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Wingin’ It: SJF Turkey Burgers as the Bills host the Titans

Maybe not the SJF you were thinking, but...

Can you believe it? Season 5 of Wingin’ It! Where has the time gone? For any newcomers, here’s the premise. It’s hungry work being a fan of the Buffalo Bills. Every week of the regular and postseason, Buffalo Rumblings brings you a recipe to try out with a “Buffalo” twist.

2022 wingin it Titans turkey burger

I don’t know if turkey has anything remotely connecting it to Nashville and, to be clear, I don’t care. I think my research said Minnesota was the play for a turkey connection. But this is an SJF Turkey Burger. Not the recipe that Josh Allen was talking about. I don’t think they would have shared the recipe. No, this is the Skare Jumps on a Fad Turkey Burger and that means I need to strike while the iron (pan) is hot. If the team missed the other SJF burgers, maybe mine will work for them.

SJF Turkey Burger

Makes: About 8 burgers
Active Time: 30 min
Total Time: 50 min


For burgers:

2 small jalapeño peppers, diced
14 cup onion, diced
2 lbs ground turkey
3 Tbsp mayonnaise
2 Tbsp mustard
Salt and pepper

For sauce:

14 tsp ground thyme
12 tsp garlic powder
14 cup hot sauce
2 Tbsp ketchup
1 Tbsp mustard
1 12 Tbsp unsalted butter

For final assembly:

Hamburger buns
Cheese (your choice, including when to add—during final grilling or at the table)
Prepared sauce

  1. Prepare burgers: Mix peppers, onions, ground turkey, mayonnaise, 2 Tbsp mustard, and salt and pepper in a large bowl. Chill mixture in the refrigerator for at least 15 min. (Look, I’m not gonna tell you how to cook a burger.* Make eight patties and get it done. I’ll give some tips below, which will be helpful if you’ve never worked with turkey—but come on, it’s a burger. Don’t forget that I included cheese in the ingredients. It’s a cheeseburger. Let’s make some sauce for it.)
  2. Preheat a small sauce pan on MED. Add thyme and garlic to pan; warm 2-3 min.
  3. Stir in hot sauce, ketchup and 1 Tbsp mustard. Stir occasionally for about 5 min.
  4. Remove from heat; stir in butter.
  5. Place the burgers I didn’t tell you how to cook on a bun and add the sauce that I did tell you how to cook.

Wingin’ It Tips and Prep Gallery

The first picture in our gallery is the amount of onion I mean. A lot of recipes are like “1/4 cup of diced onions” or some nonsense, and unless you’re doing this all the time it can be tough to estimate. This was a large red onion and I took a chunk about three-quarters of an inch thick.

The second picture is the mixture itself. If you’ve never worked with ground turkey before, there are a LOT of differences between it and ground beef. It leans toward more “mushy” consistency—and this is a good time to start talking science and then turn it into a cooking tips discussion.

It seems counterintuitive to take a “mushy” meat and add as much moisture as we do here with the mayonnaise and mustard. It goes from “mushy” to “goopy.” This will make creating patties more challenging and some cooking options will be off the table. So why am I telling you to do such a crazy thing? Turkey is very lean. The small amount of fat you’ll have will burn off and leave you with a very dry burger. It can also crumble when cooked due to the low fat content. The mayo helps both these issues. The mustard helps the moisture issue and adds a lot of flavor. Harder to work with, but much better result.

On to cooking. If you’re using this for a tailgate recipe you’ll either need foil to cook on or grill plates with very little space between them. I went with a pan frying because it was raining when I was cooking. I took a picture of mine in the pan to show off the sear I usually aim for.

One last note if you’re a first timer with the turkey. Unlike beef, turkey doesn’t tend to shrink that much while cooking. You only need to form patties that are a tiny bit bigger than what you’d like to see on the bun. When shaping, the mixture can be tough to make on an external surface and transfer to a pan. I usually start to form it by hand in the air and then finish the form on the pan as I’m placing them in. As for heat, on the pan I go for a MED/HIGH, sear for about 3-5 min, and then flip once to get the other side. (*I guess in the end, I did tell you how to cook a burger.)