Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Magazine Challenge: Chicken Meatballs in Tomato Sauce

I'm still at work with Jan/Feb.  Here's one of the recipes that I thought looked good and I just didn't get that far.
I follow Jesser on Pinterest because she and I seem to share similar tastes in food.  She pinned a recipe with chicken meatballs from Iowa Girl Eats that I pinned as well.  In the preamble, there was talk from Ree Drummond of Pioneer Woman of how meatballs are one of the trends in food for 2013.  I can see how this is true.
I love making things with meatballs.  They're versatile and can be made from any combination of ground meat.  I already make lots of things that include them like the Teriyaki Meatball Rice Bowls,  Volcano Sandwiches and Easy Spaghetti and Meatballs.  I also have plans for a couple more recipes that feature them this month.  So, perhaps we'll say meatballs are a trend in March on the mountain.
I present to you now from the Jan/Feb 2005 issue of Everyday Food Chicken Meatballs in Tomato Sauce:

1 lb boneless chicken, cut into chunks
1 slice bread, torn into pieces
1/4 c milk
1 large egg
1/4 c Parmesan cheese
3/4 tsp dried oregano
1 clove garlic, minced
Salt and Pepper to taste
1 Tbsp olive oil
1-28 oz can whole tomatoes in tomato puree

1.  Place cheese, bread, oregano, garlic, salt and pepper in a food processor and pulse until fine crumbs are formed.  Pour into a bowl and add egg and milk, mixing well to moisten and combine.
2.  Place chicken in food processor and pulse until finely ground.  Add to bread/egg mixture and combine with hands until well incorporated.
3.  Shape mixture into 12 meatballs and place on a large plate.  Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour to help the meat hold its shape.
4.  In a large nonstick skillet, heat oil over medium heat.  Add meatballs, and cook until golden.  (I did mine in 2 batches to leave space for my spoon to be more gentle)
5.  Add tomatoes and puree, breaking the tomatoes up with the spoon.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to a simmer, and cook, covered, 15 minutes.  Uncover and simmer until meat is cooked through, about 15 minutes more.
(Serves 4)
 Adapted from Everyday Food Jan/Feb 2005
I don't own a food processor.  I have a mini one as an attachment to my stick blender.  My blender is my Magic Bullet.  It's all about the improvisation.  I was planning to break out the Spong and grind my chicken, but when I realized that I was going to have to get the chopper out to make breadcrumbs, I decided to chop the chicken the same way I did for the salmon burgers.
While the recipe didn't say to refrigerate the meatballs, I did.  They were pretty soft and gooey when I had made them (I may have been short on chicken...I used 1 huge breast and said good enough).  An hour in the fridge did them good so we didn't have chicken patties in tomato sauce.  They would have tasted as good though.
I kind of ended up with chicken triangular prisms.  Not really round.  I cooked them in 2 batches before adding the tomatoes.
I know what you're thinking.  A can of tomatoes?  That's it?  It really is.  The tomatoes cook down and thicken, and the chicken and spices give them flavour.  I also made the sauce the day before I used it, so the meat flavoured the sauce and vice versa in my fridge. 
J loved these.  I found them a little dry.  My guess is that I used a chicken breast instead of thighs as originally written.  The flavour was fantastic, and we got 2 meals out of it.  That's a win in my book.

1 comment:

  1. I made the Iowa Girl version last night (well actually, we made the meatballs on Sunday and just heated everything up last night). Hers had some zucchini in the meatballs which was good and seemed to add some good texture and maybe moisture? Dunno. We had them on hotdog buns with the sauce and cheese and they were very good. Everyone is having them again for lunch today! I like the idea of grinding your own chicken - I will have to try that sometime. We just mixed leaner chicken with fattier chicken for flavor, but that's easier when you're making a double-batch for 4 ppl.