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Saturday, March 14, 2009

Chicken Burgers on the BBQ

We all love a good barbeque.

The smell. The sizzling sound. The slightly charred, grill taste. The good friends. The beer. And the great outdoors. But one thing about barbeques is that there is always so much food. The night’s sleep passes uneasily and you wake up the next day still feeling full. Very full.

But that doesn’t always have to be the case. We had a wonderful barbeque the other day. Granted, we still made way too much food and had plenty of leftovers, but I believe we all slept like babies. Well, I know that I slept like a baby.

How you ask? Was I on a diet? Was I sick? Did I deny myself of the barbequed goodies? No, no, and no!!! I ate. And ate. And ate, like a little piggy. It's what I ate that made the difference.

Traditional barbecues call for steaks, burgers, ribs, sausages, and all that red meat goodness. And guess what? We didn't have any of it. Yes, you heard me correctly. We had a barbeque with no beef, no lamb, no veal, and not even any pork (which isn't really red meat, but for argument's sake...).

Now you are probably asking how good a barbeque can possibly be without any meat. I mean, after all, this is a barbeque staple. Grilled meats glistening and sizzling over the barbeque, basted with a variety of sauces, the fat dripping into the fire...

Well, let me tell you-- as much as I love a good hunk of meat or a nice juicy burger, red meat does not digest well. Period. And after eating a big steak for dinner, I can almost guarantee that anyone would be tossing and turning all night.

So what did we do? We made chicken burgers.

Now, I know that you skeptics out there are already flipping the page, thinking that it’s not a barbeque if you forgo the meat and eat wussy chicken burgers! Trust me, I was also a skeptic. Especially when the memories flooded back of those thin, frozen “chicken burgers” which you buy in the frozen section of the grocery store. But, I quickly got over my fear and decided to go with it. I mean, how bad could it be? Especially since I was craving that barbeque taste!

And I don’t regret it at all! The burgers were so simple to throw together and just as juicy and tasty as beef burgers, with the added benefit of being much lighter on my stomach. I ate like a pig, then slept like a baby… very very rare.

So, I encourage you to try it for a change. You have absolutely nothing to lose!

Grilled Chicken Burgers
Makes about 8- 10 burgers

1 kg Chicken Mince
1 Medium Red Onion, chopped fine
2 Cloves of Garlic, minced
½ tsp Salt
Freshly Ground Black Pepper
2 tbsp dried Oregano
2 tbsp Ketchup
2 tbsp Dijon Mustard

Place chicken mince in a large bowl. Add red onion, garlic, salt, pepper, dried oregano (or whatever dried herbs you have.. thyme, rosemary, basil, parsley, herbes de provence would all work well) and mix together with you hands (yes, you can use a fork, but your hands are the best tool you have!). Add the ketchup and mustard and mix until combined.
Shape the mixture into patties (about the size of the palm of your hand and about ¾ inch thick). Place on a plate or baking sheet drizzle with a little vegetable oil.
Transfer the burgers to the grill, first flipping the patties on the plate so both sides have a little oil.

Grill for about 4 minutes on each side, or until cooked through (there should be no pink in the centre of the burger)

Serve with whatever condiments you like.

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