Wednesday, July 6, 2011
Smoked Paprika Chicken Burgers and Freezing Ground Meats
I have used a very pricey smoked paprika before. It was so expensive, that I was a little shy to use it. The other day, however, I found a bottle in the Mexican food section of one of my favorite grocery stores. At just over $2 for a 2 ounce bottle, I grabbed it fast. I have to admit this is better than my teeny tiny bottle that cost over $4....and yum. It has a much more pronounced flavor. Win. Win.
Smoked Paprika Chicken Burgers
1 pound ground chicken
1 1/2 teaspoons smoked paprika
1 teaspoon Wright's liquid smoke
1/4 teaspoon salt
Grind trimmed chicken breast in a food processor. Add seasonings and process to combine well. Using a large spoon, scoop the chicken mixture onto a hot oiled griddle. Use the spoon to press the chicken into a patty shape of uniform thickness. Brown on both sides until chicken is cooked through.
I haven't served these up yet today. We ate the chicken chili I also made with ground chicken. We will have them tomorrow. The most delicious way to serve them would be topped with a grilled red pepper and a dollop of sour cream. Doesn't that make you mouth water?
Just a hint if you want to try grinding your own chicken. I always process a huge batch at once. It is not so bad when you only have to clean the food processor and cutting boards one time. I usually add a different seasoning blend to each pound or pound and a half of chicken. That way, we still have a lot of variety, and it isn't any more trouble.
If you don't have time to pre-cook, here are some more pointers. Take a ziploc bag and place a serving size blob of chicken inside. Use your hands to squeeze out the air. Then use your fingers, a can, or if you want to be a Martha, a real rolling pin to squish the meat flat and thin. Freeze those bags. When it is time to cook, the thin meat will thaw very quickly, and can even go directly in a contact grill or skillet. If you are feeding a larger family, use this same idea to press meat into a gallon size bag. With just a little thawing, it will go into the skillet and cook up in no time. After pressing the ground meat thin in the bag, I use a skewer to score the pressed meat into fourths to make for even easier handling. If you score the raw meat, you can break it into halves or fourths after freezing. That way, you could choose to use only part of the package and return it to the freezer. Or, by breaking it apart, fit it easily into a skillet. Flat disks store easier in the freezer too.