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Chicken Caesar Burgers with Parmigiano Taters


For the taters:

  • 1 sack frozen tater tots, waffle fries or your favorite frozen tater, any brand

  • A couple of handfuls of grated Parmigiano Reggiano or Romano cheese

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 1 sprig fresh rosemary, leaves removed and chopped

  • 1 teaspoon hot pepper flakes

  • 1 tablespoon grill seasoning (eyeball it)

For the dipping sauce:

  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)

  • 1/2 small onion, grated

  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped

  • 1 can crushed tomatoes (15 ounces)

For the burgers:

  • 1 1/4 pounds ground chicken breast (the average weight of 1 package)

  • 3 garlic cloves, 2 finely chopped, 1 cracked from skin

  • 4 anchovies, finely chopped (optional, but recommended)

  • A handful of Parmigiano Reggiano cheese

  • Salt and coarse black pepper

  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

  • A handful flat leaf parsley, chopped

  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest plus juice of 1/2 lemon

  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil (EVOO), plus some for drizzling

  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

  • 1 heart of romaine lettuce, chopped

  • 2 plum tomatoes, thinly sliced

  • 4 crusty rolls, split in half


Preheat oven to 425°F. Start the taters: combine Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, salt, rosemary, hot pepper flakes and grill seasoning in a bowl. Pour four portions of taters onto a nonstick cookie sheet. Bake until almost crisp (about halfway through the cooking time on the package), then remove and sprinkle them with a handful of the cheese, tossing them a little to make sure they're coated; then finish baking them off. Sprinkle them with cheese and herb mixture, tossing them around a bit so the mixture sticks. As the frost starts to melt, the flavorings will set into place.

Make the dipping sauce: heat EVOO in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Add grated onion (onion can be grated right over the pot) and garlic, and cook 1-2 minutes. Add tomatoes, reduce heat to medium and cook, stirring frequently, for 10-12 minutes. Remove from heat and reserve.

While the sauce is working, prepare the burgers: in a bowl, combine the chicken, finely chopped garlic, anchovies, a handful of cheese, a pinch of salt and a generous amount of pepper, Worcestershire sauce, parsley and lemon zest. Mix the meat and form four oval shaped, rather than round, burger patties. Heat a large nonstick skillet with one tablespoon of EVOO, a turn of the pan, over medium-high heat. When hot, add the chicken patties and cook for 3-4 minutes on each side.

Pre-heat the broiler and toast the bread on a cookie sheet or broiler pan. Once lightly golden in color, remove from oven and rub the breads with cracked garlic. Drizzle bread with the EVOO. Combine Dijon, lemon juice and 2-3 tablespoons of EVOO with salt and pepper, and toss the greens with it.

Place the patties on the bun bottoms and top them with a pile of romaine, sliced tomatoes and bun tops. Serve the burgers with the Parmigiano taters and a bowl with the dipping sauce alongside.