Grilled Buffalo Chicken Burger

Foodie intelligentsia leader Michael Pollan, in his book Food Rules, argues that if you really want to eat food that isn’t particularly good for you, you should make it yourself.  It’ll taste better and, chances are, unless you regularly cook in an industrial kitchen fully stocked with chemical ingredients, it’ll be healthier for you too.  This dish is one of my interpretations of this rule.

Blue cheese bacon burgers and buffalo wings are two iconic greasy foods; something you would enjoy during the Superbowl or after a long day of physical work fully expecting to spend the rest of the day in a lethargic food coma.  I love both of these dishes, but I wanted to combine them in a way that wouldn’t leave me waking up in the night in a cold sweat of partially hydrogenated oil.  I got all the ingredients together in the kitchen to see how I might be able to dream up something that captured all the succulent flavors in a health(ier) fashion.

The result was this grilled buffalo chicken burger.  It does have a light breading, but by grilling it instead of using the tradition frying method it avoids a substantial portion of the fat content.  Fresh blue cheese instead of a dressing blended with large dollops of mayonnaise avoids another pitfall.  The final product is a burger that has all the spiciness of the buffalo sauce, crispy-saltiness of the bacon and sharpness of the blue cheese without nearly as much grease.  Definitely a dish worth making yourself!

Grilled Buffalo Chicken Burger

  • 1 medium chicken breast
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
  • Buffalo sauce, to coat
  • 2 slices of thick cut bacon
  • 1/4 cup blue cheese, crumbled
  • 1 tomato, sliced
  • 2 strips of iceberg lettuce
  • 1 hamburger bun
  1. Heat the grill to ~375 degrees.  Coat the chicken breast in the beaten egg, then dredge it in the panko bread crumbs until covered.  Place the chicken on the grill.  After the panko coating has sealed, approximately 5 minutes, take the chicken off the grilled and coat with buffalo sauce.  Return to the grill and continue to cook until completed (time will vary by grill, cut into the thickest section of the chicken to check if you’re unsure if it’s done)
  2. While the chicken is cooking, place the strips of bacon in a skillet on medium heat.  To achieve the desired crispiness, turn the bacon frequently and drain off the excess fat if too much accumulates.
  3. Toast the hamburger bun on the grill until a light golden color develops around the sides.  Arrange the lettuce, a few tomato slices, chicken and bacon on the bun.  Sprinkle the blue cheese on top and place the other half of the bun on top. Wait a few minutes for the cheese to melt and then enjoy!
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