I don’t know about you, but I’ve been dying to grill. It epitomizes all that is summer.
Now, I know you can grill all year round, but I tend to wimp out when it’s snowing and freezing outside. I haven’t turned on the grill since last fall. Oops.
We grill most nights of the week during the warm months. I love it. Not only does it make food taste fabulous, but the cleanup is minimal and the cooking time is usually short. It also makes cooking for a crowd easy! My plan is to get a little more ambitious with my grilling habits this summer. I’d like to experiment with grilling more fruit, veggies, and seafood. I’ve dabbled a little here and there, but I definitely have room to grow in those areas. I usually stick to hot dogs, burgers, steaks, chicken, and corn on the cob. All basics. All delicious.
These burgers are an awesome way to reintroduce your grill into your routine this spring/summer. Not only are the burger patties themselves PACKED with flavor (I flavor them the same way I do chicken meatballs for pasta), but the toppings make up one of my most favorite culinary combos on earth: caprese salad. With a little added bacon. So good. There is so much yumminess going on, you won’t need any extra condiments or fluff with these burgers. The chicken patties stay super moist and juicy and the fresh toppings give everything that light and summery touch. They are downright delicious.
We’ve had incredible weather these past couple weeks (except for an odd midweek cold spell), so I whipped up a batch of these recently. It just felt right. I was inspired!
Bring on the grillin’!
Chicken Caprese Burgers (makes 4-6 servings)
For the Burgers:
½ cup Panko breadcrumbs
¾ cup grated pecorino romano cheese
¼ cup ketchup
1 tablespoon of milk
2 garlic cloves, grated (or finely minced)
½ an onion, grated (or finely chopped)
¼ cup fresh parsley, chopped
2 eggs, beaten
1 lb ground chicken
Salt and pepper, to taste
Olive oil, for browning
Burger buns, for serving
Slices of fresh mozzarella cheese (I do about two per burger)
Slices of tomato
4-6 pieces of bacon, crisped
Fresh basil leaves
Balsamic glaze (store bought or you can make your own)
1. In a large bowl, combine the breadcrumbs, cheese, ketchup, milk, garlic, onion, parsley, and eggs until well blended. Season well with salt and pepper. Gently fold in the ground chicken and mix until well incorporated, but not over mixed (over mixing results in tough, dry burgers). Form mixture into 4 large or 6 medium patties.
2. Heat a large skillet (or grill!) over medium-high heat. Add the olive oil and heat until shimmering (or oil the grates of the grill). Add the burger patties to the pan/grill and cook for 5 minutes per side, until golden and cooked through.
3. Transfer the warm burgers to buns and immediately top with bacon and fresh mozzarella. This will allow the cheese is soften just slightly. You also could add the cheese during the final minute of cooking for a more melty result, but I like to preserve the “fresh” taste of the cheese. Top with tomatoes, basil, and a drizzle of balsamic glaze. Serve!