Use thermometer to ensure doneness of chicken burgers

Quick-Ground Chicken Burgers can be dressed up with lettuce, tomato, or any of your favorite toppings.
Quick-Ground Chicken Burgers can be dressed up with lettuce, tomato, or any of your favorite toppings.

What’s your favorite kitchen gadget? I have to say mine is my instant-read thermometer. Without it, I inevitably overcook my meat. While I have tried the techniques TV chefs demonstrate by touching, poking, and otherwise prodding their meat to test for doneness, I can’t seem to master it. And, obviously, you can’t just look at meat to tell if it’s done.

There are all kinds of instant-read thermometers, and you can spend upward of $100 for the “professional” kind. But it’s not necessary. The more bells and whistles the thermometer has — as well as temperature range — the higher the price. So evaluate your cooking style before you spend big bucks. If you’re purchasing an instant-read thermometer for the first time, buy a cheaper one and see how much you use it.

But I bet you’ll use it often, especially when cooking recipes like today’s Quick-Ground Chicken Burgers.

Quick-Ground Chicken Burgers

Start to finish: 20 minutes

Yield: 4 servings

For the burgers:

1 pound ground chicken

1 (14½-ounce) can petite diced tomatoes (no-salt-added), drained well

1 tablespoon (canned) chopped green chiles

Juice from ½ lime

1 large egg, beaten

¼ cup prepared plain bread crumbs


Sliced provolone cheese

Cucumber slices

Romaine lettuce

Toasted sesame seed buns


In a large bowl, mix together chicken, well-drained tomatoes, chiles, lime juice, egg, and bread crumbs. Divide and form into 4 equal-size patties, about 1-inch thick and 3 to 4 inches across.

Heat a nonstick skillet over medium. Cook burgers for 3 to 4 minutes on each side, or until burgers’ temperature reaches 165 degrees and they are cooked through. (Burgers can also be grilled on a griddle pan.) Serve immediately as desired.

Approximate values per burger only: 261 calories, 10 g fat (3 g saturated), 147 mg cholesterol, 36 g protein, 6 g carbohydrates, 2 g dietary fiber, 136 mg sodium.

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