Not the Same Old Grind

Ground ChickenGround chicken is a great alternative to other ground meats. If you're looking to eat less red meat or just want to experiment with a new flavor, ground chicken can be both a tasty and healthy alternative to try. You can use ground chicken in most recipes that call for ground turkey. With few, if any, subtle tweaks it also can work in recipes that call for lean ground beef. In meat sauces, tacos, nachos and chili, ground chicken works very well, but because chicken is milder than beef, these types of recipes may require just a bit of adjustment for flavor. In recipes for meatloaf, burgers and meatballs, adding a little extra moisture or fat (in the form of cheese, egg, another fattier meat or some sort of sauce) will help maintain these recipes' rich, juicy texture.

Kowalski's offers both ground white meat and ground dark meat chicken, so you can find the option that suits your taste and your recipe best. Dark meat will have slightly more fat and also more flavor than white meat, and some people prefer to use a combination of the two for that reason. This can be especially useful when substituting chicken in a recipe originally written for ground beef or pork, particularly in those recipes where a rich taste and/or juicy mouthfeel is preferred.

You can also combine ground chicken with another ground meat, as in our recipe for Chicken-Chorizo Burgers below. Chorizo provides a big flavor boost to mild-flavored chicken in that recipe, but you can amp up the flavor in your favorite ground chicken recipe with things like garlic, onions, cheese, fresh and dried herbs and other seasonings. Burgers, tacos and nachos can also be punched up with flavorful condiments and sauces as in the other recipes we're featuring this month.

Featured Recipes

CHICKEN-CHORIZO BURGERS permalink icon

1 lb. ground chicken
1/2 lb. Kowalski's Ground Chorizo
3 tbsp. finely chopped fresh cilantro
2 green onions, thinly sliced
1/4 tsp. kosher salt
1/4 tsp. coarse ground black pepper
- cooking spray
4 buns, lightly toasted
- toppings: sliced avocado, shredded iceberg lettuce, sliced tomatoes, sliced red onion, mayonnaise

Combine first 6 ingredients in a large bowl. Using your hands, mix thoroughly; form 4 patties. Spray burgers very lightly on both sides with cooking spray. On a grill preheated to medium-high, grill burgers directly over heat until done (4-5 min. on each side), lid down, turning once. Remove from heat; let stand 3-5 min., tented loosely with foil, before serving. Serve on buns with desired toppings.

Serves 6.

Good to Know: Use slightly damp hands to shape your burgers, to keep the mixture from sticking to your fingers.

GREEK CHICKEN BURGERS permalink icon

12 oz. ground chicken
2 green onions, thinly sliced
2 oz. feta cheese, finely chopped
3 tbsp. chopped fresh Italian parsley
1 clove garlic, finely minced
1 tsp. dried oregano
1 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
4 Kowalski's Sweet Egg Buns, lightly toasted
- toppings: Bibb lettuce, sliced tomatoes, sliced red onion, peeled and thinly sliced cucumber, mango chutney and Lemon Dill Dressing (see instructions below)

Combine first 8 ingredients in a large bowl. Using your hands, mix thoroughly; form 2 patties. On a grill preheated to medium-high, grill burgers directly over heat until done (4-5 min. on each side). Remove from heat; let stand 3-5 min., covered with foil, before serving. Serve on buns with desired garnishes (click here to view our recipe for Lemon Dill Dressing).

LEMON DILL DRESSING: In a small bowl, stir together 2 tbsp. each low-fat Greek yogurt and mayonnaise. Stir in 1 tsp. each grated lemon zest, finely chopped fresh dill and fresh lemon juice. Stir in 1 clove of finely minced garlic and kosher salt to taste. Store, covered, in the refrigerator until ready to use, up to 3 days. Makes 1/4 cup.

Serves 2.

CHICKEN PIZZA BURGERS permalink icon

1 lb. ground chicken
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup Italian seasoned breadcrumbs
2 egg yolks, lightly beaten
2 green onions, thinly sliced
2 tsp. dried basil
1 clove garlic, finely minced
1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1/4 tsp. coarse ground black pepper
- cooking spray
4 Kowalski's Take & Bake Ciabatta Rolls, split horizontally and lightly toasted
4 oz. Kowalski’s Fresh Mozzarella Cheese, thinly sliced
1/2 cup Kowalski’s Pizza Sauce, warmed in the microwave
- fresh basil, for garnish

Combine first 10 ingredients in a large bowl. Using your hands, mix thoroughly; form 4 patties. Spray burgers very lightly on both sides with cooking spray. On a grill preheated to medium-high, grill burgers directly over heat until done (4-5 min. on each side), lid down, turning twice and topping evenly with cheese in the last 2 min. of cooking (after flipping burgers for the last time). Remove from heat; let stand 3-5 min., tented loosely with foil, before serving. Serve on warm rolls topped with sauce and garnished with fresh basil.

Serves 4.

Good to Know: Use slightly damp hands to shape your burgers, to keep the mixture from sticking to your fingers.

CHICKEN PARMESAN BURGERS permalink icon

1 lb. ground chicken
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup Italian seasoned breadcrumbs
2 egg yolks, lightly beaten
2 green onions, thinly sliced
2 tsp. dried basil
1 clove garlic, finely minced
1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1/4 tsp. coarse ground black pepper
- cooking spray
4 Kowalski's Take & Bake Ciabatta Rolls, split horizontally and lightly toasted
4 oz. sliced provolone cheese
1/2 cup Kowalski's Garlic Marinara Pasta Sauce, warmed in the microwave
- fresh basil, for garnish

Combine first 10 ingredients in a large bowl. Using your hands, mix thoroughly; form 4 patties. Spray burgers very lightly on both sides with cooking spray. On a grill preheated to medium-high, grill burgers directly over heat until done (4-5 min. on each side), lid down, turning twice and topping evenly with cheese in the last 2 min. of cooking (after flipping burgers for the last time). Remove from heat; let stand 3-5 min., tented loosely with foil, before serving. Serve on warm rolls topped with sauce and garnished with fresh basil.

Serves 4.

Good to Know: Use slightly damp hands to shape your burgers, to keep the mixture from sticking to your fingers.

CHICKEN NACHOS permalink icon

1 lb. ground chicken
3 tbsp. Kowalski's Taco Seasoning
1/2 cup water
6 oz. (about 48 chips) large corn tortilla chips
2 cups Kowalski's Shredded Mexican Blend Cheese
1/2 cup canned black beans, rinsed and drained
- toppings, your choice: thinly sliced green onions, Kowalski's Fire Roasted Salsa, roughly chopped fresh cilantro, fresh avocado, lime wedges, chopped red onion and sour cream

In large skillet, cook ground chicken until thoroughly cooked (8-10 min.); add seasoning and water. Cook and stir until slightly thickened (about 2 min.). Arrange chips in an even layer on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Top evenly with chicken; sprinkle evenly with cheese and beans. Bake in a preheated 400° oven until cheese is melted and bubbly (about 4 min.). If desired, place chips under a preheated broiler just until cheese turns very dark (about 1-2 min.), watching carefully so chips do not burn. Remove from oven; add desired toppings. Serve immediately.

Serves 4.

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