Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Chicken Sausage Burgers with Balsamic Onion Barbeque Sauce

Well, I have finally found something blog-worthy as my first post...

I found this recipe in Rachel Ray's "Just in Time." It says it is a 30 minute meal but I would disagree with that. It's easy and fun to make but it takes about an hour (but then again, I'm cooking in a kitchen at school that hasn't been updated since the Reagan administration.) Anyway, here is the recipe:

Chicken Sausage Burgers with Balsamic Onion Barbecue Sauce

4 tablespoons EVOO (extra-virgin olive oil), plus more for liberal drizzling
1/4 pound pancetta, chopped
2 red onions, chopped, and 1/2 small red onion very thinly sliced
Salt and black pepper
1 fresh or dried bay leaf (I didn't use this, though, and it still was delicious)
2 pounds ground chicken
1 1/2 tablespoons of fennel seed, lightly toasted
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes, or more if you want it extra spicy
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
Zest and juice of 1 orange
3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh rosemary, from 4 to 5 sprigs
4 garlic cloves, finely grated
A couple of generous handfuls of grated Parmigiano-Reggiano or Romano cheese (I used Parm)
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce (eyeball it)
1/2 cup aged balsamic vinegar
3 tablespoons honey or dark brown sugar (I used honey)
2 ripe tomatoes sliced
8 to 10 fresh basil leaves, torn
1/2 Belgian endive, chopped
1 cup arugula leaves, shredded
1/2 head of radicchio, chopped
4 crusty rolls, split, toasted, and drizzled with EVOO (the recipe says it serves 4, but the burgers were HUGE... I would say maybe 5 to 6)

Preheat a grill pan or outdoor grill to medium-high.

Place 2 tablespoons of the EVOO in a pot over medium-high heat. If you're cooking outside, you can put the pot right on the grill. Add the pancetta to the pot and cook and stir to crisp it up, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the chopped onions to the pot and season them with salt and pepper; go heavy on that pepper, because it will really balance out the sweetness of your sauce later on. Add the bay leaf.

While the onions cook, place the ground chicken in a bowl and add the fennel seed, red pepper flakes, allspice, orange zest, rosemary, garlic, salt and pepper, and cheese. Mix the meat with the seasonings and use the side of your hand to score the mixture into 4 equal portions. Form each portion into a large patty. Make a shallow dent into the center of each patty to prevent the burger from bulging as it cooks. Drizzle the patties liberally with EVOO and grill for 6 to 7 minutes on each side.

When the onions are very soft and begin to caramelize, remove the bay leaf and add the Worcestershire sauce, balsamic vinegar, honey or brown sugar, and the orange juice. Let the sauce continue cooking to thicken and sweeten up for 6 to 7 minutes, or until the liquids are syrupy. Add more black pepper to taste.

While the onions cook, arrange the tomato slices on a plate. Sprinkle with the red onion slices and basil leaves and drizzle with the remaining 2 tablespoons of EVOO. Season with salt and pepper.

Mix the chopped endive, shredded arugula, and chopped radicchio together. Pile some of the chopped lettuces on the bun bottoms, then top with the burgers and lots of onion barbeque sauce. Set the bun tops in place and serve with the tomato salad.

ENJOY! (For dessert, I recommend mints for your breath...)


Elizabeth said...

What a great recipe! Thanks for contributing. I cannot wait to try it. xoxo

Chuck said...

Wow Alex, great recipe!