Almond-Crusted Chicken Marbella Burgers

Pairs well with:

Sauvignon Blanc

With hints of passion fruit, melon, and citrus, this wine beckons you to kick back and find a perfect porch swing.


1 cup Sutter Home Sauvignon Blanc
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 bay leaf
2 tablespoons brown sugar
6 pitted prunes, chopped
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
¾ cup Marcona or other almonds
½ teaspoon Pimenton de La Vera (Spanish smoked paprika)
¼ teaspoon salt
½ cup Spanish green olives, chopped
2 tablespoons capers, rinsed and drained
¼ cup flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
¼ cup Colavita Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 tablespoons Colavita Aged Red Wine Vinegar
1 3/4 pounds ground chicken
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 ½ teaspoons salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
6 ciabatta rolls or seeded hamburger buns, split
6 butter lettuce leaves


Prepare a medium-hot fire in a charcoal grill with a cover, or preheat a gas grill to medium-high.

Place wine, oregano and bay leaf into a medium fire-proof saucepan and place on grill rack; bring to a boil and let cook for about 8 to 10 minutes, or until reduced to about ¼ cup. Add brown sugar, stirring until dissolved, then add prunes. Remove from heat; let sit for about 10 minutes or until cooled. When cool, remove and discard the bay leaf.

Meanwhile, melt butter in a small fire-proof skillet placed on grill rack; add almonds and cook, stirring frequently, until fragrant and golden, about 5 minutes. Transfer almonds to a cutting board; sprinkle with paprika and ¼ teaspoon salt. When almonds are cool, chop and reserve.

In a small mixing bowl combine the olives, capers and parsley with the olive oil and vinegar, blending well. Reserve.

To make the patties, combine the chicken, garlic, salt and pepper with the cooled prune mixture in a large mixing bowl. Handling the meat as little as possible to avoid compacting it, mix well. Divide into 6 equal portions and form the portions into patties. Coat both sides of each patty with reserved chopped almonds, pressing gently to adhere.

Brush the grill rack with oil; place the patties on the rack; cover and cook, turning once, just until done, likely about 4 minutes on each side.

During the last few minutes of cooking, place the rolls, cut side down, on the outer edges of the rack to toast lightly. With a slotted spoon, remove the olive mixture from the oil/vinegar mixture to a small plate, reserving both separately. To assemble the burgers, brush the cut sides of the rolls lightly with the oil/vinegar mixture. On each roll bottom, place a lettuce leaf, a burger patty and an equal portion of the olive mixture. Add the roll tops and serve. Makes 6 burgers.