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Mar 4, 2010 11:44 AM

Adding chicken skin to ground chicken for a juicy chicken burger

I want to make a simple juicy chicken burger much like I make a simply juicy beef burger, by introducing fat. Is it a good idea to grind some of the skin along with the chicken leg/thigh meat? Am I thinking about this the wrong way?

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  1. It's a great idea and it's a perfect way to add in some chicken flavor as opposed to pork or beef fat. Remember to keep everything super, super cold and it will grind better.

    1. If you're using leg and thigh meat, I think it's going to be plenty moist. Here's my favorite recipe:

      As far as grinding the skin, I think there would be a problem with it just wrapping around various moving parts but I don't know that. I also suspect that it would cook up so differently than the chicken itself. Just my opinion.

      5 Replies
      1. re: c oliver

        Probably a good idea to chop it up into several pieces, you're right. Chicken skin is a common ingredient in chicken or rabbit sausage - thing of that nature.

        1. re: c oliver

          Couldn't find a butcher who would grind the skin for me. :(

          Thanks for the feedback everyone!

          1. re: bmorecupcake

            Maybe invest in a grinding attachment for the kitchen aid if you have one? Not sure how strong they are but if it works it could be easy to do.

            1. re: bmorecupcake

              Ah, I also assumed you were grinding your own. If you DO have a KA stand mixer, the grinding attachment is a great investment.

            2. re: c oliver

              If it was frozen I think it would grind pretty well.

            3. chicken skin is a great guilty pleasure and i wouldn't do anything with it than fry it golden brown - much to the disdain of the cardiologist. chicken skin is unhealthy, fatty, supposed to take forever to digest, and incredibly delicious. my favorite part of the bird!

              8 Replies
              1. re: epabella

                I absolutely love this post.

                There is nothing better than a perfectly friend piece of chicken. I would often pull the skin off to eat the meat first and savor the skin last. Ahhhhh....

                1. re: cityhopper

                  Imagine a chicken burger topped with a piece of crispy fried chicken bacon, but possibly better.

                  1. re: QueenB

                    "burger topped with a piece of crispy fried chicken skin"

                    i will happily steal this idea if you don't mind, QueenB. brilliant!!!! if the evil-evil arches ever come up with this, we'll tell morgan spurloch the idea started here and they just ripped us off.

                2. re: epabella

                  Chicken skin is not unhealthy, nor is fat as long as the chicken's pasture-raised. Chow down to your heart's content.

                  1. re: MandalayVA

                    Well now... let's not start spreading rumors or half-truths. Chicken in general certainly does better raised in a natural setting (pasture) where it can eat bugs and grass, but the fact that a particular chicken is pastured does not mean that the fat is better or worse for you. Fat is fat and if you sit down to a soup bowl full of melted schmaltz it's still not going to be good for you. There's no fine line where skin/fat on one chicken is bad bad bad and skin/fat from another chicken is considered the best health food on the planet.

                    I'm well aware that I'm taking some of your comments out of context, and I do know what you're saying; we should all attempt to eat more responsibly raised meats.

                    1. re: Fuller

                      If you sit down to a bowl of schmaltz you probably won't eat for a couple days because you'll be satiated, but you're not going to keel over or get fat. Now the matzoh balls in the schmaltz ... well, that's another story.

                      1. re: Fuller

                        i agree but let's get the terminology right: poultry is either INTENSIVELY REARED or FREE-RANGE, while cattle and sheep graze in the PASTURE (ofcourse brave heroic chickens with no fear of being trampled underfoot can frolick alongside the larger animals).

                        "research by the highly regarded Professor Michael Crawford and colleagues at London Metropolitan University has shown that chicken - whether battery farmed or organic - is no longer a lean choice. They compared 52 chickens from various supermarkets and found that there were three times the calories coming from fat as from protein."

                        my top culinary god hugh fearnley-whittingstall is dedicated towards higher welfare for all the animals we eat and his chicken-out campaign is the pinnacle of free-range evangelization:

                        chicken skin regardless of source is not remotely as healthful as chicken meat. pound-for-pound, chicken skin hardly provides the amount of nutrition and contains an alarming fat content - almost forty five percent! cooked golden brown though, chicken skin is unrivaled in flavor and texture and i'm eating it till the coroner pronounces me.

                  2. Add finely chopped, sauteed mushrooms and some goat cheese into the patty and you'll have a juicy chicken burger without the hassle.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: penthouse pup

                      We add in finely chopped white or red onion and jalapeno pepper to ground turkey as well as yolk of an egg. Our turkey burgers are never dry. And cook with a GFG, (George Foreman Grill) The liquid inparted as steam from the onion and jalapeno while cooking, along with the yolk keep the ground turkey burger very moist. I imagine this would work with ground chicken as well. There are any variety of vegetables, chopped, you could use in ground chicken/turkey to help impart a moistness.

                    2. This may sound weird, but maybe if you added around 2 tbsp of mayo per pound of ground chicken, it may keep it moist.

                      I did this as a lark when I was making my Greek meatballs and didn't have my usual yogurt or sour cream to add to the mix - which I believed that dairy would tenderize the meat while it was frying. (Which does work, btw.)

                      The bottom line is this - my local market grinds their pork (I use pork instead of lamb) really lean. Mayo is oil and eggs, so I thought it might work. It did.

                      And, you wouldn't have to deal with trying to grind the chicken skins. Might work, can't hurt to try it out, I guess.