A little note added after publication: today is the first Monday of the month, so let me tell you which was my favorite post of January: Happy New Year in My Kitchen! If you’ve missed it, here is the link. But come right back, ok? To see what many of my virtual friends pick as their best post, visit Sid’s blog.
Sometimes a dinner makes me so happy I cannot stop smiling. This was one. Not only because it was delicious, but because I made it all in advance and we arrived home to a dinner ready and waiting, without that “crock pot taste” that so often is present when recipes take the “dump it and forget it” approach. Basically, not every type of meat shines during long cooking. These meatballs do. And they even hide a little surprise inside…
SLOW-COOKED CHICKEN MEATBALLS
(from the Bewitching Kitchen, adapted from many sources)
1 pound ground chicken
1/2 pound mild Italian sausage (casings removed)
1 Tablespoon coconut oil (or olive oil)
1 bunch kale, stems removed, coarsely chopped
1 small shallot, finely minced
1 egg + 1 egg yolk, lightly beaten
1/4 cup almond meal
salt and pepper to taste
1 large can (28 oz) crushed tomatoes
1/2 stick unsalted butter
1/3 cup water (or chicken broth)
1 tsp Herbes de Provence
small mozzarella balls, one per meatball
Start by sauteing shallots in coconut oil in a large skillet until translucent and fragrant. Season lightly with salt and pepper, then add the kale. Cook until wilted, transfer to a bowl and allow it to completely cool. If you like to cool it faster, add it to a baking sheet on a single layer.
In a large bowl, add the two types of meat, the sautéed kale, egg and egg yolk. Season with a little salt (the sausage is already seasoned), then add the almond flour. Mix gently and form into large balls, incorporating a small mozzarella ball in the center. You should have enough for 8 to 9 chicken meatballs. Refrigerate them for one hour or more to firm them up. You can make this the day before.
Pour the crushed tomatoes in the bowl of a crock pot, add the water (or stock) and the butter cut into large pieces. Season with some salt and pepper, add the Herbes the Provence. Place the meatballs gently inside. Cook on low for 5 hours. If you have a chance, flip the meatballs after a couple of hours.
Serve right away or save in the fridge for next day, when flavors will be even better.
to print the recipe, click here
Comments: I prepared the chicken meatballs on Sunday, stored them in the fridge, started them cooking next day during our lunch break. My slow-cooker keeps the food warm for a couple of hours, so we don’t have to worry about rushing home in that type of situation. Mondays are usually tough. You’d think that we would be all relaxed after the weekend, but truth is there is so much to do around the house that by the time Monday comes we are seriously hoping it would be Friday instead… For that reason I try to plan a very easy dinner for the first evening of a working week.
Now, of course, not everyone is as spoiled as we are, having the chance to go home for lunch. Keep in mind you can always do the slow-cooking part in the evening, then enjoy them for dinner the day after, they only get tastier. I was thrilled that Phil decided to stick with his smoothie and cereal bar for lunch later that week. I did not have to share the leftovers… Yes, he is a keeper. But I suppose I’ve mentioned that a few times.
ONE YEAR AGO: Zesty Flourless Chocolate Cake
TWO YEARS AGO: Maple Pumpkin Pecan Snacking Cake
THREE YEARS AGO: Silky Gingered Zucchini Soup
FOUR YEARS AGO: Sweet Fifteen!
FIVE YEARS AGO: Sesame and Flaxseed Sourdough
SIX YEARS AGO: Green Beans with Miso and Almonds
SEVEN YEARS AGO: Saturday Morning Scones
EIGHT YEARS AGO: White Bread