Thursday, January 10, 2013

Cobb Salad Chicken Burgers

Cobb salad is such a classic dish. Wikipedia (very reliable internet source) tells me it has been around since the 1930s! It's simple but elegant and keeps people coming back for more.

For a salad, it is pretty robust. You get a good amount of protein from hard boiled eggs, added creaminess from avocado slices, a crunchy salty delight from bacon bits, and tartness from bleu cheese. All of these elements are served over a bed of lettuce and tomatoes with a red wine vinaigrette to create a traditional Cobb salad.

Because I can't leave well enough alone, I wanted to think of a fun new way to enjoy all the flavors of Cobb salad without eating a salad for dinner (don't judge me!).

So here's how tonight's dinner progressed. I thought "ok, Cobb salad is often served with chicken on top. I like chicken." Next I thought..."well, I really like burgers. All kinds of burgers."


This recipe for Cobb Salad Chicken Burgers is simple and inviting. The flavors are all very familiar, yet when they are served in burger form on a bun, there is a nice complexity added to each ingredient.

The freshness of the toppings pairs well with the richness of our chicken patties, which I amped up by mixing them with panko breadcrumbs, blue cheese crumbles, and fresh parsley. Grilled up perfectly.

After hard boiling a couple of eggs, I created an egg salad topping. Diced eggs are mixed together with a dressing of greek yogurt, dijon mustard, chives, red wine vinegar, and a pinch of sugar. If you have any of this leftover, it makes a great egg salad sandwich for lunch!

Crispy bacon. Swoon.

Now all that's left is burger construction. This is my favorite part!

Toasted bun.

Burger. Egg salad. Bacon.

Avocado. Tomato. Lettuce.

The other bun.

Smash it down, cut it in half, and take a big bite. And always be on the look out for creepy kitty photobombers...

This is a great weeknight dinner that comes together in no time. It's also a real crowd pleaser. I served it alongside a mix of grains and steamed veggies, but french fries are also a logical accoutrement. So creative and super satisfying!

Here's what you need for Cobb Salad Chicken Burgers:

1 pound ground chicken (turkey would also work in a pinch)
1/3 cup panko breadcrumbs
1/3 cup crumbled bleu cheese
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon salt
1 teaspoon cracked black pepper
4 eggs, hard boiled
4 strips bacon
1 cup non-fat plain greek yogurt
2 tablespoons dijon mustard (Grey Poupon is my only mustard option)
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar (or any vinegar you have on hand)
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 green onions, diced
Scant teaspoon sugar
Salt and pepper to taste
4 hamburger buns, toasted
1 avocado, sliced
1 tomato, sliced
4 Boston or Romaine lettuce leaves

Here's what you do:

In a large bowl, mix together the chicken, breadcrumbs, bleu cheese, garlic powder, salt and pepper with your hands until well combined. Using the side of your hand, create a cross into the mixture to create 4 evenly sized patties. Set aside.

For the bacon, line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Arrange the bacon 2 inches apart. Place into a cold oven then turn the heat up to 400 degrees. Bake for 17 to 20 minutes until slightly golden. Remove from the pan to a paper-towel lined plate to drain off excess fat.

In a flat frying pan or on a grill pan, grill your burgers until there is no pink in the middle about 7 minutes on each side.

As the burgers cook, prepare your salad dressing. Whisk together the yogurt, mustard, vinegar, onions, sugar, salt and pepper in a small bowl. Gradually add in the olive oil. You may use more or less than what is called for, depending on how creamy or light you want your dressing.

Peel and dice the hard-boiled eggs. In a medium bowl, stir together the eggs and dressing until well combined.

Finally, build your burgers. Place each burger on the bottom half of a bun. Top with 2 tablespoons of the egg-salad mixture. Place the bacon on top of that followed by the avocado, tomato, lettuce and top bun. Serve immediately!

What's the most creative burger you've ever made?!

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