in the flavor department, which is one of the reasons why these patties are seasoned with a blend of fragrant spices including onion and garlic, five-spice, cayenne, and mustard powder, to name a few. Not only do these spices help turn regular old chicken patties from bland to mouthwatering, but they also create a very unique palate of flavors.
Sweet chili sauce is a Thai-style condiment made from red chile peppers, vinegar, sugar, and spices. In this recipe, it’s used as a glaze for the chicken burgers after they’re cooked, giving them a sweet, sour, and slightly spicy kick which helps amp up the flavor even more.
Broccoli rabe (also called rapini) is a green cruciferous vegetable common in Italian cooking. You may see it in everything from pasta dishes to the Italian roast pork sandwiches popular in Philadelphia.
Despite their similarities in name and appearance, broccoli rabe is not in the same plant species as broccoli, broccolini, or Chinese broccoli; it is actually more closely related to the turnip. This unique winter vegetable has a long narrow stem, dark green leaves, and small florets or buds, all of which are typically consumed.
Broccoli rabe has a bitter, nutty flavor that is great for cutting through rich, heavy ingredients. A great way to reduce the bitterness is to quickly blanch the vegetable prior to sautéing or roasting. Rapini is also great paired with garlic and citrus elements for contrast.
The delicious Lemon Mayonnaise which completes this burger is a necessary final touch since it adds a rich creaminess and a touch of sour, both of which help to counteract the bitterness of the sautéed broccoli rabe.
Since these are 1/6-lb. patties, we chose to pair them off with Martin’s 100% Whole Wheat 12-Sliced (Slider) Potato Rolls which were just perfect for these Sweet Chili Chicken Burgers. The whole wheat buns add the perfect amount of bite and hold up well to the various toppings, plus they add an extra nutritional element to these burgers which is always a great bonus!
Whether you make these burgers for Christmas, New Year’s, or for no reason at all, we hope you enjoy them as much as we did!
Sadly, our Monthly Burger Series has come to an end. Don’t forget to go back and take a look at our other featured burgers from the past year at the links below. Or better yet—try them all! Then let us know which one is your top pick!
- January: Healthy Turkey Burgers with Lemon-Honey Mustard
- February: Heart-Shaped Valentine’s Burger
- March: Sheet Pan Burgers
- April: Easter Lamb & Egg Burger
- May: Surf and Turf Burgers
- June: Firecracker Burger
- July: America Burger (Sliders) Trio
- August: Campfire Mac & Cheese Burger
- September: Mozzarella-Stuffed Italian Burgers
- October: Plant Based Burger
- November: Thanksgiving Turkey Burger
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