Thursday, May 9, 2013

Recipe #221: Buffalo Chicken Burgers. Well, sort of....

The title of this blog is Practice Makes Meals.  I'm not kidding.  There are plenty of times I try a new recipe and I mess it up or it just disappoints me.  Today, I messed up for sure, but I was able to salvage it and I have to say, I'm really pleased with the results.  SO here's a blog about what went wrong, and how I managed to not panic (miraculously).

Here's the recipe I was trying to attempt:

Look how beautiful.  I was quite excited to make these.  This is a picture from that blog, in case you don't feel like linking to it:

Now, here's the directions, with my mistakes below:

  • 1 lb ground chicken
  • 1 celery stalk (finely chopped)
  • 1 carrot stick (peeled and shredded)
  • 1/2 red onion (finely chopped)
  • 1 garlic clove (crushed) (I used minced garlic)
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup franks red-hot buffalo sauce
  • 1/2 cup Mary’s Gone Crackers Gluten-Free Breadcrumbs (I used regular breadcrumbs)
  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1/4 cup blue cheese dressing
  • 1/4 cup blue cheese crumbles
  • 6 hamburger buns
  • Optional Toppings (I just chose baby spinach because I figured there were already plenty of flavors involved)
  • tomatoes (sliced)
  • baby spinach
  • red bell peppers (diced)
  • green onions (diced)
  1. Start by combining the ground chicken, celery, carrots, red onion and garlic in a large mixing bowl.
  2. Next, add the egg, 1/4 cup buffalo sauce, bread crumbs, chili powder and paprika. (Here's my first major mistake.  I was half paying attention and dumped ALL of the buffalo sauce in- 1/2 cup.  This made the burgers really sticky and wet.  I pondered adding more breadcrumbs to dry it out, but I didn't.)
  3. Form into 6 patties. (Second mistake- I thought that I should just make four, so I ended up with four large sticky mounds of slop)
  4. Next, place on the grill over medium heat for 8-10 minutes per side.
  5. While the burgers are on the grill combine the additional 1/4 cup buffalo sauce with 1/4 cup blue cheese dressing. (I read this direction and panicked, realizing I did step 2 wrong)
  6. Toast the buns, then spread the mixture onto each side of the bun.
  7. Remove the burgers from the grill and place onto the bun.
  8. Top with the blue cheese crumbles and any desired additional ingredients.
Let's look at pictures of what happened since I wasn't following instructions correctly, and I'll tell you what I did to fix it.

Grilling did not go well.  They weren't cooking evenly since they were too big, and flipping them made them fall apart.  After some initial mild panic and wondering if I was going to have to find a Plan B for dinner, something crossed my mind.  I scooped them up and plopped them in an ugly messy pile on a plate.

I took foil and made a quick "pan" out of it, threw the messy burgers on, used a fork to break them apart, and threw them on the grill to cook more evenly for awhile.  The consistency became more like sloppy joes.  I knew this would mean for a kind of messy sandwich, but there was no way I was going to deprive myself of a buffalo-sauce-flavored dinner after all of that prep work.

I spread just bleu cheese dressing (without it mixed with even more buffalo sauce) on both sides of the bun.  Baby spinach for a topping.  Spooned some of the still-sticky (from the sauce) chicken mixture on the other side and topped it with bleu cheese bits.  I put the top bun on and smashed it together a little, and VOILA!  Dinner!  And it definitely was really good!  I have plenty of leftovers and am pleased with how this turned out, a sort of buffalo chicken sloppy joe.  

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