Spicy Chicken Balls

Spicy Chicken Balls

If you are looking for something new, this recipe with minced chicken could easily become your next favorite. It works equally well as a main course with salad and potatoes, and as a delightful party snack. The chickpeas add taste and consistency, and the hot and spicy condiment, sambal oelek, brings added value. Chicken is actually the most common type of poultry in the world, and as a very versatile food it can be grilled, baked, roasted, deep-fried, breaded, skewered, or made into sausages. Chicken consumption rose during World War II due to a shortage of beef and pork, and it rose again in the 1990’s because of consumer awareness of risks associated with beef. When it comes to the nutritional value, the meat itself contains very little fat, because the fat is concentrated on the skin. When measured as weight percentage, chicken meat contains about two to three times as much polyunsaturated fat than most types of red meat.

Ingredients: 

400 g/ 14 oz chicken mince

1 can pre-cooked chickpeas

olive oil

1 onion, sliced

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 tsp paprika powder

salt and pepper to taste

2 tbsp tomato puree

1-2 tsp sambal oelek chili paste

1 egg

Instructions: 

Rinse and drain the chickpeas, and puree them together with the minced chicken in a blender or a food processor until smooth. Set aside.

Saute the onion and garlic for a few minutes until the onion softens. Add the paprika powder and season with salt and pepper. Let the mixture cool down.

Add the sauteed onion and garlic into the chicken and chickpea mix and puree until the mixture is smooth. Combine with the pureed tomato and the sambal oelek paste. Add the egg and mix thoroughly.

Roll the mixture into balls (diameter 1.5 inch/ca. 4 cm). Fry the balls in a saucepan over a medium heat on all sides for about 5 minutes until they are golden. Turn occasionally. Remove all excess oil by placing them over a paper towel. Serve immediately with a refreshing salad and/or potatoes.

Spicy Chicken Balls

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Pollo agli aromi

Pollo agli aromi

You might know sage as a part of the typical sage and onion stuffing for chicken, but this herb, part of the mint family, is highly aromatic and has a myriad of culinary uses. The leaves have a lemony, slightly bitter fragrance, and the aroma is savoury and peppery, reminiscent of satisfying home made comfort food. In Italy sage is used with many grilled or roasted meats, like poultry, pork, veal, and lamb. It goes well together with gnocchi, several risottos, soups, marinades and aromatic oils, too. Due to its anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties, sage can be used for teas, body products and different kinds of home remedies from indigestion to headache. In ancient times sage has been used for warding off evil, snakebites, and increasing women’s fertility. This highly regarded herb was even believed to give you longevity. Here, the sage plays an integral part in the cooking process and the dish is rounded off with a splash of white wine vinegar.

Ingredients:

4 chicken legs

1 onion

a handful of sage leaves

1.5 dl/ 2/3 cup dry white wine

2-4 garlic cloves, halved

a handful of fresh rosemary sprigs

2 tbsp white wine vinegar

olive oil

salt and pepper to taste

Instructions:

Heat olive oil in a pan and saute the onion and the sage leaves for a few minutes until the onion becomes golden. Add the chicken legs and season with salt and pepper. Once the chicken legs have colored a bit, for ca. 10 minutes, add the dry white wine.

Continue frying over a medium heat. If needed, add some chicken stock to avoid burning. After about 1 hour, when the chicken is cooked through, add the fresh rosemary sprigs, halved garlic cloves, and the vinegar. Fry over a very high heat for a few minutes and serve immediately.

Pollo agli aromi

Pollo alla cacciatora

Parsley (petroselinum sativum) is one of the most nutritious herbs. A cup of parsley contains more beta carotene than a carrot, almost twice the vitamin C of an orange, more calcium than a cup of milk, and twenty times more iron than a serving of liver. In ancient Rome people ate fresh parsley as a freshener to mask the smells of strongly flavored foods and alcohol. There are basically two main types of parsley, the tightly curled variety and the flat leaf type, and only the latter is used in the Italian cuisine. You can find flat leaf parsley in virtually every dish, because it is used as an edible and tasty garnish, but it can give flavor to soups, sauces, stews, and salads. Parsley should always be used fresh, as the dried herb loses much of its flavor.

Pollo alla cacciatora

Ingredients: 

olive oil

6-8 chicken thighs

100 gr/ 3.5 oz pancetta, in cubes

1 onion, sliced

3-5 garlic cloves, minced

2-3 carrots, sliced

1 celery stalk, sliced

salt and pepper to taste

fresh rosemary

2.5 dl/ 1 cup red wine, like Chianti or Chianti Classico

2 cans of chopped tomatoes

2 bay leaves

3-5 dry chilies

1 tsp sugar

fresh parsley, chopped

Instructions: 

Heat olive oil in a frying pan and fry the chicken thighs from both sides for about 10 minutes until they become golden. Add the pancetta cubes, chopped onion, minced garlic and the chopped carrot and celery. Season with salt and pepper, and rosemary. Continue sauteing for another 5-10 minutes. Pour the red wine over the chicken pieces and let it evaporate. Add the chopped tomatoes and stir well. Season with bay leaves, dry chilies and sugar, and let the mixture simmer on a low heat for at least 30-40 minutes until the chicken pieces are cooked through.  Keep stirring every now and then, and add water, if necessary. Serve the sauce hot with polenta or mashed potatoes and garnish with fresh parsley.

Pollo alla cacciatora

Spiedini

new thingnew thing

While we anxiously await the start of the spring and summer season, we can already enjoy some of the fresh produce of the upcoming period. These grill sticks – spiedini in Italian – are delicious and fast to prepare, and fresh vegetables, like zucchini, bell pepper, eggplant and mushrooms are excellent options for grilling. Chicken and pork are the best meats, but because of chicken’s somewhat dry nature, it is best to wrap it in pancetta first. Vegetarians can replace the meat with tofu for equally yummy results.

