Allow me to sneak in at the start of your holiday weekend, here at the unofficial beginning of summer (and my favorite weekend of the year) with a humble but high-key FANTASTIC chicken burger. This is one of those smash burger recipes that once you know, you cannot unknow. This will color your burgers for the rest of your days and… you’re welcome.
All the gratitude and genius goes to cookbook author, Ali Slagle, and her new book, I Dream of Dinner (so you don’t have to). This book has taken up permanent residence on my kitchen island. It answers the 5:55pm question of, “Whats for dinner?” with simple creativity and honestly… a humanity that makes me feel capable of making a whole lotta something from nothing.
GET THIS BOOK. MAKE THIS BURGER.
Here are the ingredients you’ll need to make the very best chicken burger:
• ground chicken
• thick slices of bacon, cut in half
• red onion
• buns – I love Martin’s Potato Rolls because they’re sturdy but have just the right amount of softness, though any
brioche bun is lovely.
• bibb lettuce
• sea salt and fresh cracked black pepper
• Options: tomato slices, avocado slices, a slice of cheese, dijon mustard
I like to cook these smash burgers in a large cast iron skillet. Heat the pan over medium-heat and add a splash of neutral oil to toast the buns to golden. In my opinion, an untoasted bun is like a taco made with a raw corn tortilla – just a bummer.
Remove the buns from the skillet and place on a large cutting board or baking sheet for assembly.
Next up – cook the halved bacon slices until crisp on both sides. Crisping the bacon will also render the fat and we’ll use that glorious fat to cook our chicken burgers.
To get the most tender chicken patties, you’ll actually want to work with the ground chicken as little as possible. There’s no need to knead a bunch of seasoning and flavor into the meat – we’ll pack all that flavor on the outside of the patty. Divide the pound of ground chicken into 4, 4-ounce loose balls. Gather the meat just enough for it to hold together without packing it too firmly. Season the outside of the meat generously with salt and pepper.
As soon as the seasoned chicken balls hit the hot cast iron pan, use a metal spatula to smash the meat into as thin a patty as you can. As the meat sears over medium-high heat, add a thin slice of onions and a few slices of jalapenos. Flip and cook all those toppings to finish the patties.
Oh! Try not to overcrowd that cast iron skillet! I cook two patties at a time.
Now if you’d like to make these smash burgers on the grill, use your hands to smash each meat patty very thin. Allow to rest on parchment paper or wax paper before transferring to the grill.
If we’re going to have ground chicken burgers let them be literally packed with flavor. This is one of those burger tricks that will change the game. Just think about all the things you could smash into turkey burgers and beef burgers! Also we’re going to need some cheddar cheese on those beef burgers, no question.
I hope this serves you well this coming holiday weekend, and I hope you hold on to this little burger hack all summer long.
Let me know your burger variations in the comments below. I’m fully invested!Print
Bacon Jalapeno Smashed Chicken Burgers
- Category: dinner
- 1 small red onion, very thinly sliced
- 1 jalapeno, very thinly sliced
- 8 slices of bacon (regular, not thick cut), cut in half crosswise
- 1 pound ground chicken
- Sea salt and fresh cracked black pepper
- Potato hamburger buns (I like Martin’s Potato Rolls)
- Bibb lettuce
- Gather and arrange all of the ingredients prior to frying the burgers. Working the ground chicken as little as possible, divide the ground chicken into 4 loose, 4-ounce meatballs. Press them down just slightly to give the balls flat tops.
- Heat a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat and add a splash of neutral oil (like canola or avocado oil). Toast each side of the buns for 1-2 minutes then set aside. Spread the buns with mayonnaise.
- We’ll make two burgers at a time to ensure we have enough room in the pan to smash the burgers. Add half the bacon slices to the skillet and cook until crisp on both sides, about 4 minutes. Transfer the bacon to the plate with the toasted buns.
- Season two of the meatballs generously with salt and pepper. Place them far apart in the hot skillet and use a spatula to smash the meatballs until they’re as thin as possible. Top each meat patty with onion and jalapeño slices, pressing them into the top of the burger as it cooks. Cook, without moving the meat around the pan for 2 minutes.
- Flip the patties so the onions and jalapeños are now facedown and cook for another 1 to 1 1/2 minutes or until the onions are golden and the patty is cooked through. Place each patty on a hamburger bun. Top with bacon and lettuce and that’s your burger!
- Repeat, cooking the bacon then frying the remaining two meatballs.
- Enjoy burgers warm with chips!
Brioche buns and ground chicken from Aldi made this a spectacular and relatively cheap meal! We chopped up the onion and jalapeños into smaller bits. Even my picky eater said he’d have this again, so the only downside to it is cleaning the stove, as usual. Thank you for an excellent and easy recipe! It’s smashing!
Sounds good! I’ll use a different bun, though: “Calls to boycott Martin’s Famous Potato Rolls and Bread are growing across the country, after the executive chairman’s massive donations to a far-right candidate were brought to light.” https://www.cnn.com/2022/06/09/business-food/martins-potato-rolls-doug-mastriano-cec/index.html
Ridiculously good. A hit with the whole family! We use a food processor to grind our own chicken all the time and it worked here too! Thanks, Joy!
This Bacon Jalapeno Smashed Chicken is so Delicious i made it yesterday and my Family like it.Thank you for sharing this wonderful recipe,
I am looking forward to see more such type of recipe.
These were delicious! Can’t wait to try the beef smashburgers from the magazine, and then a million customizable variations
These look fantastic and very adaptable. Halloumi and sun dried tomatoes seem like good variations for the onion and jalapeno … what else could work? Would thinly sliced red peppers cook in time? What about mushrooms? I have a bevvy of picky eaters but this seems like an easy meal to customize. Thanks, Joy!
These bacon jalapeno smashed chicken burgers are the perfect summertime meal! Made with juicy chicken breasts, crispy bacon, and fresh jalapenos, these burgers are packed with flavor. And they’re easy to make, too! Just add all of the ingredients to a bowl and mix them together. Then form the mixture into patties and cook on the grill or in a skillet until golden brown. Serve on a bun with your favorite toppings and enjoy!
These look amazing. Thanks for sharing. Have a great weekend!
Looks so yum!
wow, you had me with the photo, chicken a nice change too, love all of the rest a perfect weekend burger, thank you for sharing this
My brain is telling me to turn the chicken burger into a shrimp burger with the same smoosh ins… probably because the ground chicken and turkey where I live always look so strange. If I can find normal looking ground chicken, I think halloumi and sun dried tomatoes would be delicious