A Barbecue Blanket

May 7, 2009

My husband shares a disease with a large population of the United States. It is an ailment that I am not fond of and become very frustrated with from time to time. Alex has an aversion to all condiments with the exception of barbecue sauce. He wants nothing to do with mayonnaise, ketchup, mustard, or salad dressings. No matter what I add to it or what fancy aioli name I call it, he knows and is unwilling to venture into the strange substance zone.

He will and does put barbecue sauce on almost anything. Carefully crafted flavor profiles get destroyed by that sweet tangy blanket of sauce. I die a little inside every time he does it. This week I made Thai Peanut Chicken Burgers with a Cilantro Lime Aioli. The burgers were perfect; there was a subtle peanut undertone that was a great foundation for the Thai flavor to build on. The meal was complete with oven baked fries and even though the meal was overall healthy, the flavors were causing culinary cherubs to dance on my tongue.

What was Alex doing while I was enjoying this symphony of flavors, pouring barbecue sauce all over every inch of it. I do not think he even tried some without the smoky smothering. His critique: “This is really good. You cannot taste much of the peanut butter though.” I am sure that most of you are rolling your eyes with me now, but that barbecue sauce protects another secret: the burgers were made with carrots, Alex’s arch-nemesis of the vegetable world. So go ahead honey, pour that barbecue sauce on anything you like; those carrots sure taste good now, don’t they?

 Peanut Chicken  Burgerchicken-burger

Adapted from A Good Appetite and Cara’s Cravings (one of my favorite healthy blogs)

1 medium carrot, julienned
1 scallion, chopped
¼  tsp ground ginger
1 tsp kosher salt
2 breast of chicken
2 Tbsp chunky peanut butter
1/2 tsp sesame oil
1 tsp sriracha chili sauce

Place the two chicken breasts in the food processor. Pulse the meat until most of the bigger chunks are gone and you have a smooth chicken paste with some bigger pieces of chicken in it.

Place all the ingredients together in a bowl. Work with hands to mix but to do overwork.

Cook on a griddle (turkey burgers tend not to hold together well on a grill) until done, about 6 to 7 minutes per side.

Serve with lettuce leaves, more julienned carrots & Cilantro Lime Aioli.

Recipe Notes:

– I added the peanut butter, sesame oil, sriracha chili sauce, and ground ginger to food processor after I had pulsed the chicken a few times. This helps to blend the flavors.

-I finished the burgers in the oven after they got golden brown on each side. It took about 10 mins in a 350 degree oven.

 Nutritional Info- taken from Spark Recipes (not including the bun or the aioli)

Servings per recipe: 4

Calories: 218.4    Total Fat: 8.5      Cholesterol 71.6  Total Carbs: 4.9   Protein: 29.9

Cilantro Lime Aioli

1 ½ tbsp light mayo

½ tbsp of lime juice

1 tbsp fresh cilantro; minced

1 clove of garlic minced

Dash of salt and pepper


Mix well and top burgers.


Oven Baked Fries fries

This fries are amazing and they are baked so they are healthier than the alternative.

2 tablespoons canola oil
3 large baking potatoes, 12 ounces each
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh parsley leaves –I omit

Other seasonings to your taste such as paprika, chili powder, Cajun seasoning, or cayenne powder

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.

Cut the potatoes into 1/4-inch sticks. In a large bowl, toss the oil, potatoes and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray and spread the potatoes onto it in a single layer. Sprinkle with seasoning to your taste such as paprika, chili powder, Cajun seasoning, or cayenne powder. Bake until golden and crisp, about 35 minutes.

Remove potatoes from the tray with a metal spatula. Toss with parsley and additional salt, to taste. Serve immediately.


Nutritional Info- taken from Spark Recipes

Servings per recipe: 4

Calories: 283.5    Total Fat: 7.4      Cholesterol 0.0   Total Carbs: 50.0  Protein: 5.9


13 Responses to “A Barbecue Blanket”

  1. Kira said

    I love these burgers…nom nom nom.

  2. Marta said

    I’m making these tonight!!
    In your ingredient list, did you mean ground chicken breasts, or did you grind them yourself?
    I’m glad to see they didn’t fall apart on you, mine always do 😦

  3. thecynicalchef said

    I was just about to come edit that. I ground the chicken myself in the food processor. Thanks for noticing. 🙂 Nope they didnt but I did finish them in the oven. I guess I should add that note too.

  4. Joelen said

    What a great meal – looks wonderful!

  5. Jen said

    Such a fabulous meal!!! I love chicken burgers with peanut sauce!!

  6. carolynblithers said

    These look great–I think I’ll try them tomorrow night.

  7. finsmom said

    MY GOODNESS – this sounds fantastic! I will be bookmarking it to make asap 🙂

  8. wickednoodle said

    Now that’s a tasty burger! Makes me wish I had some ground chicken handy – wait, I have some that I can grind myself. Oh, happy day! Now if only I had some potatoes…

  9. Cara said

    Yum! These have definitely become a favorite meal of ours 🙂

  10. Kerstin said

    Haha, my hubby puts BBQ sauce on everything too! The burgers look so flavorful and I love how healthy they are too!

  11. Rick said

    So you griddle them till golden brown for 6-7 minutes/side then put them in the oven at 350? Or did you brown them quickly in a minute or two then go in the oven to finish?

    Can’t wait to try these, 30 grams of protein a piece without having to keep eating ‘boring’ chicken breasts.

  12. thecynicalchef said

    I want to say it was about 3/4 minutes per side then in the oven. I might have let them go a little longer to get golden brown for the blog 😉

  13. Zack said

    cilantro, peanut butter and barbecue sauce can make for a great combination. I have been trying this together in baguette sandwiches with pate/liverwurst and butter. The BBQ sauce is tomato paste, dark brown sugar, spices and trace vinegar. This works out to a kind of ersatz Vietnamese sandwich. Rich and savory and grilled even better.

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