Nothing wrong with a meal that has cheese in the middle. Especially when it's enveloped in something healthy!
The act of forming a chicken patty around a generous slice of mozzarella cheese is about as satisfying an act as possible. Especially when the chicken is also studded with sweet apple chunks, fresh thyme, a little sage, and other ingredients that transcend the usual idea of a "burger." What's even more exciting? At the end of the cooking process you will again be reunited with your cheese. See the oozing loveliness? Yep. They're done.
You'll find the texture of ground chicken to be a bit interesting. Endlessly sticky, (because there's really no fat,) you will be tempted to avoid using it in your meals. And believe me, browning it alone for stews or tacos or casseroles will really set your "don't do this again!-meter" to HIGH. However, by putting cheese in the middle and adding some of the other ingredients that are known for making beef meatballs luxuriously tasty, this recipe will climb the charts.
There's just a few extra things I did when making this meal, so I'll share some tips.
1. Finishing them in the oven makes all the difference - Chicken can burn easily, and to get them to temperature inside so the meat is cooked and the cheese is soft, by only searing them on the stove-top may create a crust a little too dark for most people. If you haven't already, invest in a good stainless steel saucepan that will withstand temps up to 500 degrees F. It is that last 10 minutes at 400 degrees that will get you to the finish line.
2. Make sure your pan is hot enough at the onset - The act of bringing your pan and oil to a hot temperature before putting the patties in is key. You want a beautiful golden sear on each side first, without cooking the middle too much (they'll taste dry!) before putting them in the oven.
3. Don't forget this rockin' sauce - You can serve them alone, but I chose to add some really good quality black cherry preserves to a Habanero BBQ sauce to finish off the flavors, and it was PERFECT. But I encourage you to experiment with other flavors and combine different preserves with different BBQ sauces. My only warning is that if you leave out the sweet element it will overpower the chicken. Be sweet. It's a good rule.
4. You don't have to serve with a starch - Yes, I know. All you meat and potato fans out there must be gasping. How will you get your clan to eat something without rice, or bread, or russets all mashed and brimming with butter? Cheese, people. Cheese. All tastebuds will be satisfied. (Kinda sounds like a prophecy, eh? Excellent. It was meant that way.)
5. Get creative with sides - The above are simply boiled carrots mushied up a little, and combined with butter and salt and a bit of honey balsamic from The Olive Crate. (They have the most awesomestest stuff on the planet if you're interested...I encourage you to click and buy.) Then put them in a found cylinder and voilà! Gorgeousness and flavor.
With all this said, and illustrated, it's time to get cooking, and try these delicious, sweet and savory, "gimme another one!",chicken burgers today!
RECIPE: Mozzarella Stuffed Apple Sage Chicken Burgers
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Meet the Cook...
My name is Camine Pappas and I love to create beautiful and delicious food that anyone can make. My signature style is one of combining things in a way you might not expect as I work to find a hidden combination of colors, textures and flavors from the things that are in my pantry and/or easy to obtain.