Sunday, April 14, 2013

Kung Pao Chicken Burgers

I was quite the Maxxinista on Saturday - using my new job as an excuse to pickup a few new blazers and work dresses.  And a fun pair of wedges for my friend Jess's September wedding! After a long afternoon of prowling through the racks at both TJ Maxx and Marshalls, my coworker informed me that Red Mango was serving free yogurt.  It was too cold outside for pictures (and my hands were full with shopping bags), but KK and I enjoyed frozen yogurt chock full of toppings before dinner!

My cast iron grill pan still needs some more seasoning, so I was relieved to see this recipe suggesting a non-stick skillet for cooking the burgers.  I recommend flattening the chicken patties before you start to ensure they cook through without the outsides burning.  As you can see from my picture, I knew my patties weren't cooking thoroughly, so I had to slice them in half.  Problem solved! IGE recommends low-sodium soy sauce... listen to her! Our Costco-sized jug of soy sauce is not low-sodium, and the grocery store strangely didn't have any in stock, so we were forced to use regular soy sauce.  The burgers themselves were fantastic, but the sauce was - as predicted - quite salty.

Burgers for dinner would not be complete without beer (and tater tots!).  KK and I sampled beers from his quarterly Beer Club delivery.  The latest delivery included beers from Sprecher Brewery and Woodstock Inn Brewery.  I enjoyed both of the beers I tasted: the Sprecher Abbey Triple and the Woodstock Red Rack Ale.  KK only had a 50% success rate with his selections.  The Sprecher Piper's Scotch Ale was his least favorite, but he enjoyed the Woodstock Pemi Pale Ale.

Kung Pao Chicken Burgers
Adapted from Iowa Girl Eats
Time: 30 minutes
Serves 4

Sauce Ingredients
1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce
1/4 cup white cooking wine
4 teaspoons chili garlic sauce
2 teaspoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon fresh ginger, minced
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1/4 cup water

Other Ingredients
1lb ground chicken
1/4 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup bread crumbs
1/4 cup chopped peanuts
1 egg white
3 garlic cloves, minced
4 buns

1. In a small bowl, combine all sauce ingredients except for the cornstarch and water.

2. In a large bowl, combine chicken, onions, bread crumbs, peanuts, egg white, garlic, and 2 tablespoons sauce.  Mix with hands until just combined and form into 4 patties. Cook in a nonstick-sprayed skillet over medium-high heat for 4-5 minutes each side, or until done.

3. Meanwhile, whisk cornstarch and water into the remaining sauce. Transfer to a small saucepan, and heat over medium heat until thick and bubbly.

4. Place cooked burgers on toasted buns, and top with sauce and desired burger toppings.

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