The Copycat Jailbird Burger

The girls and I just got back from a trip to Louisville.  We were there to visit Bellarmine University, celebrate my nephew’s 12th birthday at The Louisville Slugger Museum, and surprise my parents (who took Charming Chet to Louisville with them) with a spectacular 50th anniversary dinner.  It was a fabulous four days.

I would be hard pressed to say what my favorite part was. The Louisville Slugger Museum was surprisingly cool.  I loved all most of the time in the car with my girls. We enjoyed a spectacular view of the Ohio River from the 25th floor of Galt House.  I had my first old fashioned.  And there were three priests sitting near us at the restaurant who gave my parents a special anniversary blessing.

Oh! And we had the best hamburger we have ever eaten.

On Sunday afternoon the girls and I wandered into Sidebar, a cool restaurant on Whiskey Row that specializes in burgers, beer, and, of course, bourbon. (no bourbon or beer for the girls of course) Let me tell you, Charming Friends, as a chicken farmer, I am ashamed to admit that it had never occurred to me to put a fried egg (and bacon) on a cheeseburger. It’s a genius combination. But now that I know the error of my neglect, I won’t be eating many eggless burgers in the future.

Tonight I tried to duplicate The Jailbird for my family. Not only were my Jailbirds every bit as good as Sidebar’s, they were made with buffalo meat  and farm fresh eggs.  My daughter actually proclaimed them better than the one she had in the restaurant. Here is my secret to this amazing burger…

The (copycat) Jailbird

Because I was using buffalo meat, I added a little olive oil, not only to the pan but I also worked it into the meat before I formed my patties. You might also want to do this too if you use extra lean hamburger. It makes for extra juicy burgers. Next form large patties. When I make burgers I try to indent the middle of the patty, making sort of a crater in the center, and leaving the sides a little thicker. This helps the burger to get fully cooked in the middle. I season my hamburgers with coarse ground black pepper and Lawry’s Season Salt, but I think any number of seasoning options would be fine.

Just like with my semi-whole food chicken nuggets, the key to extra delicious burgers is the last minute steaming. Once  your burgers are thoroughly browned on both sides, cover the skillet and turn off the heat. Let the burgers steam until done – about five minutes.  Next  add cheese,  and put the lid back on until the cheese is melted.

If you want a hot burger, it’s best to cook the bacon so that it is ready at approximately the same time as your burgers. I admit I burned a few strips of bacon trying to do two things at once. As soon as the bacon and burger done, fry your eggs in the skillet with the bacon grease. Yummy! We like our eggs a bit on the runny side.

We like our Jailbirds with just meat, cheese, bacon, and egg.  To me, adding onion, tomato, or lettuce takes away from the egg. I’m on the fence about ketchup. I did dip my burger in a little ketchup for a few bites but really the hot, runny egg is the sauce, so I didn’t feel like I wanted to mask that.

Okay y’all this photo does not do the Jailbird justice. But trust me when I say it was amazing.


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