Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Chipotle Chicken Black Bean Burgers

One torrentially rainy Tuesday night last summer (our traditional burger night) when we were forced to cook inside, I came up with this recipe.  I was looking for something healthier even back then!   

    We've done many permutations of the traditional beef burger here on Dinner Plan-it, but very few NON-beef burgers (you know I'm trying to keep things (somewhat) healthy after the over-indulgences of the holiday season). You also know I don't go crazy overboard about the health thing and I sure don't take out all the flavor along with the calories, fat and cholesterol - which is right where tonight's burger comes into play.

    By itself, ground chicken can be pretty bland and dry, but HOO-BOY can you use that to your advantage!  It's like an empty canvas just waiting to be painted with flavors instead of color...well, it takes color pretty well, too, actually.   BLACK beans...sort of a color.  GREEN onions...definitely color!  Some nice deep red chipotle peppers...oh yeah.  All nice color against the pinky, creamy hue of the chicken.  

    And the flavors we're painting with?  A nice bite of garlic, the sweetness of onion , a zip of smoky chipotles and cumin, an earthy velvety-ness of black beans...let's not forget the background of chicken(!)...all encased in a crisp crust of crunch in the form of panko breadcrumbs.  I've even found gluten-free panko!
    I have to admit that the first time I made these Mark looked at the bowl of ingredients with suspicion.  ("Ground chicken? What is this woman trying to do to me?  I'm a BEEF guy!") HA!  He loved them.  He's even requested them!  He looks FORWARD to them!  We're both looking forward to indulging in our healthy favorite tonight with some fresh, green spicy guac alongside and some bright red, juicy tomatoes.  Well, I'm looking forward to the guac...maybe someday Mark will, too.  He does surprise me sometimes!

    Chipotle Chicken Black Bean Burgers

    • 1 pound ground chicken
    • 2 chipotle chile canned in adobo, finely minced
    • 1/2 cup black beans, cooked, use homemade if you have them, otherwise canned is fine
    • 1 teaspoon cumin
    • 1/2 teaspoon granulated garlic, or more to taste
    • 1 teaspoon seasoned salt, Janes Crazy Salt, of course, or more to taste
    • 3 green onions, sliced thinly
    • panko breadcrumbs (gluten-free to make this gf)
    • cilantro, finely minced
    • vegetable oil, enough to fry burgers (or broil - see below)
Lightly mix chicken thru onions and shape into 6 flat patties.  Dredge lightly with panko on both sides.

Heat scant oil in skillet & fry until browned & crispy on both sides and cooked through.

Sprinkle with cilantro and serve on buns with tomato and some pickled jalapenos...a little mayo & lettuce, too, if you're splurging on the calories.

 NOTE:  Alternately, you can leave off the panko and broil the patties to cut down further on the fat.  I'd suggest maybe sprinkling a little panko on the tops and spraying with a little olive oil to make them pretty.  The broiled version?  Approximately 190 calories and 7 total grams of fat.

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