Mar 26 2005

Halibut à la Chicken-Burger

Halibut with orange glaze
Fig. 35: Comely halibut fillet and grilled plantain

The Twisty Switchboard has been swamped with calls from the sorely peckish demanding the recipe for chicken-burgers. Not down with the chicken-burger craze? Both the glaze and the secret sauce can be adapted to any chicken-free grilling situation, such as when you win in a raffle a comely halibut fillet and some plantains (see Fig. 35, above).


1/4 cup soy sauce
2 T orange marmelade
juice of 1/2 orange
2 T canola oil
3 or 4 scallions, quartered
2 or 3 cloves garlic
a Fresno chile, quartered
a pinch of allspice

Whirl all ingredients until liquidy in your Cuisinart Mini-Prep. Reserve in an alternate receptacle, but for the love-a-god don’t clean out the Mini-Prep.

[Note: Mr. T pities the fool who hath no Mini-Prep. Harsh words, I realize, but they’re for your own good. Cusinart’s Ronco-esque claim, “Never touch another knife for the rest of your miserable life!” is goofy (what’s so bad about touching knives?), but the Mini-Prep really does have 1001 uses around the home, boat, or office. It’s the only Cuisinart product worth a damn, I tell you whut]

Secret Sauce

4 T mayo
2 canned chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
zest and juice from the other half of the orange

Whirl all ingredients in the Mini-Prep with the residual glaze stuff in it. Refrigerate until ready to use.


1 pound ground chicken breast
1 charcoal grill, rack well-oiled, fired up with mesquite

Divide ground chicken into single-serving clumps. Knead a tablespoon of the glaze into each clump and shape into pucks. Grill, basting frequently with glaze. Top with secret sauce, and thank me brokenly.

Under no circumstances put cheese on this chicken-burger!


  1. Dean

    O Twisty, guru of food knowledge –

    Please allow me to put my massive ignorance on public display once again by asking: What’s the purpose of grinding up the chicken, other than being able to call it a “chicken burger” rather than a “chicken breast sandwich”?

    Is the idea that one can incorporate the, let’s say, “less desirable” parts of the bird into the ground mixture? Or does the ground chicken hold the glaze & sauce better than a breast would? Or is there some other reason that I am totally unable to fathom?

    Please remember, I am a culinary simpleton. Be gentle with me.

  2. Twisty

    That’s exactly what I said! Why not a chicken breast sandwich?

    It turns out that you can mix the marinade into the ground meat, which adds much-needed moisture and flava, so the burger comes out much juicier and tastier than a regular old chicken breast does. Also, you can make it evenly thick, so one side isn’t dried out before the other side is done. And of course, it will now fit the bun without unsightly overhang.

    Chicken is the most boring meat there is. Every little bit helps.

    The real solution is to just use ground beef. Or better yet, just grill a couple of lamb loin chops. But for those times when you’re stuck trying to feed the “we don’t eat red meat” crowd in a situation that calls for barbecue, the chicken-burger is a not wholly undesirable course of action.


  3. Dean

    OK, that makes sense. Thanks for breaking it down for me. You are a gracious and knowledgeable blog-host. :)

    I guess I’d have to buy a grinder in order to try the chicken burger. But the glaze in particular sounds like it would be tasty even on a humble chicken breast, which does not require the purchase of additional hardware, so maybe I’ll try that anyway. But the chickenburger concept/rationale *is* interesting….I’ve heard of turkey burgers before, guess this isn’t that different.

    (If you infer from the above that my kitchen is less than fully stocked, you would be correct.)

Comments have been disabled.