Ground chicken doesn’t have to be something dull you simply saute up and toss in a sauce. Use it anywhere you’d normally use ground beef. Ground chicken is perfect for making burgers on the grill, taco night or even for meatloaf recipes. This poultry doesn’t have a lot of flavor on its own, so mix it with herbs, spices and chopped vegetables to give it more pizzazz. No one will even know you swapped out traditional ground beef for a leaner alternative.
On the Grill
Preheat your grill while you’re preparing the ground chicken patties.
Lay a sheet of wax paper or plastic wrap out on your counter. It should be large enough to fit several patties.
Separate the ground chicken into equal portions. One serving should be about 3 to 4 ounces, although if you like thicker patties, try 6 ounces for each.
Roll each portion into a round ball. Flatten the ball with the palm of your hand. If the ground chicken sticks to your hands, stop and wash your hands thoroughly. Spray your palms with nonstick cooking spray and continue forming the patties.
Lay each formed patty out on the wax paper or plastic wrap. Top them with a dash of salt, black pepper and garlic powder, if you wish. Flip each patty over and season the opposite side.
Place the seasoned ground chicken patties out on a plate or cookie sheet. If you’re going to store them to cook later, separate each one with a small piece of wax paper before refrigerating, to prevent sticking.
Place each patty on the grill. Allow them to cook for about 1 to 2 minutes, until you see dark grill marks. Rotate the patties 90 degrees and let them cook for another 1 to 2 minutes. This creates the diamond-shaped grill marks.
Flip the patties over after they’re done cooking on the first side. They’ll need to cook for at least a couple more minutes to reach the proper temperature, depending on thickness. Check the internal temperature with an instant-read thermometer to make sure it’s at least 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
Serve the chicken burgers immediately on a bun with all the garnishes.
On the Stove
Heat a skillet over medium heat. Pour in a small amount of oil.
Place the ground chicken in a large bowl. Add your favorite seasonings, such as salt, black pepper, oregano and thyme. Combine all ingredients until everything is evenly mixed.
Add the seasoned ground chicken to the heated pan slowly, to prevent oil from splashing back at you.
Stir the ground chicken around frequently. Ground chicken is lean and can bind together in large clumps — stir it to break up the clumps.
Continue cooking the ground chicken on the stove until it is thoroughly cooked with no hint of pink.
Add the cooked ground chicken crumbles to any sauce, use them as a burrito or lettuce-wrap filler, or pile them into a taco shell.
In the Oven
Preheat the oven to 350 F for meatloaf, or 450 F for meatballs.
Finely dice an onion. Mince several cloves of garlic too, depending on how much ground chicken you’re working with.
Place the ground chicken into a large bowl. Add the chopped onions and minced garlic, along with salt, black pepper, breadcrumbs and eggs, to bind everything together. Add Worcestershire sauce for meatloaf, or thyme and oregano if you’re making meatballs.
Mix all the ingredients together until they’re fully mixed. Scrape the bottom of the bowl frequently to ensure all ingredients get mixed in.
Grease a loaf pan for meatloaf or a cookie sheet for meatballs.
Pour the seasoned ground chicken into the loaf pan. Or for meatballs, roll the meat into equal sized balls and spread them out over the cookie sheet so they don’t touch.
Bake the meatloaf for around 45 minutes and the meatballs for around 10 minutes. Check the internal temperature with an instant-read thermometer to make sure it’s at least 165 F.
Slice the ground chicken meatloaf and serve right away. If you made meatballs, add them to marinara, vodka or Alfredo sauce-based dishes. Ground chicken meatballs can also be used as a pizza topping or served as a simple appetizer.
Use the broiler setting on your oven as a grill alternative. Because ground chicken patties will cook quickly, check them frequently and flip them over as soon as they’re cooked on the first side.
References and ResourcesPerdue: Tips from the Kitchen
Men's Fitness: Meatball Recipe: Here's How to Cook Ground Chicken
Jennie-O: Best Ever Turkey Meatloaf
FoodSafety.gov: Cooking Meat? Check the New Recommended Temperatures