Ingredients: 

2 chicken fillet, cut into cubes

100 gr/ 3.5 oz pancetta

1 zucchini

200 gr/ 7 oz mushrooms

salt and pepper to taste

olive oil for frying

Instructions: 

Cut the chicken fillets into cubes and slice the zucchini and the mushrooms. Wrap a piece of pancetta around each chicken cube. Arrange the sliced vegetables and the wrapped chicken cubes on the grill sticks. Fry them on a low heat until the chicken is tender and the vegetables have softened and released their juices. Serve with Italian bread, like schiacciata.

Pollo con peperoni

Pollo con peperoni

Traditionally a full Italian meal is comprised of eight different and equally important parts. Naturally you can always have just one course, but if you are preparing a festive traditional meal, take the following into account: Aperitivo is an appetizer that opens the meal. Antipasto, a warm or cold starter, can be anything from cold cuts to vegetables, or a slice of warm bread like bruschetta. Primo is the first course and offers thousands of variation options. Use your imagination and delve into the rich Italian food culture to prepare a pasta, risotto, polenta, gnocchi, or a soup. Secondo or piatto principale is the heaviest dish, usually either fish, meat or chicken, and it is served with contorno, a side dish. Formaggi e frutta is a delight for all cheese and fruit lovers, which is succeeded by dolce – some cake or ice-cream. Cafe is drunk after the dessert, not with it, and traditionally all the milky variations are only consumed in the morning. Digestivo, like grappa or limoncello, concludes the meal and helps with the digestion process after a long meal. The following light and easy recipe falls into the category secondo.

Ingredients: 

2 boneless chicken breasts

olive oil

3-5 garlic cloves, minced

1 zucchini, sliced

1 red bell pepper, sliced

1 yellow pepper, sliced

1 green bell pepper, sliced

fresh rosemary

salt

2 tbsp balsamic vinegar

Instructions:

Heat olive oil in a pan and start frying the boneless chicken fillets. Fry the meat over a medium heat and add the minced garlic cloves once the chicken has colored a bit. Add the sliced zucchini and bell peppers and continue frying. The vegetables will release their juices, so you don’t need to add water or any stock. Season with salt and fresh rosemary and make sure the chicken is cooked through. Drizzle balsamic vinegar over the chicken and the vegetables, and you are ready to serve.

Pollo con peperoni

 

Pollo in salsa di pomodoro

Pollo in salsa di pomodoroChicken can be characterized as very tender meat that cooks very quickly. Its flavor isn’t very strong, and therefore it needs all the help it can get from sauces, herbs and marinades. Free-range and organic birds are becoming increasingly popular, and despite the fact that they are far more expensive, they are worth the extra investment. Always check the skin of the chicken before buying – it should be pale with slight light-blue glints and have a velvety consistency. Italians have several ways to cook the chicken: they grill it, roast it, poach it, stew it, bake it in the oven, or prepare in on the spit. But it is never served with pasta. In this recipe the tomato sauce plays second fiddle and enhances the delicate texture of the chicken.

Ingredients:

3 boneless chicken breasts

salt and black pepper to taste

1 onion

3-5 garlic cloves, minced

olive oil for frying

500 gr/1 lb passata di pomodoro

1.5 dl/2/3 cup dry white wine

3-5 bay leaves

1 tsp thyme

1 tsp sugar (optional)

pine nuts

fresh flat leaf parsley, finely chopped

Instructions:

Season both sides of the boneless chicken breasts with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Fry the fillets in a pan over a medium heat. Be careful with the temperature, because chicken can’t take high heat. After about 5-10 minutes, remove the chicken from the pan and set aside.

Pomodoro in salsa di pomodoroSaute the onion and garlic in the pan until the onion softens and becomes golden. Add the passata di pomodoro, the dry white wine, the bay leaves and the thyme. Decrease the heat and let the mixture simmer for about 15-20 minutes. At the end, bring the chicken pieces back to the pan and cover them with the sauce. This way you can make sure that the fillets get cooked through. Garnish each plate with pine nuts and fresh flat leaf parsley. Serve with a freshly baked baguette and a green salad.

Zuppa di pollo delicata

Zuppa di pollo delicata

Are you trying to cure a cold? Or are you in for something affordable but delicious? In any case, chicken noodle soup is always the answer. Chicken soups are known all over the world, in Mexico there is Caldo do pollo, in Korea it is called Baeksuk, and the Danes have come up with hønsekødsuppe. This particular soup has an Italian feel to it – it is the presence of the chickpeas and the spinach that make you think of the beautiful Tuscan landscape.

Ingredients:

olive oil

100 gr pancetta or bacon, in cubes

1 onion, in slices

3-5 garlic cloves, minced

400 gr chicken filet, in cubes

400 gr chickpeas

1.5 l chicken stock

3-4 bay leaves

fresh rosemary

150 gr frozen spinach

100 gr spaghetti, broken into pieces

Instructions:

Fry the pancetta or bacon in olive oil. Add the onion and garlic and continue sauteing until the pancetta or bacon is somewhat crispy and the onion and garlic have softened. Cut the chicken fillets into cubes and add them to the mix. Continue frying until the chicken pieces are Zuppa di pollo delicatathoroughly cooked.

Add the chicken stock, chickpeas and the herbs and let the soup simmer on a low heat for 15-20 minutes. Add the frozen spinach and the spaghetti pieces and continue cooking for about 5 minutes until the spaghetti is al dente. Serve with slices of rustic bread.