What Are Buffalo Chicken Burgers?

Erik J.J. Goserud

Cookouts can make even the grumpiest of persons happy, and one creative twist on this traditional gathering is the presence of buffalo chicken burgers. Buffalo chicken burgers attempt to put a spin on the famous hamburger by substituting flavored chicken for the most common beef. There are a number of pros and cons to this dish, but at the end of the day, it is a personal decision on whether this unique creation is a great creation or culinary treason.

Blue cheese, which is often used to top buffalo chicken burgers.
Blue cheese, which is often used to top buffalo chicken burgers.

In order to understand the emergence of buffalo chicken burgers, it is useful to get a feel for the traditional hamburger. Hamburgers, or burgers, are said to have been first created in the German city of Hamburg. This culinary staple moved westward in a hurry and is now perhaps among the most popular cuisines in America. The hamburger has been further instilled into American culture through its utilization at picnics and gatherings across the country.

Chicken burgers can be topped with tomato and lettuce, just like beef burgers.
Chicken burgers can be topped with tomato and lettuce, just like beef burgers.

Although the hamburger is almost synonymous with good-weather cookouts, it hasn't stopped people from messing with success. Burgers have been the target of culinary improvisation since their inception into the diet, and while some endeavors have proven successful, others have acted as flavor sacrilege. Cooks have tried changing the toppings, condiments, buns, and composition, including using buffalo chicken.

Buffalo chicken is derived from buffalo wings, using similar flavors but applying them to whole pieces of chicken rather than the boned wing version. Buffalo chicken burgers are composed of chicken, usually ground, which is then flavored with the traditional buffalo spice blends that create a savory and spicy taste. Cooks then form this mixture into patties and grill, fry, or broil them in the same manner as a traditional hamburger.

One primary difference between buffalo chicken burgers and their patriarch is the fullness of cooking. Chicken, unlike beef, must be cooked well done for safety purposes related to bacteria. Other differences include their toppings. While standard burgers may see cheese, lettuce, and tomato among common toppings, buffalo chicken burgers are sometimes covered in ranch or blue cheese to counteract their flavorful kick.

Whether people find buffalo chicken burgers repulsive or delicious, they should still recognize the creative merger of two popular dishes. The beauty of the culinary arts is the opportunity for improvisation and creativity, and buffalo chicken burgers are an ode to this movement. It is important that amateur dinner makers and expert chefs alike embrace food and continue to find new dishes in the future for the furthering of the culinary arts.

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