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CHICKEN CORDON BLEU BURGER WITH GRILLED ASPARAGUS ‘N FRESH TOMATO-BASIL MAYO SPREAD

Chicken cordon bleu is a favorite main meal I serve with fresh asparagus and the inspiration for my chicken burger creation. Instead of using chicken breasts, I went with ground chicken thighs for moisture and flavor. I added a small amount of cream to the cheese-bacon filling so the filling would have a softer texture. I arranged grilled asparagus spears over each patty the final minutes of cooking and placed a slice of Havarti Dill cheese over the top to hold the asparagus in place. I smeared a lemony fresh cherry tomato, basil and mayo spread over the cut side of the toasted roll top before closing the burger and serving.

Ingredients 

TOMATO-BASIL MAYO SPREAD
2/3 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh basil leaves
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
1/3 cup diced Nature Sweet cherry tomatoes (1/4-inch-dice)

FILLING:
3 slices lean applewood smoked bacon
1/3 cup grated medium sharp California Baby Swiss Cheese
1/3 cup crumbled California bleu cheese
2 teaspoons heavy cream
1/4 teaspoon cracked black pepper

PATTIES:
2 pounds fresh ground skinless, boneless chicken thighs
3 cloves garlic, peeled and grated
1-3/4 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon cracked black pepper

3 sheets Reynolds wrap non-stick foil (divided use)
Vegetable oil to brush grill rack

24 fresh asparagus spears (medium to small size tips)
1 tablespoon Colavita Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 tablespoon Colavita balsamic vinegar
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

6 slices California Havarti Dill cheese
6 sesame seeded Kaiser rolls, split horizontally
6 pieces Boston lettuce to fit rolls

Instructions 

Preheat a gas grill to medium-high or prepare a charcoal grill fire to medium-hot.

For spread, in a small bowl, stir mayonnaise, basil, lemon juice and lemon zest together. Refrigerate covered until needed. Place tomatoes in a dish; set aside until needed.

For filling, on grill side burner or rack, cook bacon in a fireproof skillet until crisp. Drain on a paper towels then crumble bacon when cool and place in a small bowl. Stir in Swiss cheese, bleu cheese, cream and pepper until combined. On a work surface, divide cheese mixture into 6 equal portions.

For patties, in a large bowl combine chicken, garlic, salt and pepper. Gently mix together then on work surface, divide chicken mixture into 12 equal portions. Encase a portion of filling in one portion of chicken mixture forming a mini-patty. Work a second portion of chicken mixture around mini-patty then gently flatten to form a patty sized to fit roll. Make an indentation in center of patty. Repeat procedure with remaining portions of chicken mixture and filling mixture. Place patties on a platter, cover with Reynolds wrap and refrigerate.

For asparagus, trim asparagus into 3-inch-long spears. Place spears in a medium bowl, drizzle with oil and vinegar. Toss to coat then season with salt. Grill asparagus on grill rack or a nonstick grill tray set on grill, slightly rolling spears each minute while browning in spots-do not char. Remove spears once crisp-tender to a sheet of Reynolds wrap; seal to keep warm.

Brush grill rack generously with vegetable oil. Retrieve chicken patties and place on grill rack. Cover and cook patties 6 to 7 minutes per side or until juices run clear. The final minute of grilling, place 4 asparagus spears, alternating tips and ends, over each patty. Top with a slice of cheese, cover grill until cheese slightly melts. Remove patties to a platter; tent loosely with Reynolds wrap. Place rolls, cut side down on grill rack and toast lightly.

To assemble patties, cover each toasted roll bottom with lettuce then top with a patty. Retrieve mayo mixture and tomatoes. Remove tomatoes from dish using a slotted spoon, leaving juice behind and stir tomatoes into mayo mixture. Slather mayo over toasted side of roll top and cover patty. Serve immediately.

6 burgers

Comments 

My method of encasing the cheese filling in the chicken mixture works well and keeps the filling from oozing out of the burger while grilling. Use trimmed ends of asparagus spears for soup or another use.