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Holy Mole Chicken Posole Burgers

I love to create interesting recipes based on things I have eaten or seen. Sometimes, something just strikes my fancy and it takes off from there. Although I love almost any ethnic food, my most favorite has to be Mexican. I absolutely love chicken mole [mole is the Mexican word for sauce], which is chicken slowly simmered in a complex, spicy sauce. True mole is time-consuming to make; thankfully, convenient-to-use prepared mole paste is available. During the winter months, I love posole, which is a hominy stew. It is nice to have a version to eat during warmer months. Like barbecue and chili, there are any number of variations of these great Mexican recipes. This one is just one more variation on a theme.

Ingredients 

1/2 small white onion, roughly chopped
1 garlic clove, smashed
1/2 cup canned kidney beans, rinsed and drained well
1/2 cup canned hominy, rinsed and drained well [white or yellow]
1/4 cup shredded carrot
1 to 2 Tbsp minced chopped jalapeño [to taste and heat level]
1 small tomato, finely diced
2 Tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
Juice of half of 1 lime
2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Salt to taste
Black pepper to taste
1 Tbsp tomato paste
1 Tbsp smooth peanut butter
3 Tbsp [from 8.25-oz. jar] prepared mole [I prefer Rogelio Bueno, but any brand may be used]
Juice of 1 lime
1 garlic clove, finely minced
1 teaspoon salt
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
3 lbs. fresh ground chicken [mix of breast and thigh meat]
1/2 cup queso cotija or queso fresco [Mexican cheeses]
3/4 cup sour cream
1/4 cup mayonnaise
Juice of 1 lime
2 Tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
6 teaspoons butter, room temperature
6 potato hamburger buns
6 crisp butter or leaf lettuce leaves
1 to 2 avocados, thinly sliced

Instructions 

In bowl of food processor, place onion, garlic, kidney beans, hominy, and carrot; pulse 5 or 6 times, scraping sides of bowl, or just until ingredients are coarsely chopped. Place chopped ingredients in medium non-metal mixing bowl. Add jalapeño, tomato, cilantro, lime juice and olive oil; stir together. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit at room temperature while preparing burgers.

Preheat gas grill on high. In medium mixing bowl, whisk together the tomato paste, peanut butter, mole paste, lime juice, garlic, salt, cumin, oregano, chili powder, cinnamon, and 1 tablespoon olive oil until well combined. Add ground chicken; use your hands to blend ingredients together carefully just until mixed. Shape into six equal-sized balls and flatten into patties.

Use a silicon basting brush to brush remaining olive oil on preheated grill rack. Place patties on grill. Grill on one side for approximately 4 to 6 minutes. Flip burgers over carefully, and grill for additional 4 to 6 minutes, or until juices run clear when center is pierced. Sprinkle tops of burger with Mexican cheese and close grill lid. Cook for 1 to 3 minutes, or just until cheese melts and/or bubbles a bit.

Mix sauce while patties are grilling. In small non-metal mixing bowl, whisk together sour cream, mayonnaise, lime juice, and cilantro. Refrigerate until needed.

As burgers get done, remove to platter and tent with aluminum foil to keep warm. Butter tops and bottoms of buns. Place buttered sides down on grill; toast lightly, approximately 1 to 3 minutes.

Place bun bottoms on serving platter, and spread with 1 tablespoon mayonnaise mixture. Place 1 crisp lettuce leaf on each bun half; place 1 tablespoon of salsa on top of lettuce and spread it out a bit. Place one patty on each bun and divide avocado slices evenly between patties. Spread 1 tablespoon of mayonnaise on each bun top and place on burger. Serve and enjoy the fiesta in your mouth!

Comments 

Chef's Notes: Mole paste can be found at any large well-stocked grocery store in either the Mexican food or international foods aisle. There are several brands available, but be sure to get the jar labeled mole. There are other jarred sauce pastes, labeled adobo, pipian, guajillo, etc. These have different tastes and this recipe has not been used with these versions. Queso blanco and queso cotija are Mexican cheeses and can be found in the specialty cheese section of the grocery store. Queso blanco is similar to a mild Greek feta cheese, and queso cotija is similar to Italian Parmesan cheese. Feta and Parmesan could be substituted in a pinch.