Herbed Chicken-Walnut Cheeseburgers with Lemony Frizzled Shallots and Blueberry Mustard

Accolades 2010 Finalists
Serves Makes 6 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.

Occasionally, a single ingredient will inspire me to race home and come up with a new recipe, as was the case when I found some fennel-pollen and lavender-studded goat cheese last summer. … If you’re looking to celebrate summer and indulge your taste buds, this burger is for you.



  • 1 1/2 tablespoons roasted walnut oil
  • 3/4 cup finely chopped walnuts
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 1 1/4 pounds ground dark meat chicken
  • 3/4 pound fresh herbed chicken sausage, casings removed and crumbled
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh chives
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper

Blueberry Mustard

  • 1/2 cup Sutter Home Sauvignon Blanc
  • 1/4 cup dried organic blueberries
  • 3 ounces fresh blueberries
  • 1/2 cup plain yellow mustard
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons organic California sage honey or other premium monofloral honey

Lemony Frizzled Shallots

  • 1/3 cup Colavita extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 4 large shallots, peeled, thinly sliced, and separated into rings
  • 1 medium-sized lemon, for zesting
  • Vegetable oil, for brushing on the grill rack
  • 8 ounces Cypress Grove Purple Haze goat cheese or other fresh, soft, herbed goat cheese
  • 6 whole-wheat focaccia rolls or rustic whole-wheat hamburger buns, split
  • 1/3 cup Colavita extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 3/4 cups well cleaned and dried mache


To make the patties, place the oil, walnuts, and fennel seeds in a medium fire-proof nonstick skillet. Cook on a gas grill over medium-high heat, stirring frequently, until the walnuts and fennel are lightly browned and fragrant, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl and let cool completely. Add the chicken, sausage, chives, parsley, salt, and pepper. Gently combine and form into 6 patties to fit the rolls. Refrigerate until grilling.

To make the mustard, combine the Sauvignon Blanc and dried blueberries in a small fire-proof nonstick saucepan. Bring to a simmer on the grill and cook until the blueberries are softened, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool completely. Drain the dried blueberries well, discarding the remaining wine. Place the dried blueberries, fresh blueberries, mustard, and honey in a food processor and process well until the mixture is mostly smooth and purple-colored, scraping the sides of processor as needed. Cover and refrigerate until assembling the burgers.

To make the shallots, place the olive oil in a medium fire-proof nonstick saucepan and heat on the grill to 350 degrees F. Meanwhile, combine the flour and salt in a shallow dish. Add the shallot rings and toss to coat, shaking off the excess flour. Working in batches, place the shallots in the hot oil and cook, stirring occasionally, until crispy and browned, 3 to 5 minutes. Drain well on paper towels. Very finely zest the lemon over the shallots and toss to combine. Transfer to a foil pan and keep warm.

Heat the grill to medium-high. When the grill is ready, brush the grill rack with vegetable oil. Place the patties on the rack, cover, and cook, turning occasionally, until done to preference, about 4 to 5 minutes per side for medium. During the last few minutes of cooking, place an equal amount of the cheese on top of each patty. Cover and cook until the cheese softens and heats through. Brush the cuts sides of the rolls with the olive oil. During the last minute of cooking, place the rolls, cut side down, on the grill rack to lightly toast.

To assemble the burgers, spread a moderate amount of the mustard onto the cut sides of the rolls. Onto each roll bottom, place a cooked patty, an equal amount of the shallots, and an equal amount of mache. Add the roll tops and serve.