Spring Eats: Rosemary Chicken Burgers with Strawberry Balsamic Compote

It's amazing what one week can do. This time last week I was talking about how cold it had been in Chicago so far this spring. Now, I can officially say spring is here to stay because it's been 60+ degrees lately which is WARM. I'm talking, tank top and yoga pants warm. The nights still have a chill to them though which makes sleeping heavenly. My favorite thing about spring is not the amazing weather but all of the produce that starts popping up...literally. All the best flavors are beginning to show up in the grocery stores and (starting this weekend) farmer's markets. It makes cooking a blast.

For this recipe, I wanted to experiment with flavors. I love fruity balsamic salad dressings so I thought, why not do the same thing with a jam or compote? I figured that this type of ballsy move would work best with a meat that is lighter in flavor, like chicken. Once I worked that out, it was time to think about how we'd season the chicken and rosemary seemed like an obvious answer, especially with spring here. The result was out of this world. You get a bit of sweet from the strawberries, savory in the burger and just enough tartness from the balsamic that round this concoction out beautifully.

1 cup strawberries, quartered
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 pound ground chicken
2 tablespoons rosemary, finely chopped
2 tablespoons parsley, finely chopped
1/2 onion, chopped
1/2 cup bread crumbs
4 slices Havarti Cheese
4 hamburger buns or brioche rolls

1. Place the strawberries, sugar and balsamic vinegar in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Cook until it becomes a gooey, jam-like mixture. Use a potato masher or fork to help break up the strawberries into chunks. Let simmer and allow the mixture to thicken. Let cool.

2. In a large bowl, mix together ground chicken, rosemary, parsley, onion and bread crumbs. Form into four patties. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and add the patties. Cook on each side until browned and cooked through, about 10-15 minutes per side. 

3. Add a slice of Havarti cheese to each chicken patty. Cover for 1-2 minutes to allow the cheese to melt. 

4. Place the chicken patties on the bottom bun. Spread about a tablespoon of the Strawberry Balsamic Compote on the top bun. Top with a few leaves of spinach and close the sandwich. Serve.

Do you have any out of the ordinary flavor mix-ups that you like to use? Share in the comments below! Also, make sure to follow us on Instagram for more cooking adventures behind the scenes.