Ground chicken doesn't have to be something you simply sauté up and toss in sauce. In fact, you can use it in place of any recipe that calls for ground beef. It's perfect in burgers, tacos and even meatloaf. Ground chicken doesn't have much 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, healthier 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, or 6 ounces each if you like thicker patties.
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 out each formed patty on the wax paper or plastic wrap. Top them with a dash of salt, pepper and garlic powder. Flip each patty over and season the opposite side.
Place the seasoned ground chicken patties 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 one to two minutes, until you see dark grill marks. Rotate the patties 90 degrees and let them cook for another one to two 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, pepper, oregano and thyme. Combine all ingredients until everything is evenly mixed.
Add the seasoned ground chicken to the heated pan slowly to prevent splash back from the oil.
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's thoroughly cooked with no hint of pink.
Add the cooked ground chicken crumbles to any sauce, 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 chicken into a large bowl. Add the chopped onions and minced garlic along with salt, pepper, breadcrumbs and eggs to bind everything together. Add Worcestershire sauce for meatloaf or thyme and oregano if you're making meatballs.
Mix the ingredients until they're fully mixed. Scrape the bottom of the bowl frequently to ensure everything is combined.
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 approximately 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.
To prevent food-borne illness from salmonella and other dangerous pathogens, check the temperature of the cooked ground chicken with a food probe. It needs to reach a minimum internal temperature of 165 F.