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Chicken-Pecan Burgers with Fuji Apple & Blue Cheese Salad

My inspiration for this recipe was the fall season and all the great flavors it brings. I'm also a blue cheese fanatic! I like that even people who are not can use a mild blue cheese and still enjoy this burger.

Ingredients 

Burger Patties

2/3 cup pecans
1.5 lbs ground chicken
1 egg, beaten
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 large shallot, minced
1/4 cup Sutter Home Chenin Blanc
1/3 cup seasoned bread crumbs
1/2 Tbs. ground sage
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 tsp. cracked black pepper

Fuji Apple & Blue Cheese Salad

1/2 shallot, minced
1/2 tsp. Dijon mustard
1/2 tsp. granulated sugar
2 Tbs. apple cider vinegar
pinch Kosher salt
pinch cracked black pepper
1/4 cup canola oil
1 Fuji Apple
1 cup spring mix, torn
1/3 cup crumbled blue cheese

Vegetable oil, for brushing grill rack
6 soft Kaiser rolls

Instructions 

In a grill-safe pan, toast the pecans over low heat stirring frequently. Toast for 2-3 minutes or until pecans are fragrant. Remove from heat and process in small food processor until fine. In a mixing bowl, combine ground pecans and remaining burger ingredients. Mix until well-combined, then form into 6 burger patties. Refrigerate until ready to grill.

In a small bowl, combine the shallot, mustard, sugar, apple cider vinegar, salt and pepper in a bowl. Mix well. Whisk in the canola oil very slowly to create an emulsified dressing. Set dressing aside.

Peel and core Fuji apple. Cut apple into julienne matchsticks and toss with a little of the dressing to prevent browning. Set aside.

Heat the grill to medium-high. When the grill is ready, brush the grill rack with vegetable oil. Place the patties on the rack, cover and cook for about 5-6 minutes per side. During the last 2 minutes of cooking, place the buns, cut side down, on the outer edge of the grill rack to toast lightly.

To assemble the burgers, place 1 patty on each bun bottom. In a mixing bowl, combine the apples, spring mix, blue cheese and dressing. Toss until spring mix is well coated and top each burger with equal portion of salad. Add bun tops and serve.

Comments 

For a milder blue cheese, try a young Gorgonzola or Saga Blue. For a stronger flavor, choose Maytag Blue or Roquefort.