Chicken Taco Burger
2 pounds ground chicken
2 teaspoons minced garlic (ready-to-use in a jar is a time saver)
1 tablespoon Colavita Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 1/2 teaspoons Colgin Hickory Liquid Smoke
1 tablespoon Lea & Perrinsâ€™ Original Worcestershire Sauce
1 large scallion finely chopped
1/2 cup cilantro roughly chopped
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon Emerilâ€™s Original Essence
1 (1.25 oz) package Ole El Paso Original Taco Seasoning mix
1/3 cup seasoned bread crumbs
3 or 4 tablespoons vegetable oil, for oiling grill grates
6 Pita Pockets Bread, regular size
1/4 cup Colavita Extra Virgin Olive Oil, for brushing on pita bread
1 bag pre-washed lettuce shreds
1 (16 oz) jar Taco Bell Thick â€™n Chunky Mild Salsa
1 cup sliced black olives
1 (8 oz) bag Mexican style shredded cheese blend
Preparing the Patties:
In a large bowl, combine chicken, garlic, olive oil, liquid smoke, worcestershire sauce, scallion and cilantro.
In a small bowl, combine cumin, chili powder, salt, pepper, essence and taco seasoning. Add to chicken.
Add bread crumbs, mix well but lightly. Try not to handle the mixture too much. Over mixing can change the texture of the meat.
Divide the mixture into 6 equal parts. Flatten each piece into desired thickness, rounding off the edges of the burgers. Make a 1/2 inch depression in center of burgers. This will help maintain the uniform flatness of the burger during the cooking process.
Grilling the Burgers:
Oil the grill grates using several folded paper towels.
Temperature for charcoal grill should be medium-hot. (You should not be able to hold your hand a few inches above the grate for more than 3 seconds when ready). Temperature for gas grill should be medium high.
When grill is ready, place burgers on grill. After 3 minutes, check burgers. If burgers slide easily on grates flip and cook the other side until it slides easily across grates.
Continue cooking the burgers until internal temperature reaches 165 degrees on an instant-read food thermometer. Flip the burgers at least one more time on each side during this time.
A few minutes before the burgers are done, cut one-third off each pita, brush both sides with olive oil. Place on rack and toast lightly.
Assembling the Burger:
Carefully open pita pocket. Steam can build up when heated.
Add lettuce, burger, salsa, olives and cheese.
Repeat for remaining pitas.