Unlike beef burgers, which only need salt and pepper, chicken patties need some oomph to make them sexy and show stopping. What distinguishes this burger from other flavorless takes are the fashionable participants. Sweet sautéed shallots paired with the smoky bacon, earthy blue cheese and the creamy, dreamy aioli. After these are devoured the standing order will demand you make these as often as possible. And what better way to dress this burger than with butter lettuce, avocado and juicy vine-ripened tomatoes? My thoughts exactly!
The only prerequisite to win major accolades is to forgo the tasteless, pre-ground stuff and get boneless chicken thighs to grind yourself. What a difference a thigh makes!
1 LB of boneless and skinless chicken thighs
5 shallots – sliced thinly
½ TSP balsamic vinegar
1 cup of Maytag blue cheese
8 slices of Applewood bacon
1 avocado – pitted, skinned and sliced
½ TSP each of garlic and onion powder
Splash of Worcestershire sauce
Slices of vine ripened tomatoes
Kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper
4 Kaiser rolls – halved, buttered and toasted
PREHEAT OVEN TO 350F
Wash and dry the thighs. Place them in a food processor and pulse them to make a coarse grind. Place them in a bowl and add the garlic and onion powders, salt and fresh cracked pepper. Form into ¾” patties and refrigerate till firm – about 1 hour.
Place the bacon in a cookie sheet lined with foil and bake for about 20-25 minutes till the bacon has caramelized and it’s almost crisp. After you have removed the bacon from the oven and set on paper towels to drain, the bacon will crisp up a little more. The bacon can be made ahead of time and stored it at room temperature before using.
In a medium skillet, add 1 TBSP of butter and 1 TBSP of olive oil and sauté the shallots with a pinch of salt and ½ TSP of balsamic vinegar till golden brown – about 15 minutes.
Make your aioli adding fresh tarragon and set aside.
Place a cast-iron skillet over the grill and when heated, add 1-2 TBSP olive oil. Cook the patties over moderate heat covered, flipping once till golden and cooked through – about 4 minutes per side. Don’t overcook them as they will render dry. Remove from the skillet and allow to rest for about 5 minutes to allow the juices to redistribute.
Toast your buns and add the aioli on the bottom. Place the butter lettuce, the tomato down and top with the chicken patty. Add the grilled shallots on top of the patty, bacon, blue cheese and drizzle more aioli on top. Spear a cornichon with a skewer and secure the burger before serving.
Get the best blue cheese. Maytag is creamy, earthy and bursting with flavor, so don’t settle for less. Additionally, chicken thighs will render your patty juicy and flavorful because of their fatty content. No holds bar with this burger.