Thursday, February 11, 2016

Crave Wednesday: Chicken Burgers

I'm not sure where he got the idea, but sometime in early December That kid announced, matter of factly, that you're supposed to go ice skating on Christmas Eve.

Contributing to my confusion regarding this statement is the fact that Thatkid has never been ice skating before. Every year we venture down to the Hotel Del Coronado, but he's always been too little, so the tradition involves drinking hot chocolate and watching the ice skaters.

Given his interest, I talked to Thatboy about doing our annual Hotel Del venture on Christmas Eve, and letting Thatboy have a go on the ice.  He agreed, so the boys and I headed down to Thatboy's office and picked him up on our way to Coronado.

Thatkid had a fantastic time on the ice.  It took him a bit to get around all the way, and he took frequent breaks to come sit with Thatbaby and I, but he did so much better than we expected.  He didn't give up, he listened, and he didn't even fall all that much!

Afterwards we all grabbed some hot chocolate.  (Well almost all, Thatbaby has to wait till next year).

And checked out the gorgeous tree in the lobby.

And then we headed home so I could prep our Christmas dinner.  Thatboy really wanted to spend the holiday with family, and since his family didn't want to come down for Christmas, he invited my family instead.  So Thatmom, her boyfriend, and my great aunt all came down to share our Christmas dinner.  There was prime rib, mashed potatoes, and maple glazed brussels sprouts.

It was so nice spending the holiday with them!  Thatboy and I stayed up late getting everything ready for the next morning.  So we were exhausted, but it was totally worth it when Thatkid excitedly informed us that Santa had come.

 For me, it was heavenly waking up in my own bed and doing Christmas on our schedule. 
The boys emptied their stockings.

And opened their gifts.

And spent the rest of the morning playing with them while we watched Christmas movies.  We had an amazing Christmas breakfast of creme brulee french toast.  I sat and basked in the glow of my family, feeling so warm and happy watching my boys play.  There's a special feeling knowing that this is the first Christmas our complete family got to celebrate together.

Then we all took a family nap together.  After nap we went for a walk.  I fixed us dinner, and despite the nap, the events of the day wore out the oldest and youngest member of our family.  I found them like this when I went to tell them dinner was ready.

Since we did our big dinner on Christmas Eve, we went with something a little lighter and simpler on Christmas Day. I got some comments about ground chicken last week, and I guess I take it for granted that it's easy to find.  If it's not, it's pretty easy to make it yourself with a food processor.  Just make sure you pulse and keep an eye on it, it can get gummy if overworked.

When the chicken is ground with capers and shallots, it needs very little else.  No fancy sauces, no crazy toppings.  The flavor is already there - a little sour, a little sweet.  But a hit of mustard never hurt anyone.

Chicken Burgers (From Cooking Light)
1 Tbsp capers, drained
1/4 tsp black pepper
2 shallots, trimmed and peeled
1 lb skinless, boneless, chicken breasts
cooking spray
8 slices sourdough bread, toasted
1/4 cup canola mayonnaise
4 green leaf lettuce leaves
8 slices plum tomato
4 slices red onion
2 Tbsp Dijon mustard

  1. Place first 4 ingredients in a food processor; process until finely ground.  Divide chicken mixture into 4 equal portions; shape each into a 1/2 inch thick patty.  Press thumb in the center of each patty, leaving a nickel sized indentation.
  2. Heat a large grill pan over medium high heat.  Coat pan with cooking spray.  Add patties to pan, cook 5 minutes on each side. 
  3. Place 1 slice of toast on each of 4 plates.
  4. Spread 1 Tbsp mayonnaise over each.
  5. Top each slice with 1 lettuce leaf,  1 patty, 2 tomato slices, and 1 onion slice.
  6. Spread 1 1/2 tsp mustard over each of remaining toast slices, and place on burgers.


  1. You all look so happy and joyful and I love that all boys wear the same pajamas. So fun! I can see you had a wonderful time during Christmas. I think these burgers were the perfect dinner for Christmas Day!

  2. That looks like the perfect holiday! I love that sandwich too - good call on the capers!