I have had limited success with the whole detox situation. My body functions much better with a little caffeine and wine in it. But, I’ve been good food wise, and I have cooked a lot. Fish and broccoli or grilled chicken over salad gets pretty boring after a while, so this weekend I decided to experiment with chicken meatballs. (I even have a recipe for you!)
I did a freezer dive, which is kind of like a dumpster dive but a lot less smelly, and you are guaranteed to end up with something great at the end, and likely not have anything stuck to your shoes. I found a package of ground chicken and decided it was time for it to make its way to my table. Chicken meatballs were in my future.
The thing that holds meatballs together is usually a starch, like bread crumbs, but noooooo. No
bread crumbs for me. This meal was as healthy as you can get. I sautéed some onions, garlic and a jalapeno pepper, then mixed them into ground chicken, and added some seasoning and an egg. (Spoiler: Don’t add the egg if you aren’t using breadcrumbs. This is how my meatballs became chicken patties that didn’t hold their shape.)
It was all looking good, if a bit boring. What could spice it up? My go to choice would be Sriracha, but nope, it has chemicals, and the ever-dreaded sugar. BBQ sauce? Delicious, but the same problems as the spicy stuff. Mustard? Boring. Coconut cream sauce? Cha-ching. In a moment of inspiration, I whipped up a coconut-mustard spicy dipping sauce.
In the interest of full disclosure, I must tell you that I don’t even really like chicken, unless it is the wing, and it is crispy with a spicy sauce. I mostly tolerate it because I need something to eat besides cow and fish. Plus, “they” claim it is good for you, and it is easy to grill. So, what possessed me to buy ground chicken in the first place? I have no idea, but I am glad I did.
The meal was fantastic, and as I had a sneaking suspicion it would come out nicely, I paid attention so I could share with you.
Chicken meatballs (or patties, depending if yours fall apart, too). Serves 2 hungry people still wearing their tennis clothes (we got rained out, so we didn’t actually exercise, we were just still outfitted as if we had). I served it with a side salad, because, well, detox. But, feel free to add fries, potato chips or any other tasty side.
1 lb ground chicken
1 jalapeno pepper
1 medium onion
3 -4 garlic cloves
Salt and pepper
1 can full fat coconut milk (don’t try to get away with the “light” kind)
2-3 tablespoons mustard
fish sauce (if you don’t have any, just add a little extra salt)
Half a lemon
Cayenne pepper, salt and pepper
Dice the onion and sweat it in a pan with an oil of your choice (I used grape seed). While the onions are making your house smell awesome, dice the garlic and jalapeno, and add it to the mixture. Cook for a few minutes (5-ish) until they are soft. Remove from heat.
Meanwhile, grab a bowl and put in your ground chicken. Don’t add an egg. Learn from my mistake. (If you’d like to add 1/4 cup of bread crumbs because you can, now is a good time.) Add a little salt and pepper (two or three turns of the grinder), toss in the onion/garlic/pepper mixture and mix. Use your hands. I know it is an unpleasant texture, but you’ll get over it.
Now is a good time to put the pan back on the stove, and add enough oil just to coat the bottom of the pan. Use a nonstick pan, it helps.
Form the chicken into balls, and if they start to fall apart, just call them patties instead of meatballs. Drop them into the pan until they are brown (3 minutes, about), the flip them over and cook the other side.
While the chicken is cooking (or when it’s done, or before you start – it is your meal, you choose when to make the sauce) grab a can of coconut milk. RESIST THE URGE to shake it. No shaking of the coconut. This is because you want it to be separated. Open the can and skim the creamy, thick part off the top and into a bowl. When it starts to look watery, stop skimming. Add the mustard, lemon juice, fish sauce, salt, pepper and cayenne and whisk until combined. (It only takes about 15 seconds.) Serve with your awesome meatballs. Or patties.
Don’t forget to come back and tell me how they turned out!