Chicken Caesar Burgers with Parmigiano Taters
All the flavors of a chicken caesar salad ... in a burger!
- For the taters:
- 1 sack frozen tater tots, waffle fries or your favorite frozen tater, any brand
- A couple of handfuls of grated Parmigiano Reggiano or Romano cheese
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 sprig fresh rosemary, leaves removed and chopped
- 1 teaspoon hot pepper flakes
- 1 tablespoon grill seasoning (eyeball it)
- For the dipping sauce:
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO)
- 1/2 small onion, grated
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 15-ounce can crushed tomatoes
- For the burgers:
- 1 1/4 pounds ground chicken breast, the average weight of 1 package
- 3 garlic cloves, 2 finely chopped, 1 cracked from skin
- 4 anchovies, finely chopped (optional but recommended)
- A handful of Parmigiano Reggiano
- Salt and coarse black pepper
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- A handful flat-leaf parsley, chopped
- 1 tablespoon lemon zest plus juice of 1/2 lemon
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO), plus some for drizzling
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1 heart romaine lettuce, chopped
- 2 plum tomatoes, thinly sliced
- 4 crusty rolls, split in half
Yields: 4 servings
Preheat oven to 425°F.
Start the taters: Combine Parmigiano, salt, rosemary, hot pepper flakes and grill seasoning in a bowl. Pour four portions of taters onto a non-stick cookie sheet. Bake until almost crisp (about halfway through the cooking time on the package), then remove and sprinkle them with a handful of the cheese, tossing them a little to make sure they're coated, and then finish baking them off. Sprinkle them with cheese and herb mixture, tossing them around a bit so the mixture sticks. As the frost starts to melt, the flavorings will set into place.
Make the dipping sauce: Heat EVOO in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Add grated onion (onion can be grated right over the pot) and garlic, and cook 1-2 minutes. Add tomatoes, reduce heat to medium and cook, stirring frequently, for 10-12 minutes. Remove from heat and reserve.
While the sauce is working, prepare the burgers: In a bowl, combine the chicken, finely chopped garlic, anchovies, a handful of cheese, a pinch of salt and a generous amount of pepper, Worcestershire, parsley and lemon zest. Mix the meat and form 4 oval-shaped, rather than round, burger patties.
Heat a large nonstick skillet with 1 tablespoon of EVOO, a turn of the pan, over medium-high heat. When hot, add the chicken patties and cook for 3-4 minutes on each side.
Preheat the broiler and toast the bread on a cookie sheet or broiler pan. Once lightly golden in color, remove from oven and rub the breads with cracked garlic. Drizzle bread with the EVOO.
Combine Dijon, lemon juice and 2-3 tablespoons of EVOO with salt and pepper, and toss the greens with it.
Place the patties on the bun bottoms and top them with a pile of romaine, sliced tomatoes and bun tops. Serve the burgers with the Parmigiano taters and a bowl with the dipping sauce alongside.
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