August 12, 2013
We’re going to continue down our short road of tailgating recipes and whip up a batch of buffalo chicken burgers. Zach and I love buffalo wings. Actually, I don’t even think “love” is strong enough of a word. We are pretty much obsessed with them. The problem with wings, is the fat and unhealthy feeling you get after eating them. I still think it’s ok to dabble once in a while, but we are always trying to come up with new ways to incorporate the buffalo sauce. Now, I know this may be a little bit of a long shot for tailgating. I mean, when you think “tailgate” you automatically think “wings.” Let’s be honest, the two were just meant to be. These burgers are just as good though, if not better than your traditional chicken wing recipe (in my opinion). They are also a lot easier. The thing about wings, is that when you make them yourself, they aren’t the simplest things to make. You most definitely need a deep fryer or a “make-shift” deep fryer, and they will take up just a little bit of your time. This may be why most people just order them from their local pizza shop. These burgers are a heck of a lot easier, and if you just so happen to be tailgating out of the back of your 4×4 then they are even easier. You’re probably going to make burgers anyway, so why not throw some buffalo sauce and bleu cheese into the mix! Give this a try at your next tailgate. I’m sure that you and/or your guests will not be disappointed. Oh and throw a beer pairing in there too…just because.
Tidbits of Information:
1. Don’t forget that you are cooking chicken. I would hope that all of your smart enough to figure out that it needs to be 100% cooked through. The key to getting these burgers just right is to keep an eye on the temperature. You want them to be cooked through, but you don’t want them to be dry. Please use a meat thermometer. You will be glad you did. Also, I tend to think that thigh meat works best for ground chicken. You can most certainly use breast, or even a mix of the two. Thighs have fat that you most certainly need to bind these babies together. Zach and I grind our own meat. If you happen to have a grinder laying around, this is definitely the cheapest way to go. If you don’t have a grinder laying around, your supermarket should have ground chicken of some kind. If they don’t, your butcher is usually more than willing to do it for you.
2. If you would like to kick up the spice in the buffalo sauce, there are a couple of ways to do this. I usually add a sprinkle of cayenne and a couple dashes of my favorite hot sauce into the mix as it’s cooking. If you would like a more buttery sauce, then decrease the amount of Frank’s Red Hot by just a couple of a dashes.
3. These burgers would also be great in slider or meatball form. If you are looking for more bite-sized treats, I think that this is a great way to go.
4. One more thing, please be sure that you brush your burgers or the grill with olive oil. They will stick if you aren’t careful. This is never a pleasant occurrence.
IPA was definitely the only way to go with this beer pairing. A beer that was perfectly crisp and delicious was also in order. We decided to kick up the “hoppiness” and go with a double IPA. In this case we went with Boulevard Brewing Co. Double Wide IPA. It’s a spectacular double IPA, but if you aren’t used to IPAs, it could kick you in the face with hops. It’s piney and perfect with spicy food. It goes amazingly with these burgers. If you would like to tone down the amount of hops you ingest, try their Single-Wide IPA, which is equally satisfying and also a great pairing!
I hope everyone made it successfully through their Mondays. Only 4 more days until the weekend!
Buffalo Chicken Burgers
These buffalo chicken burgers are the perfect spin on buffalo chicken wings. They are incredibly easy to make and perfect for a tailgate!
1 1/2 pounds ground chicken
3 stalks celery, finely diced
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 cup bread crumbs
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups hot sauce, Frank’s Red Hot
2 tablespoons worcestershire sauce
4 sandwich rolls, Ciabatta
bleu cheese dressing (optional)
baby spinach (optional)
- Preheat your grill to medium-high heat.
- In a large bowl, combine the ground chicken, celery, salt, pepper, garlic powder and bread crumbs. Mix to combine thoroughly. Form 4 equal patties and place on a platter. Brush each burger with olive oil. Grill for about 6 minutes on each side or until the burgers are completely cooked. Remove from grill and put aside to rest for just a couple of minutes.
- To prepare the sauce, combine the butter, hot sauce, worcestershire and a dash of pepper in a medium-sized saucepan. Whisk until the butter has melted then remove from heat. Transfer the hot sauce to a shallow dish and add the burgers. Flip them to coat completely. If you wish to drizzle instead of dousing the burgers, then this is also ok.
- Serve the burger on top of your ciabatta rolls and top with lettuce and bleu cheese dressing. Enjoy!
- Hardware: * Grill of Grill Pan * Large Bowl * Brush * Large Platter * Meat Thermometer * Medium-Size Saucepan * Whisk * Shallow Dish * Sharp Knife * Cutting Board *