Monday, August 19, 2013

Buffalo Chicken Burgers and Adam Perry Lang

It's almost the end of summer, do you need to break out of the burger boredom?  This burger will certainly do the job with all of the flavors of a hot wing packed into a burger.  

Buffalo chicken burger, big green egg recipe, low cal burger, kamado grill diet burger

I cooked these on a griddle plate for two reasons.  First, the raw texture is a little too soft for grill grates.  Second and more importantly, getting an even crust across the burger builds more flavor by maximizing the Maillard reaction.  You could certainly do these indoors on a griddle or skillet if the mood strikes you.

Sure you can just buy a commercial poultry rub, light Ranch dressing, and pre-made wing sauce for this.  But I like to make my own when I have the time because it's cheaper and better.

Buffalo Chicken Burgers

Prep Time: 20 min
Cook Time: 10 min

Ingredients (4 burgers)
    You'll need
    • 1.25 lbs ground chicken
    • 2 Tbsp smashed cooked carrot
    • 2 Tbsp finely minced celery
    • 1 Tbsp finely minced green onion
    • 1 piece bread
    • 2-3 Tbsp milk
    • 2-3 Tbsp oil for the griddle
    For the rub
    • 1/2 tsp salt
    • 1/4 tsp garlic pepper seasoning
    • 1/4 tsp sugar
    • 1/4 tsp paprika
    For The Quick Ranch
    • 3 Tbsp mayo
    • 5 Tbsp Greek yogurt
    • 1.5 Tbsp buttermilk
    • 1/4 tsp season salt
    • 1/4 tsp dill
    • 1/8 tsp pepper
    • pinch red pepper flake
    For the Buffalo sauce
    • 4 Tbsp butter
    • 4 Tbsp Franks Red Hot Sauce
    • 4-5 drops Worcestershire sauce
    1. Mix together the Ranch dressing ingredients and refrigerate for at least 1 hour prior to serving.
    2. Mix together the rub ingredients in a small bowl.
    3. Place the bread on a small plate and pour the milk over the bread until soaked. Let sit for 10 minutes.  This will be a panade that you add to the burger to keep a moist texture.
    4. Place the chicken, carrot, celery, onion, and dry rub in a medium bowl. Squeeze the milk out of the bread (over the sink, not the bowl) and add the smashed bread to the meat mixture. Stir to combine evenly. Form into 4 equal burger patties. Refrigerate until just before cooking.
    5. Preheat a charcoal grill equipped with a griddle plate to 350-400f. Heat the butter, hot sauce, and Worcestershire sauce until combined.  The sauce as written is medium.  For mild, cut the Franks Red Hot sauce to 2 Tbsp.  For hotter, knock yourself out with 6 Tbsp or more.
    6. Oil the griddle plate and cook patties until golden on the bottom side, about 3 to 3 1/2 minutes. Flip and cook until the burgers reach an internal temperature of 165f.
    7. Brush with the Buffalo sauce on both sides and remove from grill.
    8. Serve on buns with Ranch dressing drizzled over the patties. Common toppings are lettuce, tomato, and red onion.
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    You want the carrot to be smashed.  I peeled and boiled a carrot for 12 minutes.  But you could use canned carrots.  You could even use carrot puree if you had some on hand.

    The raw texture of the patties will be more sticky and soft than beef burgers.  I find using deli sheets for forming and handling the patties makes it MUCH easier.  Stack them on a tray in the fridge.  Then when it's time to put them on the grill, just peel it off and drop it on the griddle.  I buy ours at Gordon Food Services, Sam's Club, or Costco.  But you could use pieces of wax paper, parchment paper, or butcher paper if you have it.  

    Buffalo chicken burger, big green egg recipe, low cal burger, kamado grill diet burger
    These burgers should weigh 1/3rd pound at 5.3 ounces. Salter Eco Friendly Bamboo Kitchen Scale, Weighs to 11-Pound
    There are a couple of options for the griddle.  If you have a Craycort grate like this, you can just put in the griddle insert.  Don't oil it until it is fully preheated and about 2-3 minutes before the burger goes on.
    Craycort grill grate, BGE griddle, big green egg griddle, kamado joe griddle, vision grill griddle

    If you don't have a Craycort grate, you can use a griddle plate like this.  I see a lot of these for sale in the $25-$35 range and they can be used inside or on the grill.  

    You can adjust the heat of the Buffalo sauce as noted.  If someone is seriously unable to handle mild heat, you can make these without the sauce but then they are just Ranch Chicken Burgers. 

