I was visiting with my friend Jennifer recently. She and I share a love of good food, cooking and talking about good food and cooking. She happened to mention some turkey burgers she’d made using a Cook’s Illustrated recipe. (Jen is a scientist, and she loves the precision and testing that CI brings to their recipes.)
This turkey burger thing stuck in my mind. I’ve never had an even close to memorable turkey burger, and decided it was time to step up and try to create one that had some real flavor. Ground turkey is the tofu of the meat world. Adding a little hot Italian sausage would be one way of adding flavor to this otherwise bland protein. I used chopped onion bits softened in melted butter, a handful of fresh parsley and some fresh breadcrumbs I had in the fridge. I also coated the burgers with panko, to give them a little crispness. They were delicious. So, here is my recipe:
Preheat oven to 400.
2 pounds ground turkey (leg meat or mixed breast and leg)
1 large hot Italian pork sausage , removed from
casing and broken into small pieces ( finger tip sized)
a handful of freshly chopped parsley
about 3/4 c fresh breadcrumbs ( just whiz some bread in your food processor to make some if you don’t have any around: this is a good use for bread loaf ends)
One small onion, chopped into small pieces ands softened in about 1 T. Butter
One clove or two fresh garlic, chopped fine
In a wide flat bowl (or, the turkey container) spread out the ground turkey. Sprinkle the small pieces of sausage across the turkey. As the onions soften in the butter, add the garlic, until they are soft as well. Keep heat med. low so the onions don’t brown.
Spread the softened onions and garlic and all the melted pan butter across the turkey/sausage. Spread the parsley and the breadcrumbs over this. Blend in with fingers. You don’t want to compress the mixture: just mix it.. Add salt and pepper. (I would also, if I had one, add a chopped up jalapeno pepper. Or maybe some cayenne. Or it might be good to add a 1/4 c of finely chopped apple.)
Shape meat mixture into 4 patties. Coat these in panko. Bake in oven 20 minutes or so til interior T is 160-165. Outsides will be crunchy.