Chuckwagon Pepper-Jack Chicken Burgers with Golden Squash Relish

Pairs well with:


Reach for our Chardonnay when you’re in the mood for a rich and creamy wine that delights with the fruity flair of pear, apple, and peach.

I created this recipe to honor the cattle drover who seemed ever-present in our regional history and the colorful chuckwagons that were such a vital part of the cattle drives. Everything was cooked over an open fire and the chuckwagon cook used everything he had on hand at the time, often adding new ingredients to simple and ordinary dishes. Likewise, several of the ingredients found in this unique burger are not typical, but create a delicious new combination of flavors.


2 tablespoons canola oil
1/3 cup chopped onion
3 medium yellow squash, thinly sliced
1/4 teaspoon minced garlic
2 tablespoons finely chopped red bell pepper
1 small jalapeno, seeded and minced
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 cup Heinz Distilled White Vinegar
1/4 cup Sutter Home Sauvignon Blanc
1/8 teaspoon Tabasco Pepper Sauce
1/4 teaspoon celery seed
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1 Anaheim green chile pepper
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 medium thinly sliced onion
1 lb. coarsely ground chicken thighs
1 lb. coarsely ground chicken breasts
1/4 cup sour cream
2 tablespoons Sutter Home Chardonnay
2 egg whites, slightly beaten
1/2 cup dry bread crumbs
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2-3 tablespoons vegetable oil for brushing grill rack
6 (1 oz.) slices Pepper-Jack cheese
1/2 cup Heinz Spicy Brown Mustard
6 curly red lettuce leaves, torn to be slightly larger than buns


Preheat a gas grill to medium-high. Stir oil, onion, squash, garlic, bell pepper, and jalapeno together in a 10-inch non-stick fire-proof skillet. Cover and place on grill rack. Cook for 6-8 minutes until onion is soft, stirring several times. In a small bowl, stir together salt, vinegar, Sauvignon Blanc, pepper sauce, celery seed, turmeric, and sugar until sugar is dissolved. Add to mixture in skillet. Cover and cook for 10-15 minutes or until most of liquid is gone, stirring often. Remove skillet from grill and set aside. Meanwhile, for patties, grill chile pepper until blackened on both sides. Remove from grill and seal in small plastic bag for 5 minutes. Use canola oil to brush onion slices on both sides. Grill for 4-5 minutes per side until grill marks appear. Remove pepper from bag and discard skin, seeds, and stem. Place onion and pepper in small food processor and finely chop. Place ground chicken in a large mixing bowl. Add the chopped onion and pepper, sour cream, Chardonnay, egg whites, bread crumbs, salt and pepper. Use a large fork to gently mix, mixing as little as possible to prevent compacting. Shape mixture into six patties to fit buns. Brush the grill rack with vegetable oil. Place the patties on the rack, cover, and cook for 4-5 minutes. Turn patties and cook another 4-5 minutes until juices run clear and internal temperature reaches 165 degrees. During the last two minutes of cooking time, arrange buns, split side down, around edges of grill to toast lightly. One minute before removing patties from grill, place a cheese slice on top of each and cover. To assemble, spread split sides of buns lightly with mustard. Add a lettuce leaf then a cheese-topped patty to each bottom bun. Drain any remaining liquid from relish and divide onto patties. Add bun tops. Serve immediately. Serves 6.