Mediterranean Chicken Burgers

by Susan Hanna

This recipe from Canadian Living combines ground meat with cucumber, yogurt, harissa paste, honey, lemon juice, garlic, mint, coriander and cumin, yielding a flavourful and moist burger. Instead of chicken, you could use ground lamb or beef. Serve the burgers in a bun or on top of pitas with the cucumber yogurt sauce and lots of fresh toppings.

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

Look for plain yogurt with no preservatives and use fresh lemon juice. Check the ground cumin to make sure it does not contain colour or anti-caking agents. Ozery Bakery pitas contain no artificial colours, flavours or preservatives. Additive-free harissa is hard to find, but you can make your own; the recipe is below. La Costeña canned chipotles do not contain preservatives. For more recipes using all-natural ingredients, visit Eye For a Recipe.

Ingredients:

Harissa

  • 2 tablespoons (30 ml) sweet paprika
  • 1 chipotle in adobo, minced, plus 1 teaspoon (5 ml) adobo sauce
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 teaspoons (10 ml) ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons (10 ml) ground caraway
  • 2 tablespoons (30 ml) extra-virgin olive oil

 

Burgers

  • ¼ cup (60 ml) shredded English cucumber
  • ½ cup (125 ml) plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 ½ teaspoon (7.5 ml) harissa paste
  • 1 ½ teaspoon (7.5 ml) liquid honey
  • ½ teaspoon (2.5 ml) lemon juice
  • 1 lb (450 g) lean ground chicken, beef or lamb
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 2 tablespoons (30 ml) finely chopped fresh mint
  • 1 tablespoon (15 ml) ground coriander
  • 2 teaspoons (10 ml) ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon (5 ml) salt
  • 4 pita pockets

Toppings (optional)

Sliced radishes, cucumber ribbons, chopped tomatoes, sliced avocado, crumbled feta cheese, sliced red onion or fresh sprouts

Preparation:

Harissa

In a mortar, combine the paprika, chipotle, adobo sauce, garlic, cumin, caraway and olive oil and pound until a paste forms.

Burgers

  1. Squeeze excess moisture from cucumber. In small bowl, mix together cucumber, yogurt, harissa, honey and lemon juice.
  2. In large bowl, mix together ¼ cup (60 ml) of the yogurt mixture, the chicken, garlic, egg, mint, coriander, cumin and salt.
  3. Shape mixture into four ½-inch (1.27-cm) thick patties (Make-ahead: Layer patties between parchment paper in airtight container; refrigerate for up to 24 hours.)
  4. Place patties on greased grill over medium-high heat; close lid and grill, turning once, until instant-read thermometer inserted sideways in patties reads 160°F (71°C), 8 to 10 minutes.
  5. Place pitas on grill, turning once, until warmed through, about 1 minute. Spread some of the yogurt mixture on pitas. Top pitas with patties and toppings (if using). Serves 4.

From Canadian Living