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Chicken burger recipe with cheddar and apple delivers sharp autumn flavors

Chicken burger recipe with cheddar and apple delivers sharp autumn flavors

Apple-Cheddar Chicken Burgers

Total time:35 minutes

Servings:4

Total time:35 minutes

Servings:4

Cheddar cheese and apple are such a powerful duo, I think they qualify for an official couple name. Cheers maybe?

Okay, I dare you, but the couple is meant to be together — on a cheese board where crunchy apple slices provide a bright, crisp contrast to tart bites of cheese; warmed together in a sandwich for a leveled sweet and sour savory grilled cheese; or for dessert where a piece of cheddar is balanced and complements a piece of apple pie.

This recipe brings the two together as toppings for juicy chili-spiced chicken patties for an extraordinary burger experience that’s a cinch to get on the table. For the patties, simply mix ground chicken with chili powder, finely grated onion and salt and shape into burgers. Ground poultry can get sticky, so keep a bowl of cold water nearby to keep your hands wet and, for optimal texture, avoid overloading the mixture. I prefer a mix of light and dark chicken for maximum juiciness, but you can use all the white meat if you prefer. You can also replace it with turkey.

The grilled apple rings are also easy to prepare and can be made ahead of time. Cut the apple into rounds, scoop out the core with a small spoon or melon ball mould, brush the rings with oil and grill the rings until they become soft and get nice grill marks. Any variety of sweet apple will work – I went with red apple here because I like the color it brings to the mix.

Grill the burgers for about five minutes per side, then top with a slice of cheese, cover and let it melt over the patty. A little sharp cheese goes a long way in imparting a rich, savory flavor. Then top each burger with a slice of grilled apple and serve on sandwiches with a lettuce leaf or in lettuce cups. I like to slather mine with mustard for an extra layer of creamy tartness, but with or without it, the charcoal-grilled burgers wafting with chili and topped off with the dynamic duo of sweet, juicy apple and sharp melted cheddar are a surefire win.

Apple-Cheddar Chicken Burgers

Make Ahead: The apple rings can be grilled up to 3 days in advance and refrigerated in an airtight container until needed.

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  • 1 pound ground chicken, preferably a mix of white and dark meat
  • 1 tablespoon grated yellow onion
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine salt
  • 1 large sweet red apple (8 ounces), such as Honeycrisp
  • 1 teaspoon neutral high-heat oil, such as grapeseed, canola, or avocado oil, plus more for the grill
  • Four (3/4-ounce) slices of sharp cheddar cheese
  • 4 whole-wheat burger buns, optional
  • 4 large lettuce leaves, or more if not using buns
  • Dijon mustard, for serving (optional)

In a medium bowl, combine the chicken, onion, chili powder, and salt and mix the ingredients gently with your hands, but don’t overdo the mixture (it’s okay if the chili powder isn’t evenly distributed). Shape the mixture into 4 patties about 3 1/2 inches in diameter. (If the mixture becomes sticky, wet your hands with cold water.)

Slice the apple crosswise to get four center-cut apple rings about 1/2 inch thick each. Use a melon baller or small spoon to remove and discard the core of each ring. Brush both sides of the apple slices with oil.

Preheat a grill or grill pan over medium heat. Place the apple slices on the grill and cook until soft but still holding their shape and grill marks have formed, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate.

Brush the grill or grill pan with oil and place the patties on top. Cook until they reach an internal temperature of 160 degrees, about 5 minutes per side. Then top each patty with a slice of cheese, cover and cook until the cheese has melted and the burger has reached a temperature of 165 degrees. (If you don’t have a lid for your grill pan, you can use a deep skillet as a lid.)

Serve the burgers topped with apple slices, on buns with a lettuce leaf each, or in lettuce cups; spread with mustard, if desired.

Calories: 291; Total fat: 18 g; Saturated fat: 7 g; Cholesterol: 120mg; Sodium: 381mg; Carbohydrates: 8 g; Dietary fiber: 2 g; Sugar: 5 grams; Protein: 26 grams

This analysis is an estimate based on available ingredients and this preparation. It should not replace the advice of a dietician or nutritionist.

From cookbook author and registered dietitian nutritionist Ellie Krieger.

Tested by Suzy Leonard; e-mail questions to [email protected].

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