Lemony Chix Burger

June 27, 2014
0 Ratings
  • Makes 6 or 7 patties
Author Notes

Though I've come to terms with this admission, I still wince slightly when I it aloud: I don't like hamburgers. I don't think I ever did, but the last I ate was in high school -20 years ago- and I've never missed them.
I do love the idea of burgers though, especially during summertime when you can sit outside, crack open a watermelon, pour some sweet tea and enjoy the sunshine. As such, I need non-beef burgers in my repetoire, and I prefer that they not look like pancakes or pucks, sad seconds to the juicy beef patties sharing grill space.

I love real veggie burgers but chicken and/or turkey make the best substitutes for the "real" deal. This recipe is inspired by a southwestern turkey burger recipe I once had (white meat and chili) and by a delicious Aleppo-yogurt chicken kebab recipe I found on epicurious (chicken, Aleppo, yogurt).

It's lighter than air, super moist and completely satisfying.

You can make the patties ahead of time. Simply cover tightly and refrigerate until you're ready to grill them.
If you opt against using the breadcrumbs (which is totally fine!), the meat mixture will seem slightly loose. Just make sure your grill is completely heated and you won't lose a bit. —em-i-lis

What You'll Need
  • 3 tablespoons (packed) minced preserved lemon
  • 1 cup diced yellow or white onion
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic (roughly 2 nice-sized cloves)
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup (scant) Greek-style yogurt
  • teaspoons Aleppo pepper (or equal parts sweet paprika and crushed red pepper)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
  • pounds best-quality ground chicken
  • 2 tablespoons fresh bread crumbs (optional; use if you like a slightly firmer burger.)
  1. In a large mixing bowl, toss together the first five ingredients (preserved lemon through olive oil). Let sit for at least 5 minutes. In the meantime, in a small bowl, stir together the yogurt, Aleppo pepper and mint.
  2. Preheat your grill - you'll want it at about 475° F. To the lemon-onion mixture In the large bowl, add the ground chicken and yogurt blend. Use your hands or a wooden spoon to gently combine everything until the lemons and onions and yogurt sauce are evenly distributed throughout. Shape into patties. You'll get 6-7.
  3. Oil the grates on your hot grill (carefully) and grill the burgers, flipping once, until a thermometer inserted into the centers just reads 165° F. Serve on lightly toasted buns (I like potato) with whatever fixings you prefer. I like lettuce, tomato and some arugula-mint mayo. Avocado would probably be nice too!
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  • chimera
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7 Reviews

mstv June 5, 2015
I have also made these by putting all the ingredients except for the chicken in the blender and pulsing. Worked really well and was so easy (didn't even chop the mint or preserved lemons first, roughly chopped the onion, and did mince the garlic). Stirred all that into the chicken and cooked up. When I didn't have Green yogurt on hand, a couple extra tablespoons of breadcrumbs helped to firm the patties up. This is such a delicious and easy recipe!
em-i-lis June 6, 2015
Awesome, mstv. I'm so glad you enjoy them and have honed your own techniques!! Thanks!
chimera February 25, 2015
Trader Joe's now sells jars of preserved lemons - I can't wait to make these again with the preserved lemons!
chimera July 4, 2014
Outstanding!! Made these tonight - used lemon zest instead of preserved lemon and some extra breadcrumbs, and they held together perfectly on the grill. On some toasted potato buns with tomato, lettuce, and avocado - yum. I made extra and froze them. Great recipe!
em-i-lis July 4, 2014
Awesome, chimera! I'm so glad you enjoyed them. YES to the potato buns and to freezing extra!!
mstv July 3, 2014
These were delicious. I would definitely make them again! Did a little less than half a recipe - made 2 large burgers. The onion (I minced it) seemed like it made the burgers just a little crumbly. Next time if I have it I might try scallions/green onions instead of regular onions.
em-i-lis July 4, 2014
I'm so glad you enjoyed them, mstv. If you prefer an even smaller dice on the onions, you can try putting them in the food processor and basically pureeing them. Cheers!