(Family Features) Warm weather means grilling season is here, and nothing turns up the heat like great summer grilling. It’s the perfect opportunity to get away from a stuffy kitchen and enjoy a casual meal outdoors with family and friends.
Whether you prefer gas or charcoal, grilling is convenient for cutting calories and creating your own versions of cookout classics. From your favorite protein to fresh fruit, just about any food can be grilled, so grab your grilling gear and get ready to experiment with different ingredient options.
If you’re tired of traditional burgers, try substituting ground duck for beef for savory flavor and a skinnier profile. Made from duck breast meat, all-natural ground duck is 87 percent lean, making it a healthier alternative to most ground beef. Since duck is red meat, its depth of flavor and moist texture can be incorporated into a variety of dishes that usually call for ground beef.
In this recipe, ground duck is used to make a robust, juicy burger that’s sure to delight any cookout connoisseur. Top it off with some duck bacon for a hearty and flavorful summer feast. It has less fat than the regular pork variety, giving you an excuse to pile even more on your sandwich. Plus, duck bacon is more like pork bacon than traditional poultry bacons – thick cut with a smoky flavor.
Ready in less than 30 minutes, these burgers featuring a duo of duck products can help you turn up the heat at your next backyard get-together.
Find more recipes for the grill and information about cooking with duck at mapleleaffarms.com.
Duck Bacon Burgers with Cheese
2 pounds Maple Leaf Farms All Natural Ground Duck
4 tablespoons bread crumbs
2 tablespoons white onion, minced
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon chili powder
salt, to taste
pepper, to taste
6 strips Maple Leaf Farms Duck Bacon, halved
6 hamburger buns
3 tablespoons Maple Leaf Farms All Natural Rendered Duck Fat
6 slices cheddar cheese
6 slices red onion (optional)
6 slices tomato (optional)
lettuce leaves (optional)
Heat grill to medium-high heat.
In large bowl, mix together ground duck, bread crumbs, onion, garlic, paprika and chili powder. Divide mixture into six equal parts and form into patties. Season both sides of each patty with salt and pepper.
Lightly brush grill rack with oil. Place burgers on rack and cook, flipping frequently until internal temperature reaches 155 F.
While burgers are cooking, place bacon on grill and cook until crisp.
Once burgers are done, remove from heat and let sit 3-5 minutes. Brush insides of hamburger bun halves with duck fat and toast lightly on grill.
Serve each burger on toasted bun with two bacon half-strips and slice of cheese then top with red onion, tomato and lettuce, if desired.