Lemon & chicken Sicilian meatballs

January 30, 2019

Lemon & chicken Sicilian meatballs

Serves 6-8:

For the chicken meatballs: 

  • 600 g minced chicken breast 
  • 350-400 g of ricotta
  • 100 g of bread crumbs 
  • 80 g of grated parmesan or more to your liking
  • grated zest of 1 lemon
  • 2 small eggs
  • a couple of sprigs of fresh oregano (use a dry one if fresh is not available but be careful with the quantities), leaves picked and coarsely chopped
  • fresh marjoram and thyme, leaves from a few sprigs picked and chopped (best use fresh ones)
  • a few pinches of salt to taste
  • a few pinches of black pepper to taste

For the sauce and the garnish:

  • olive oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, crushed
  • a small glass of white wine
  • 250-300 ml of vegetable or chicken stock (warm)
  • 2 sprigs of rosemary
  • picked leaves of fresh thyme and oregano  (*don’t use dry herbs instead)
  • a bunch of fresh parsley (leave some aside for the garnish) coarsely chopped

In a large bowl mix together the chicken, ricotta, eggs, breadcrumbs, parmesan and the fresh herbs of your choice. Add more breadcrumbs if needed and season with salt and pepper.

Roll around 35 – 40  balls similar in size to a walnut. Place them on a tray or board covered with bread crumbs to stop them from sticking to the bottom.

In a large pot heat up about 6 tablespoons of olive oil, add the rosemary sprig with the garlic and fry it on a moderate heat in order not to burn it. The rosemary and the garlic are there just to give extra flavour to the olive oil. Once the garlic is golden brown, remove it and the rosemary from the pot. Now put in the meatballs and fry them gently in batches until golden (do not overcrowd the pot) on both sides. Once they are ready, take them out of the pot and repeat the same process with the remaining batches.

Add some more olive oil to the pot if needed and gently fry for two minutes 2garlic cloves, one sprig of rosemary and the fresh herbs of your choice. Next pour in the white wine and wait until it evaporates. Put the balls back into the pan, cover them with the stock and cook with a lid on on a low heat for about 15 – 20 minutes stirring occasionally.

Decorate with fresh parsley leaves moments before serving.