Petaluma Chicken Burger with Avocado and Heirloom Tomato Salsa

Petaluma Chicken Burger with Avocado and Heirloom Tomato Salsa
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About This Recipe

As a Napa Valley local and food enthusiast, I've always been passionate about creating recipes that celebrate the best of what our region has to offer. The Petaluma Chicken Burger with Avocado and Heirloom Tomato Salsa is a perfect example of this, as it features the finest locally-sourced ingredients and flavors that truly capture the essence of Northern California.

This recipe was inspired by a weekend trip to Petaluma, where I had the pleasure of visiting one of the many local farms raising free-range, organic chickens. The quality and flavor of Petaluma chicken are unparalleled, making it the perfect base for this delicious, healthy burger. To complement the chicken, I decided to add creamy avocado slices and a zesty heirloom tomato salsa, which not only add a burst of color but also contribute to the overall freshness of the dish.

For side dishes, I'd recommend serving the burger with a crisp green salad featuring more of Napa's finest produce, such as Little Gem lettuce and shaved fennel, dressed with a light citrus vinaigrette. You could also consider a side of grilled asparagus, which is abundant in the valley during the spring and summer months. For dessert, a seasonal fruit crisp or galette using local stone fruit or berries would be a delightful way to end the meal on a sweet note.

To truly elevate this dish to wine country status, I suggest pairing it with a crisp, refreshing Sauvignon Blanc from Frog's Leap Winery or a vibrant, fruit-forward Pinot Noir from Saintsbury. Both wines have the perfect balance of acidity and fruit to complement the flavors in the chicken burger and salsa. While you're exploring the valley, be sure to stop by Opus One Winery for an unforgettable experience, and don't miss out on visiting the hidden gem, Matthiasson Winery.

In Napa Valley, we're fortunate to have access to some of the finest ingredients in the country, and this recipe truly showcases the region's bounty. The Petaluma Chicken Burger with Avocado and Heirloom Tomato Salsa is a delicious, healthy alternative to traditional beef burgers and a perfect dish for any home chef or wine lover looking to bring a taste of wine country to their table.

To source the best ingredients, be sure to visit local farmers' markets or specialty stores that focus on regional products. The Oxbow Public Market in downtown Napa is an excellent place to start, as it offers a variety of fresh produce, meats, and artisanal goods all under one roof.

Whether you're a local or just visiting, Napa Valley is full of culinary delights and hidden gems waiting to be discovered. I hope this recipe inspires you to explore our beautiful wine country and create your own memorable meals using the best of what the region has to offer. Happy cooking, and cheers to your Napa Valley-inspired culinary adventures!

Hero Ingredient Spotlight: Petaluma Chicken

Petaluma, located in Sonoma County, has long been famed for its superior chicken production, giving birth to the term "Petaluma Chicken." The rich soil, temperate climate, and traditional farming practices in the region produce chickens that are flavorful, tender, and of unmatched quality. Choosing Petaluma chicken for this recipe ensures that you're getting a bird that's been raised with care, often free-range and organic, resulting in a premium taste that stands out in every bite. This hero ingredient, with its juicy and flavorful meat, truly captures the farm-to-table essence of Northern California.

How to Perfectly Grill a Chicken Burger

  1. Prepare Your Grill: Preheat your grill or grill pan to a medium-high heat. Make sure the grates are clean and lightly oiled to prevent the chicken burgers from sticking.
  2. Gentle with the Patties: Chicken is softer than beef, so handle the patties gently to ensure they don't fall apart when grilling.
  3. Check the Temperature: Use a meat thermometer to check the burgers' internal temperature. Ensure it reaches 165°F (74°C) which is the safe temperature for ground chicken.
  4. Let Them Rest: Once off the grill, allow your chicken burgers to rest for a few minutes. This will help redistribute the juices, ensuring a moist burger.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Can I substitute another type of ground meat for the Petaluma chicken? Yes, while Petaluma chicken is the recommended choice for flavor, you can substitute with ground turkey or even ground beef. However, the cooking times and flavors may vary.
  2. How long can the heirloom tomato salsa be stored? The salsa is best enjoyed fresh, but it can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.
  3. Are there alternatives to breadcrumbs for binding? Certainly! You can use rolled oats, ground flaxseed, or almond flour as gluten-free alternatives. Remember, the binder's purpose is to hold the patty together, so use them in similar proportions.
  4. How can I ensure my chicken burgers remain juicy? Avoid over-mixing the burger mixture as it can make the patties dense. Also, ensuring your grill is at the correct temperature and not overcooking the patties will keep them juicy.
  5. Can I cook these burgers on a stovetop? Yes! Use a skillet over medium-high heat. Remember to oil the pan lightly and cook each side for 6-8 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 165°F.

Tips for Success

  1. Use Fresh Ingredients: Especially for the salsa, fresh heirloom tomatoes, ripe avocados, and herbs make a significant difference in taste.
  2. Rest the Patties: Before grilling, allow the shaped burger patties to rest in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes. This helps firm them up and makes them easier to handle on the grill.
  3. Complement with Wine: Enhance the flavors of your chicken burger by pairing it with local wines like Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Noir. The crispness of these wines complements the juiciness of the burger and the zestiness of the salsa.

Celebrate the beauty of Napa Valley and the freshness of its produce with this Petaluma Chicken Burger. Whether you're hosting a BBQ or just craving a wholesome meal, this burger embodies the essence of farm-to-table dining. Enjoy your culinary journey in wine country!

Recipe Overview

Petaluma Chicken Burger with Avocado and Heirloom Tomato Salsa
Lily Anderson
4 servings
Calories Per Serving:
Prep Time:
Cook Time:
Total Time:

Ingredients List


  • 1 pound ground Petaluma chicken
  • 1/2 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 ripe avocado, pitted and sliced
  • 4 hamburger buns, toasted
  • Lettuce leaves, for serving

Heirloom Tomato Salsa:

  • 1 cup diced heirloom tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup diced red onion
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 jalapeño pepper, seeds removed and finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Step-by-Step Directions

  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine the ground Petaluma chicken, breadcrumbs, egg, garlic, salt, and pepper. Mix gently until all the ingredients are evenly distributed.
  2. Divide the chicken mixture into 4 equal portions and shape each portion into a burger patty.
  3. Preheat a grill or grill pan to medium-high heat. Cook the chicken burgers for 6-8 minutes per side, or until cooked through and an internal temperature of 165°F is reached.
  4. Meanwhile, prepare the heirloom tomato salsa by combining the tomatoes, red onion, cilantro, jalapeño pepper, and lime juice in a small bowl. Season with salt and pepper to taste, and set aside.
  5. To assemble the burgers, place a lettuce leaf on the bottom half of each toasted bun. Top with a cooked chicken burger, followed by avocado slices and a generous spoonful of heirloom tomato salsa. Finish with the top half of the bun and serve immediately.

Share Your Results

Was it everything you dreamed it could be? Let me know how it turned out for you and share a picture on social media with the hashtag #LilyCooksNapa

Hello and welcome to Napa Home Chef! We're thrilled you're joining us to explore the vibrant world of wine country cooking. Our team has crafted bold, creative recipes inspired by Napa Valley's lush landscapes, bountiful harvests, and world-renowned wines. We hope you enjoy the journey with us!

Get ready to experience the rich flavors and unique culinary delights that embody the essence of wine country living. Happy cooking!

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