A 3-pound chicken will give you about 2 pounds of meat. We used chicken from Greenwood Farms. Adding 4 ounces of local bacon and some heavy cream will get you close to the magical 80/20 ratio of meat to fat. Makes 6 burgers
2 pounds chicken (breast, legs and thighs), sinew removed, well chilled
4 ounces bacon, roughly chopped, well chilled
¼ cup heavy cream
1 egg yolk
½ cup breadcrumbs
2 tablespoons minced garlic
2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves
¼ cup minced mushrooms
Salt and pepper
4 tablespoons melted butter
1 cup panko breadcrumbs
Cut the chicken into 1-inch pieces, season with 2 teaspoons salt and place in the freezer for about 30 minutes until the meat is firm. Place bacon in the freezer to chill. Combine the cream, egg yolk, ½ cup breadcrumbs, garlic, thyme and mushrooms and set aside. Place half the chilled chicken and half of the bacon in a cold food processor.
Pulse a few times and scrape down the sides. Pulse a few more times, scraping down often. It should take about 12 to 15 pulses to reach a good ground consistency. Repeat with the other half of the chicken and bacon. Combine the ground chicken with the cream mixture, form into 6 patties and place on a baking sheet. Place in freezer to firm. Preheat oven to 425°.
Meanwhile, combine melted butter and panko breadcrumbs and stir until crumbs are well coated. When patties are firm, remove from freezer and gently press breadcrumbs evenly on both sides. Place patties into 425° oven for 8 minutes. Reduce heat to 350° and continue cooking for 12 minutes or until internal temperature reaches 165° and panko is golden.