I’m continuing on with my public service announcements regarding using up those fresh herbs growing all around us before they disappear in the first frost (it’s coming! you know it is!), and so please consider this the basil edition. I actually have a ton of recipes in my arsenal for dealing with all this basil outside my back door.
These include Tomato Mozzarella Basil Salad, Pasta Caprese, and maybe my all-time favorite, Pasta with Brie and Tomatoes. But there is always so, so, so much basil that I am always on the look-out for the next great basil-using recipe, and when I ran into this recipe for chicken parmesan burgers in Bon Appetit I knew it had my name on it. First of all, it involves basil both in the sauce and as a topping for the burger. Second, the teenager is always thrilled to hear that anything with the word “parmesan” is on the dinner menu. And I always love experimenting with anything that takes a familiar dish and shaking it up a little, which is what this one does. So…game on.
You start with some ground chicken, which I had actually never used before. Now, I hear from good sources that plain ground chicken can be a little bland, so this recipe jazzes it up with some parmesan cheese and onion and bread crumbs. A little chopped basil, a little marinara sauce, and you have some pretty good looking stuff going on here. You fry up the chicken burgers in a little olive oil until until they are cooked through and nice and crispy on the outside.
Meantime, you are toasting some nice slices of your favorite Italian bread, heating up some of your favorite marinara sauce (if I am using the jar variety, I like Patsy’s) and picking some nice, big basil leaves.
You’re almost there….finish the burgers by melting some fresh mozzarella on top. Nestle them onto a slice of bread, ladle on a little sauce, lay some basil leaves on top, cover with another piece of bread.
Take THAT, basil!!
- 8 slices toasted French bread
- 2 slices diced French bread
- ½ cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
- 4 tablespoons chopped fresh basil, plus 12 large basil leaves
- ¾ cup marinara sauce
- 12 ounces ground chicken
- 2 tablespoons extra olive oil
- 1 tablespoon chopped shallots
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 4 ounces mozzarella cheese, thinly sliced - the best you can find!
- Process diced bread and Parmesan in food processor to fine crumbs. Mix in two tablespoons of the minced basil.
- Put the sauce and the rest of the basil in basil in a small pot and heat over low heat.
- Put chicken, ½ tablespoon oil, shallot , and ¼ teaspoon salt in a bowl and mix gently.
- Shape chicken mixture into four ½-inch-thick patties and coat with crumbs.
- Heat the rest of the oil in large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Cook patties until bottoms are crusty, 4 minutes. Turn patties over and top with cheese. Cover the pan and cook for 3-4 more minutes. ok 3 minutes.
- Place each burger on a slice of toasted bread. Ladle some sauce on top and cover with basil leaves. Top with another slice of bread and serve immediately.
Recipe adapted slightly from Bon Appetit