Lemon Oregano Chicken Burgers – these Greek inspired chicken burgers are made from finely diced chicken breast with lemon & oregano flavours infused inside.
This recipe came about as I was staring at yet another package of boneless skinless chicken breasts in the fridge and wondering what to turn them into for dinner. I already had some tzatziki on hand, leftover from our family favourite Chicken Souvlaki a couple of nights before and I had substituted oregano for the mint in the recipe. With some fresh oregano on hand that also needed to be put to use I decided to incorporate it into a chicken burger but I didn’t want to just marinate chicken breasts and grill them I wanted to get the flavours inside the burger.
I’m not a big fan of lean ground chicken turned into chicken burgers, not because of the taste but because of the texture. I find it kind of gets spongy and reminds me of the inside of those god awful fast food chicken nuggets. My solution to this is to take just a few minutes to finely dice the chicken while it is still raw. A small amount of breadcrumbs and egg then act as a binder to hold the little chicken cubes together. It works very well and in my opinion greatly improves the texture of the burger which is now more meaty than spongy.
Lemon zest and chopped oregano go into the mix to add great flavour to these burgers. Topped with that leftover tzatziki, on toasted buns with spinach and feta cheese, they were very tasty, satisfying, and were quick and easy to make. I can see us having these any time there’s leftover tzatziki from now on, which happens a lot at our house.
- 1½ cups Greek yogurt, drained
- 3 inch piece of English cucumber
- 1 tbsp finely chopped fresh oregano
- 1 cloves minced garlic
- 1½ tbsp fresh lemon juice
- ¼ tsp finely minced lemon zest
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- pinch salt and pepper to season
- 4 large hamburger buns, lightly toasted
- baby spinach
- 4 ounces crumbled feta cheese
- 1½ pounds boneless chicken breast, (cut in a 1 cm dice)
- 1 clove finely minced garlic
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tsp finely minced lemon zest
- 2 tsp chopped fresh oregano (or 1 tsp dry oregano)
- ½ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper
- ¼ cup dry breadcrumbs
- 1 beaten egg
- 4 tbsp canola oil (for frying)
- Draining the yogurt removes much of the liquid and produces an end product about the consistency of thick sour cream. To drain the yogurt, line a colander with several layers of cheesecloth (or in a pinch, several large coffee filters) Pour the yogurt into the colander and place it in a large bowl or in the sink for an hour or two. This should produce about 1¼ cups of thick yogurt.
- Peel the piece of cucumber and remove the seeds and pulp at the center with a teaspoon, then dice the outside flesh of the cucumber into small cubes of ⅛ inch or less.
- Sprinkle ½ teaspoon of kosher salt over the diced cucumber and toss together well. Let this rest for about a half hour , stirring occasionally. This process removes some of the liquid from the cucumber so that it will not water down the consistency of your finished tzatziki. Drain all of the liquid off the diced cucumber before adding it to the drained yogurt along with the oregano, garlic, lemon juice, lemon zest, olive oil, salt and pepper.
- Mix well, cover and store in the fridge for at least a half hour before serving.
- Finely dice the chicken into 1 cm (3/8 inch) cubes and toss with the garlic, lemon juice, lemon zest, oregano, salt and pepper.
- Let the chicken marinate for only 10 minutes then mix in the bread crumbs and beaten egg.
- Form into 4 large patties. (or 6 smaller patties if you prefer)
- Heat the canola oil in a frying man over medium heat. Fry the patties for a few minutes on each side until they are golden brown and firm to the touch at the center.
- Serve on the toasted buns with the baby spinach leaves, feta cheese and tzatziki.