Dana Slatkin

Persian Chicken Burgers

Persian Chicken Burger

Persian Chicken Burger

As I confessed on this blog in April, I have been making the same breaded chicken cutlets for years. Granted, they are decidedly above average—the chicken is always Kosher and organic, the breadcrumbs are never store-bought, and they are lovingly cooked in a minimal amount of healthy grapeseed oil. But now that my children are finally becoming more adventurous eaters, it’s time to bring on something new.

I first learned to make these juicy, flavorful burgers from my friend Isabelle, who has been serving them to her family for as long as mine has had to endure those chicken cutlets. Her secret — and her Persian touch — is a dash of cardamom (or cinnamon). It’s the spice that makes everyone wonder why these taste so uniquely delicious. It’s also the key to distracting picky eaters from all the healthy virtues of this recipe. Some tasty garnishes will help, too: avocado, sliced tomato, fresh mint or cilantro, Persian Cucumber Yogurt Salad, baba ganoush, tahini sauce, mango chutney or, if you must, ketchup.

You’ll find the hardest part about preparing the ingredients is grating the onions without stinging your eyes. I’ve tried every stunt — holding a match in my mouth, wearing sunglasses, microwaving the onion first, even squeezing my eyes shut — but I always end up with mascara streaming down my face. If you have a knack for tear-free onion handling, please send in your favorite trick. I will post the best advice here next time. Since these burgers have become a new family staple, the onions are killing me, but at least I am no longer in the cutlet rut!

For the perfect light summer dinner, try this recipe with Shiitake Mushroom Fries.

Photo credit: uktv.co.uk

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  1. Paulita Rebollar says:

    I’m so worried about the direction our children are headed in nowadays. Watching Jamie Olivers food revolution on tv scared the thingies out of me. I suggest we all start cooking some healthy recipe like these at home if we’re going to fix this horrible situation. The ones on that site seem pretty easy, I tried last night and it’s the first time my family has eaten well in ages, I just feel great.

Please share your thoughts!