THE WASHINGTON POST – Chicken and turkey have a reputation for making dry burgers, leaving them open and available for futzing with in the hopes of making them not dry – maybe even flavourful. Dare I say delicious? That would be great, wouldn’t it?
Lean meats need moisture and fat to prevent them from drying out. The vegetable kingdom has lots of options that are full of moisture. Spinach and leafy herbs, cabbage, carrots and broccoli, among other vegetables, are all nearly 90 per cent water. As they cook, they release their flavour and juices into what’s around them. If what’s around them is lean meat, that meat is getting added moisture. Ding ding ding.
This recipe liberates broccoli from the floret and instead has you finely chop both the frilly tops and sturdy stem. That way, in the time it takes the burger to cook, the small broccoli bits on the inside of the burger steam to tender and the bits on the surface of the patty brown as if they were roasted.
A patty with this much moxie, that has been liberated from dryness and blahness, doesn’t need much in the way of fixings. A toasted bun or bread slices and ketchup, mustard, pickles, lettuce, tomato, onions or even sauerkraut would be swell. But you may want to eat these patties on their own, dragged through mustard. If you can’t find ground chicken or turkey, ask a butcher to grind it fresh.
One pound ground chicken or turkey, preferably dark meat
Two cups finely chopped broccoli head and stem
One-and-a-half cups grated sharp cheddar cheese
Two scallions, thinly sliced
Two tablespoons olive oil
Fine sea salt
Freshly cracked black pepper
Six buns, for serving
Yellow or stone ground mustard, for serving (optional)
Lettuce leaves, for serving (optional)
Sliced tomato, for serving (optional)
Sliced pickles, for serving (optional)
In a large bowl, use your hands to mix together the ground chicken, broccoli, cheddar and scallions until combined. Form six patties that are about a half-inch wider than your buns.
In a large skillet over medium-high heat, heat the oil until shimmering. Season the patties with salt and pepper, then add them to the skillet and cook until browned and cooked through to an internal temperature of 165 degrees, about four minutes per side.
While the patties are cooking, lightly toast the buns, if desired.
Spread mustard on the buns. Transfer the patties to buns and top with lettuce, tomato and pickle, if using.