Monday, December 19, 2011

Grilled Chicken with Lemony Cremini Mushrooms, Shallots and Garlic

A Picture's worth a thousand words

I really think the key to getting - or staying - skinny is to cut out red meat altogether.  But that doesn't mean you have to give up burgers.  I've posted about salmon and tuna burgers - and have featured chicken burgers, too. This recipe is just a bit different. 

Cremini mushrooms are delicious!

The important thing to realize about chicken burgers is that you have to be careful not to overcook them - they can become dry very quickly.  So I make the burgers really fat - I fry them in my super-hot cast iron skillet just long enough to get the grill marks - about 3 - 5 minutes on each side.  Then I finish them off in the oven - at 350 degrees for about 8 minutes. 

Don't wash your mushrooms - wipe them with a damp paper towel

To keep them juicy I cover them in sauteed cremini mushrooms with garlic, shallots and lemon.  Wipe the mushrooms clean with a damp paper towel - don't wash them.  They will absorb the moisture and become water logged. That's a great thing about mushrooms - they are absorbent.  So they drink in the flavors of the lemon, butter, extra virgin olive oil, garlic and shallots.  Just be sure they don't drink in a ton of water or they're ruined. 

Make big patties

Grill for about 3 minutes on each side

The line up: mushrooms, garlic, shallots, lemon and garlic
That's broccoli rabe from Citarella's on the side

Saute all together - start with the mushrooms

While the chicken is finishing off in the oven I prepare the cremini mushroom mixture.  I start with the mushrooms because they take the longest - after a few minutes add the shallots, lemon and garlic - in that order.  Garlic burns very quickly and easily so save those for last.  If you look closely you will see that there are kalamata olives in the mix.  They really didn't stand out so I omitted them from the recipe - but if you like them, toss them in and see if you like the taste.  

A thing of beauty is a joy forever, or at least until you eat it!

A juicy, delicious and skinny dinner


1 lb ground chicken (makes 2 burgers)
1/2 lb cremini mushrooms (or your favorite mushroom)
3 cloves garlic
2 tspns extra virgin olive oil
1 pad butter
2 small or one medium shallot
1 lemon
Salt & pepper to taste


This dish has a number of ingredients.  It's a good idea to be your own sous chef and prepare everything before you start to cook.  I also use a cast iron skillet that can go from stovetop to oven. 

Pre-heat cast iron skillet over medium heat (pre-heat for at least 5 minutes) for the burgers
Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees
Pre-heat non-stick skillet over low heat
Form the ground chicken into burgers (1/2 lb per burger)
Chop the mushrooms into medium slices
Crush and chop garlic
Slice shallots
Cut lemon in half
When pan is extremely hot add the burgers.  My pan is already seasoned and doesn't even need oil.  If you don't have a seasoned pan, spray with PAM or use 1 tspn extra virgin olive oil.
Don't move the burgers around in the pan.  Cook just until you get the grill marks - about 3 - 5 minutes each side.  Lift just a bit using tongs and flip when the grill marks appear.  The sides of your burger should look pink (raw). 
Transfer pan to oven.

For the mushrooms:

Add oil to non-stick pan - swirl around until entire surface is covered
Add the butter
Add the mushrooms - stir around - add salt and pepper
After a few minutes add the shallots, cook a minute or so, and then add the garlic
Squeeze the juice of half the lemon over mixture, toss in lemon
Cook until the mushrooms are soft and caramelized - they should look like the picture above. 

Remove burgers from oven and plate
Cover with the mushroom mixture
Squeeze the other half of the lemon over everything
Serve and enjoy!

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