    Craycort grill grate, BGE griddle, big green egg griddle, kamado joe griddle, vision grill griddle

    With ground chicken, I don't take any chances.  I check each burger with my super fast Thermapen.    Watch your times when cooking, these cook noticeably faster than beef burgers.

    Craycort grill grate, BGE griddle, big green egg griddle, kamado joe griddle, vision grill griddle, thermapen

    These were a BIG hit and I would serve these at a party or tailgate.  Alexis' reaction was that I could make these every day for dinner this week.    

    Craycort grill grate, BGE griddle, big green egg griddle, kamado joe griddle, vision grill griddle

    Serious Barbecue on a Funny Show
    Adam Perry Lang was on the Jimmy Kimmel Live show last week as part of his Backlot BBQ summer tour across America.  

    Adam is a master at teaching BBQ, not just recipes but techniques that you can use in a variety of dishes.   Without even pulling his books out, I can think of two examples off the top of my head.  
    • I use his board dressing technique (just putting oil, seasonings and herbs on cutting board before slicing) often.  
    • I've also adapted his pork chop technique from BBQ25 to my Bourbon and Cherry Glazed Pork Chops.

    I heartily recommend any of his books (BBQ25, Serious BBQ, Charred and Scruffed).  Serious BBQ is now out in second edition so if you didn't get it the first time around.  

    Here are the videos of the event in case you missed it.  Jimmy and Adam always put on a good show together.  They did a short series years ago where the two of them would "kidnap" unsuspecting random people off the street and do an impromptu cooking lesson/meal for them.  I always hoped that I would be walking down the street one day and have them pull up.

    About Adam's Backlot BBQ tour... (love that they used Big Green Eggs, of course)

    Part 1...
    Part 2...

    I sure could go for some dinosaur ribs right now.


    1. Could I use carrot cake if I don't have carrot puree on hand. GREG
      PS That was a joke. It was lame so you might not have known that.

    2. Love these burgers! We have chicken burgers on the grill often now instead of beef, so want to try your recipe! They definitely are sticky and need a grate! Happy grilling!

    3. I can not tell you how good these sound!!! I love buffalo chicken wings and having them in a "burger" is genius!

    4. Great looking burger Chris. I love the idea of using the deli sheets. I didn't realize you could buy them, duh...

      You would be a perfect person to "kidnap" for a random BBQ cooking session. The joke would be on them when they realized you were a pro.

    5. Definitely a great way to get rid of the burger boredom... if there is such a thing :)

    6. People get bored with burgers? Carrot puree, kidnapping and Jimmy Kimmel all in the same post...genius. Dickel? That's a new one for me!'s stuck in my head...Dickel-Dickel-Dickel...I'm so easily amused.

    7. Burger boredom? Is there such a thing? ;) These look great Chris. That photo with the fries and tomatoes/lettuce/bun on the side is really nice. I should have done that with my Hatch Chile Burger. Makes for a much better burger photo.

    8. I don't recall ever having a poultry burger, but this makes me want to run out and get some chicken.

    9. What a great post! So much good info. I need to get David the Adam Perry Lang books. Your chicken burger looks amazing.

    10. The other day I announced that we were having chicken burgers for dinner. I don't think anyone had real high expectations. I made a chicken caesar-style burger and it was actually a huge hit! Everyone was pleasantly surprised and said they'd be happy to eat it on a regular basis. I'll definitely have to try this version since we love the flavor of buffalo sauce.

      P.S. That ground chicken is so inexpensive! Sometimes I get it on sale for about $2.50 a pound. Total plus.

    11. What a great idea,Chris!Chicken burgers sound like the perfect meal and I would love the buffalo flavor!

    12. Love this flavor profile put n burger form. Ps I lbe A PL too. He's a grilling inspiration!

    13. Those look and sound incredible. I think I'll be stealing that recipe this week. Really like the sound of the ranch dressing as well and like that you used some Greek yogurt.

      Awhile back, I was going to make Buffalo Chicken Sliders but kept putting off going to the store. When I realized the time, I had to make a mad dash and found that they had no ground chicken and I didn't have the time or the energy to grind my own, so they turned into Buffalo Turkey Sliders. Still came out good.

    14. These burgers look great, Chris and there isn't a chance of boredom here. I just used ground chicken for the first time yesterday in some meatballs and I was impressed. I thought it would taste like ground turkey, but luckily that was not the case at all!

    15. I love that you made your own sauces - way better than store bought ones. The crust on the burger looks perfect!!!

    16. Oooh yes to that homemade ranch and buffalo waaaaang sauce! Thanks for the tips on using a griddle plate. That's an interesting point to make re: the texture of the meat. That probably helps them stay moist as well.


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