It's A Keeper: Big Bird Jumbo Chicken Spinach and Herb Burgers

This Burger of the Month was included in both Every Day with Rachael Ray and 365: No Repeats: Big Bird Jumbo Chicken Spinach and Herb Burgers. And, once again, the Burger of the Month earned its name. I don't know how she does it, but Rachael has certainly earned her self-bestowed Queen of Burgers title.

We made this one indoors using the Foreman Grill - it's finally getting a little bit chilly here in Northern California. I highly recommend it for a break from the normal burgers in your life, especially if ground chicken doesn't freak you out too much. At my store the ground chicken includes both white and dark meat, so isn't quite as lean as you would expect, but it was still a healthier than using ground beef. I served it with Onion and Garlic Terra Chips and a green salad.

Start to finish was about 45 minutes, including unloading the groceries and drinking some wine while cooking (hey, the recipe made me open the bottle). Here's the recipe with my comments in brackets:

4 servings

1 10-ounce box frozen chopped spinach, defrosted
2 pounds ground chicken breast [This recipe calls for 2 pounds for making 4 patties. I cut the recipe in half, but I made 4 patties with it.]
1 shallot, finely chopped
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard, plus some for slathering on the rolls
10 leaves of fresh basil, shredded or torn
3 tablespoons fresh flat-leaf parsley (a handful), chopped
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO), plus some for drizzling
20 white button mushrooms, thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1/2 cup dry white wine or chicken stock
4 slices Swiss cheese, from the deli counter
4 kaiser rolls or sandwich-size sourdough English muffins, split and toasted
4 red or green leaf lettuce leaves
1 vine-ripe tomato, thinly sliced

1. Preheat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.

2. Arrange the defrosted chopped spinach in the center of a kitchen towel. Wrap the towel around the spinach and squeeze out the excess liquid. [Really try to get as much water out as you can.] Put the spinach in a mixing bowl and combine with the chicken, shallots, 2 tablespoons of Dijon mustard, basil, parsley, salt, and pepper. Score the meat with the side of your hand to separate into 4 equal portions. Make 4 large patties, 3/4 to 1 inch thick. Drizzle the patties with oil and place them in the hot skillet. Cook for 6 to 7 minutes on each side, until the chicken is cooked through. [Like I said above, I used the Foreman instead of the skillet for making the burgers, which also meant I only got one skillet dirty when I used it for the next step.]

3. Preheat a second medium-sized skillet over medium-high heat with 2 tablespoons of EVOO, twice around the pan. Add the sliced mushrooms and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, for 4 to 5 minutes, or until the mushrooms are nice and brown. Season the 'shrooms with salt and pepper. Add the wine or broth and cook until the pan is almost dry, about 2 minutes. [I know it is tough to wait, but make sure the pan is almost dry. I did this step while the burgers were cooking on the Foreman.]

4. Top the big-bird burgers with the mushroom topping and the Swiss cheese. Fold each slice of cheese in half to fit the burger, if necessary. Cover loosely with aluminum foil. Turn off the pan and let the cheese melt, about 2 minutes. [The Foreman did just fine covered with the top up and the foil over the bottom half.]

5. Slather the tops of the buns or English muffins with a little mustard. Place the burgers on the bun bottoms and top with lettuce and tomato. Put the bun or muffin tops in place.


  1. looks great!! I have never used ground chicken before: I'm ready!

  2. Give it a try - be forewarned that it's kinda gooey!

  3. I thought spinach was still a big no no. Has this been oficially Okayed now by the FDA or whoever does that type of thing?


  4. Hey Anony - yep, it's okay to eat spinach again. The FDA lifted the warning on September 29. And it was always safe to eat frozen spinach, just not the fresh kind and especially not the fresh bagged kind.

  5. I heard some health official on TV speaking about the recall of Spinach. She said at the time not to eat any type of spinach, whether it is fresh, bagged or frozen.

  6. Anony - if the expert said frozen was not good, they were wrong.

    Here's an article sorting out all the myths that were out there and the relevant excerpt:

    "What about frozen and canned spinach?

    They are both safe, no matter where they are from, because both of these preserving processes involve blanching - immersing food in boiling water - which kills E. coli."


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