Monday, October 21, 2013

Weeknight Dinner: Autumnal Prosciutto-Wrapped Chicken Burgers

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Anyone remember when I entered last year's Legends from Europe recipe contest with my prosciutto flatbread?  I was so happy to be chosen as one of the winners!  Then, this year, I was even more thrilled to get an email while we were IN Europe for the first time asking if I wanted to compete again (silly question!).  I was asked to choose cheese or meat and while I leaned towards cheese (since we did do meat already once), John vetoed me and asked for meat.  I was thrilled when I was asked to use Prosciutto di San Daniele which I kind of consider my namesake (Danielle, Daniele...roll with me on this one). 

Prosciutto di San Daniele is like the creme de la creme of pigs thighs.  If I was a pig thigh, Prosciutto di San Daniele is where I'd want to end up!  The pig thighs must start with the right origin.  That's right, only 10 regions in Northern Central Italy breed pigs that qualify for this honor. If that wasn't enough, the prosciutto is produced from an ancient tradition (love that).  Since you can't freeze the meat, these thighs must reach a small hillside town called Fruili.  There, the production process recreates the seasons, using only sea salt.  There's no chemical additives or preservatives. 

And if you can get your pig thighs from one of ten regions, and then cure them in Fruili, the last part seems easy.  The development MUST occur at San Daniele del Fruili.  It's almost a maturation of the thighs where the sea air develops all the flavors that we know and love about this prosciutto.  Mouth watering yet?  We stopped at the local farmer's market this weekend on our way home from a weekend in Maine.  I bought some fresh pears (John's favorite) and a local cheddar cheese.  Then we came home and made these chicken burgers and transported ourselves back to Europe.  Just for a few minutes until we turned on the football game!
Autumnal Prosciutto-Wrapped Chicken Burgers 
Serves:  4
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion, sliced thinly
1/2 pound Prosciutto di San Daniele
1 pear
1 1/2 pounds ground chicken
1 tablespoon black pepper
4 ounces cheddar cheese, thinly sliced.  
4 rolls (We use Challah or Potato Rolls)
6 tablespoons dijon mustard
4 tablespoons honey

In a heavy bottomed pan, heat the olive oil.  Add the thinly sliced onion and set on low.  Stir often for 20-25 minutes, until the onions are a light golden-brown.

Meanwhile, separate the Prosciutto di San Daniele.  Keep 4 slices to the side.  Then, finely chop the rest and place in a small bowl.  Wash the pear well and grate half of the pear into the same bowl as the prosciutto.  Add the ground chicken and black pepper.  Mix well.  Form into 4 patties. 

Take the 4 reserved Prosciutto di San Daniele slices and carefully wrap each patty with one slice. 

Heat a grill (we use a grill pan) to medium heat and spray with cooking spray.  Place the patties carefully on the grates and cook 4-6 minutes per side, until fully cooked through.  Evenly add cheddar cheese to each patty in the last 3-4 minutes of grilling.  Grill the rolls cut side down for 2 minutes, until grill marks form.

Lastly, in a small bowl, mix dijon mustard and honey.  Thinly slice the remaining pear. 

To assemble the burgers, place a patty on each bottom bun.  Top with caramelized onions and pear slices.  Spread the dijon-mustard mixture generously on the cut side of each top bun.  Top the burger and serve immediately. 

Until the next time my oven is on...



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Welcome! I'm Dani (aka the Growing Foodie), just a girl balancing her career and passion for all things edible in NYC. I hope you'll join me in my adventures in life, through food. (Click for More)
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