Good Luck Chicken Burger with Spicy Bacon Crisp and Grilled Persimmon Relish

Pairs well with:

Pinot Grigio

You won’t need a bouquet of flowers when you share our Pinot Grigio. This crisp wine with floral aromas is a wonderful way to make an entrance.

NYC has a lot of Asian flavors in its melting pot. These Korean-inspired chicken burgers use traditional Asian ingredients with a twist. For good luck, I


2 pounds ground chicken
20 fortune cookies (to make 1 cup crushed coarse crumbs)
2 tablespoons roasted sesame seeds
3 tablespoons roasted sesame seed oil
¼ cup Kikkoman soy sauce
2 whole scallions, trimmed with top removed and chopped (about ½ cup)
2-3 peeled garlic cloves, minced (about 1 tablespoon)
½ teaspoon coarse salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon Korean ground red pepper* or cayenne
1/4 teaspoon dried grated lemon peel (e.g. McCormick’s) or use fresh grated lemon
American Cheese (prefer Kraft American Deluxe or Sharp Cheddar slices)
6 sesame seeded hamburger buns (prefer Pepperidge Farm brand)
Melted butter to brush on buns for toasting
1 package center cut thin sliced bacon or use pork belly strips*
¼ cup Korean red pepper**
¼ cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons honey (prefer Golden Blossom)
2 tablespoons cold water
*If using sliced pork belly, brine in mixture of 4 cups water, ½ cup sugar, 2 tablespoons salt for ½ hour. Pat dry and then proceed to cook as instructed above.
**Korean red pepper can be found in Asian and Korean markets
You could substitute an equal part of red cayenne pepper and sweet paprika to achieve a similar taste
2 Fuyu persimmons (also called Sharon Fruit, flat persimmons)
3-4 mini cucumbers, seedless, Kirby or Russian (¾ cup chopped)
1 whole red onion (1/3 cup chopped)
1 whole sweet red pepper (1/2 cup chopped)
1 whole jalapeno pepper (optional)
3 tablespoons melted butter
1 whole peeled garlic clove finely minced (1 teaspoon)
3 tablespoons Mirin (Prefer Kikkoman Mirin sauce – sweet cooking seasoning) found in Asian markets and gourmet grocers and supermarkets
Dash salt and ground black pepper


Prepare persimmon relish.
1. Peel and slice persimmons and remove top and stem. If using jalapeno split lengthwise, remove seeds.
2. Reheat outdoor grill on low heat. Spray non-stick cooking spray on a perforated nonstick grill pan. Dip persimmon slices in melted butter and grill for 1-2 minutes on each side until lightly brown. Repeat with jalapeno peppers until just heated through. Remove persimmons and jalapenos to a platter to cool.
3. Finely dice cucumbers to make ¾ cup chopped. Repeat with red onion to make 1/3 cup chopped. Remove the core and seeds of the red pepper and cut lengthwise into thin strips and finely dice to make ½ cup chopped. Mince garlic. Cut grilled persimmon slices into small wedges (like a pie into 16 pieces each). Finely mince grilled jalapeno.
4. Combine all sliced and diced ingredients in a bowl, season with mirin, salt and ground black pepper and set aside.
Prepare spicy bacon crisp.
1. Preheat outdoor grill to low – medium high heat. Separate bacon slices and line on grill rack that has been sprayed with nonstick coating.
2. Combine ground red pepper, brown sugar, honey and water and stir into a syrupy sauce.
3. Cook bacon for 5 – 10 minutes until nearly crisp on one side WITHOUT SAUCE. Turn bacon over with thongs. Spoon a generous amount of sauce on each slice of bacon while cooking only on this side for another 5-10 minutes. Remove bacon to a plate or platter as soon as the sauce starts to brown.
Cook and assemble burger.
1. Open the fortune cookies and remove paper wrappers. Crush cookies in a plastic bag with a mallet or bottom of a skillet to make 1 cup of coarse crumbs. To make the patties, combine ground chicken, crushed fortune cookies, sesame seeds, sesame seed oil, soy sauce, chopped scallions, minced garlic cloves, salt, ground black pepper, ground hot red pepper and grated lemon peel. Handle the meat as little as possible to avoid compacting it. Divide the seasoned chicken into 6 equal portions and form the portions into patties to fit the buns.
2. Preheat an outdoor grill on medium high heat. Spray grill grate with nonstick spray before using. Cook the chicken patties turning once about 4-5 minutes on each side until fully cooked. Add slices of cheese to melt.
3. Brush melted butter on the buns and toast slightly until light golden brown 1-2 minutes.
4. To assemble the burgers, place a lettuce leaf on the bottom of each bun. Then place the cooked chicken patties on top of the lettuce. Spoon on a generous amount of grilled persimmon relish. Top with 1-2 slices of the spicy bacon crisp. Add the bun tops and serve. Makes 6 burgers.