The Southern Chicken burger (with fried pickles and green tomatoes and a caramelized vidalia onion sauce)

Pairs well with:


Paired or alone, there's something magical about this creamy wine that nods to yummy peaches and sinful delights.


1 tablespoon oil
2 tablespoons butter
4 cups thinly sliced Vidalia onions (about 4 onions)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
2 teaspoons brown sugar
2 cups chicken stock
2 lb ground chicken
6 egg whites
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
1 cup Sutter Home White Zinfandel reduced down to 1/4 cup
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
4 teaspoons salt
4 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
1 cup breadcrumbs
Vegetable oil for frying
1 1/2 cup self rising cornmeal mix
1/2 cup flour
2 teaspoons ground black pepper
3 eggs, lightly beaten
3/4 cup milk
4 green tomatoes, sliced 1/4-inch thick
2 cups dill or sweet pickle chips, well drained
Vegetable oil, for brushing on the grill rack
6 sesame rolls, split



To make the sauce, in a large saucepan, over medium heat, heat the oil, then add the butter. When the butter is melted, add the onions. Season with salt and pepper. Sauté for about 12 to 15 minutes or until the onions are caramelized. Add the sugar and stock and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for 10 more minutes. Remove the saucepan from the heat and purée until smooth (a hand-held blender works great). Strain the sauce and cool. Taste and season again if needed.

To make the patties, in a medium bowl, whisk together egg whites, buttermilk, reduced wine, garlic, salt and pepper. Add this mixture and the breadcrumbs to the ground chicken meat. Combine the ingredients gently but thoroughly. Handling the mixture as little as possible to avoid compacting, gently form the 6 burgers. Refrigerate the patties covered in plastic wrap until needed.

To make the pickles and green tomatoes fried topping, heat the oil in a deep fryer or a large Dutch oven, up to about 370˚F. Salt the green tomato slices. In a shallow bowl, stir together the self rising cornmeal mix, the flour, and the black pepper. In another bowl, combine the eggs and the milk. Dip the pickle chips and tomato slices in the milk mixture, let excess drip off and roll in cornmeal mixture. Fry pickles and tomatoes in batches (pickles for 1 ½ minutes per side and tomatoes for 3 minutes per side, until golden brown). Drain on paper towels. Keep warm in a low 200° to 250° oven while frying in batches.

When the grill is ready, brush the grill rack with vegetable oil. Place the patties on the rack, cover and cook, turning once, until the juices run clear when they are pierced in the center, about 4-5 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.

To assemble burgers, spread the caramelized Vidalia onion sauce on the bottom cut side of the rolls. On each bottom, place a patty and top with the fried pickles and green tomatoes. Add the roll tops and serve.