I am definitely an “everything but the kitchen sink” burger kind of girl. The perfect burger combines a balance of sweet, salty, and savory flavors, and does not only satisfies the sense of taste. It also fulfills the needs of smell, sight, sound, and touch.
On the range of burgers that hit all the senses, turkey burgers are typically on the low end of the spectrum. The patties are classically seasoned with salt and pepper, maybe a little hit of cayenne if things were getting crazy in the kitchen. Toppings are limited to a lone leaf of lettuce, a slice of tomato, and a few rings off a yellow onion. Squeeze on a dollop of mustard, maybe a splash of ketchup, and the turkey burger is ready to go. While I love of a good turkey burger, most of the ones you order at a restaurant are nothing to write home about.
After investing my time and effort into harvesting a tom this spring, I wanted all of the wild turkey recipes I created from this particular bird to be more than “nothing to write home about.” And what better place to start on that task than with reinventing the turkey burger?
Farmhouse Turkey Burger Patty
Turkey meat is lean, and that is even truer with wild turkey. A good burger has some fat in it, it’s part of what makes it moist, tender, and juicy when you bite into it. Fat also adds another layer of flavor to the burger patty. With this “everything but the kitchen sink” style burger, I wanted to create a breakfast vibe, and that of course meant bacon was going to be cast in this production. I decided since I was going to be using bacon anyway and wanted to add some fat to my ground turkey that running the bacon and wild turkey breast through the grinder together would create a great burger base.
When putting meat through the grinder, it is best to start with cold meat. I like to put my meat in the freezer for about thirty minutes before grinding. This helps to keep the grinder from pulverizing the meat into a paste. For burgers, a good fat content is anywhere between 20 and 30 percent, but it purely based on personal preference. I went with about 20% for my wild turkey burgers.
After grinding the bacon and turkey breast together, I seasoned the wild turkey with a palmful of Montreal Steak seasoning, a splash of Worcestershire sauce, and some diced yellow onion. There is only one way to get everything incorporated really well for a burger and that is to just dive right in, hands first, and mix everything really well.
To create even sized patties for everyone, I form the meat mixture into one large lump and then score it into even sections with my hand. Then I just pull out each section, roll it into a large ball with the palms of my hand, and then slowly work the burger into a one inch thick patty. After my patty is pretty looking, I use my thumb and indent the center of the burger so it is just a little bit thinner than the outside edge. This helps with the center cooking evenly with the rest of burger.
In a large skillet preheated over medium high, drop in the turkey burger patties and allow to cook about four minutes per side. The burgers should develop a beautiful brown color and the kitchen should be filled with hints of grilled onion and bacon!
Farmhouse Turkey Burger Chipotle Mayo
While the patties are grilling, mix up some chipotle mayonnaise for the burgers. I buy the canned chipotles that are in adobo sauce. For the sauce, I put a cup of mayonnaise in a bowl. I chop up one or two, depending on how much heat you like, of the chipotle peppers, and add that to the bowl with two tablespoons of the liquid from the chipotle can. The sauce adds some heat to the burger and also a vibrant orange color.
Once the burgers are cooked, tent them in a little aluminum foil so they stay warm while the eggs are cooking. Reduce the heat on the burger pan to medium, and crack in one egg per burger. I like the yolks to still be a bit runny for my burger, so I fried them to over medium.
With the eggs fried, the burgers grilled, and the chipotle mayo mixed, it is now time to start assembling the burger. In order to add a little more texture to this burger, I toast the buns for a minute under the broiler. I like the subtle crunch the bun adds, and it feels nice to pick up a warm burger!
To my lightly toasted bun, I first set down a wild turkey burger patty and then top it with a generous spoonful of the chipotle mayo. Next, sprinkle on some tangy gorgonzola cheese. Lay the fried egg over the cheese, which will not only help hold the cheese in place but will also melt it, and finally pile on some spicy arugula.
This wild turkey recipe is a great way to fancy up burger night. It gives a little hit to all your taste buds, has a great balance of textures from the slightly crunchy arugula and toasted bun in comparison to the juicy, warm burger and egg. And it is beautiful to look at! Hope you enjoy making this farmhouse wild turkey burger as much as I enjoyed eating it!
Check out some of the other amazing recipes from Lindsey Bartosh at A 12 Gauge Girl.