Is it any surprise to you that after flipping through Everyday Food: Great Food Fast one of the first recipes on my list to try was one full of Indian spices? I'm always waxing poetic about my love for the comfort of Indian tastes and smells, and I was drawn to the incorporation of those spices into a chicken burger and paired with cool creamy cumin yogurt and crunchy cucumbers.
The other thing I loved when reading through this recipe, was instead of using already ground chicken the authors tell you to use boneless, skinless chicken thighs and coarsely process them in your food processor. I'm always using chicken thighs because of how inexpensive they are compared to other cuts of chicken and I love their rich flavor. Chicken thighs cost me about $2.50 a pound while ground chicken is about $5 a pound where I live. That right there was incentive enough to make this recipe, since I almost never buy ground chicken.
Recipe from Everyday Food: Great Food Fast
1 1/2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken thighs (cut into rough chunks)
4 green onions, thinly sliced
3 tbsp chopped fresh ginger
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp paprika
2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground cardamom
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1 1/2 tsp coarse salt
1/2 tsp fresh ground pepper
4 6-inch pitas (regular pita pockets, Greek pitas, or Naan would also work)
1 cucumber, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced on the diagonal
1/2 cup fresh cilantro sprigs
Cumin Yogurt Sauce:
1/2 cup plain low-fat yogurt
1/2 tsp ground cumin
coarse salt and fresh ground pepper
In a medium bowl place the chicken, green onions, ginger, lemon juice, paprika, cumin, cardamom, cayenne, salt and pepper. Toss to combine. Set aside to marinate for at least 10 minutes, up to 30 minutes.
Transfer the chicken mixture to a food processor; pulse until coArsely chopped, but not pasty, 10 to 12 times. Take about 3 tablespoons of the mixture and form into a 3/4 inch thick patty, then form the rest of the patties. You should be able to form about 10-12 patties (or up to 16 if you are lucky!)
You can either cook these on the grill over medium-high heat (make sure they are well oiled first) for 2-3 minutes per side, or you can cook them in a frying pan. Turn heat to medium-high and place about a tablespoon of oil in the pan. Cook the patties about 3 minutes per side. Depending on the size of your pan, you may need to do this in a couple batches.
Halve the pitas crosswise (toast on the grill or in a dry frying pan over medium heat if you like). Into each pocket, place 2 chicken patties, cucumber slices, and cilantro sprigs. Serve with cumin yogurt sauce.
Click here for printable version of Indian-Spiced Chicken Burgers
The flavors of these puppies: AH-mazing! The chicken was moist and delicious, the spices were spot on and the additions of the cucumber and yogurt were perfect.
The execution of these things however, was slightly annoying. The recipe as printed says to use 1 1/2 pounds of chicken thighs or 4-5 thighs. Since we buy our chicken thighs in a big bulk package and separate them into ziplock bags when we get home before throwing them in the freezer, I had no idea how much 1 1/2 pounds was, so I used their gauge of using 4 to 5 thighs. So I spice them up, let 'em marinate and coarsely grind everything. Um...where's the rest of it? Using 3 tablespoons of meat per patty I had five assembled before I ran out of meat; the recipe told me I could get 16 patties. So then I think that the recipe is just out to lunch and we can't feed our family with just these five measly patties, so I go to the fridge and grab four more chicken thighs from the package, spice them up and grind them. Then it dawns on me, that the packaging from the big bulk container of chicken thighs is lurking somewhere in the depths of the garbage can. So as my second batch is waiting to be made into patties, here I am digging through my disgusting trash to find out how much the dang thing weighed to begin with! Turns out my four chicken thighs were only half the amount I needed, and by making the other four, NOW I had 1 1/2 pounds of meat. Except that my patties were seasoned with double the spices and it still only made 10 patties total. LUCKILY, even doubly spiced these were delicious, although both my husband and I agreed that if made with the proper amount of spices they would have been perfect.
That small annoyance aside, this recipe is fantastic. As you can tell in the picture, I didn't use regular pita pockets, but pillowy soft Greek pitas and I'm thinking naan bread would awesome as well.
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