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Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Buffalo Chicken Burgers with Carrot-Celery Slaw

If you grew up in my house, then you grew up grilling, all year round. The weather turning cold is no reason for my parents to pack away the grill. Pouring down rain isn’t even a reason to use the stove. We would grill out on the deck in the chilly fall winds, during the darkest days of winter and through the wet days of spring. Remember one more thing, I grew up in Buffalo, NY. That’s right, snow country. It is not uncommon to visit my parents house in December, to discover a little shoveled path, leading to the grill.

Personally, I think my parents are a little kooky. I think it harkens back to one moment in my childhood. Being asked to start the grill, by myself. I believe I let the gas run for a little long, and there was a grand BAM! when I struck the lighter. No fireball, no singed eyebrows, no trip to the emergency room. Just one traumatized eleven-year old. I will still, to this day, not light the grill, but I love coming home in December and grilling hot dogs at home.

I know, it’s a little crazy on my part. I’m a chemist. I use Bunsen burners all the time. I work with chemicals that will spontaneously light on fire. Yet I am still afraid of the gas grill. This is why I own a grill pan (I also don’t have any outdoor space and I think my apartment building wouldn’t be too happy with me running a grill in my bedroom). However, if you are brave enough to light your grill, then you should go get out some burgers.

The best part of these burgers is the slaw. Crunchy, cool and tangy, it complements the spicy burgers perfectly. If you happen to have a food processor with slicing and shredding discs, then your prep for this slaw is minimal. The burgers can be store-bought, because they get their flavor from the hot sauce. And really, how can I pass up a recipe that puts wing sauce on a burger?

Buffalo Chicken Burgers with Carrot-Celery Slaw

4 Burgers – choose your favorite, beef, chicken, turkey

I’d recommend using turkey or chicken burgers because of their milder flavor. Beef burgers might overpower the hot sauce and slaw. I can’t say this from personal experience though, since I haven’t eaten a beef burger in over fifteen years! If you give it a try with beef, let me know how it goes!

¼ cup mayonnaise
¼ cup crumbled blue cheese
1 tbsp lemon juice
2 stalks celery, sliced
2 carrots, shredded
4 tbsp butter
1 clove garlic, smashed
2 tsp ancho chili powder
¼ cup Frank’s Buffalo hot sauce
Mix together all the ingredients for the slaw and refrigerate for 1 hour.

Combine all ingredients for the sauce in a small pan and heat through. Cook the burgers on the grill, brushing every few minutes with sauce. Cook until heated through. Toast buns on the grill.

One bun + one burger + slaw = delicious, spicy burger
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