Chicken meatballs with zucchini and chickpeas

This is a totally accidental dish influenced by Ottolenghi's recipe for Chicken with miso and ginger (Ottolenghi's Simple, Ten Speed Press).  

I was looking to throw dinner together quickly and was thinking that something Persian-ish with ground chicken and chickpeas would hit the spot; however, I also had Simple on the counter and started leafing through it. The ground chicken was already defrosted and the can of chickpeas on the counter. A few zucchini were either going to be used or thrown away and it has been too cold to walk over to the compost pile. Such is the beginning of a really good, quick chicken meatball dish, which with the addition of steamed brown rice, is a delicious winter mid-week meal. This is the kind of dish you can play with and embellish as you see fit.  The recipe serves 3-4. 

The recipe calls for ginger. You can use fresh ginger, or ginger that has been peeled and preserved in sherry. 

  • start the brown rice
  • mince the flavorings (ginger, garlic, whites of scallion, parsley)
  • measure out miso (I keep miso frozen in the plastic packaging), liquid ingredients 
  • roughly cut up zucchini , open and drain the chickpeas 
  • mix the ground chicken with breadcrumbs (gluten or gluten free) and flavoring. Meatballs will be dropped directly into the sauce as they are formed 
  • Cook for 15 minutes, finish the rice and serve hot 
  • mixing bowls, measuring spoons/cups , mixing spoons 
  • large heavy frying pan or well seasoned cast iron frying pan 
  • whatever pot you like to make rice in 
  • For the meatballs:
    • 1 lb ground chicken, mixed with 
    • 1/4 c bread crumbs, 1 tsp roasted sesame oil, S&P to taste, 1/2 tsp (or more) granulated garlic  
  • For the sauce: 
    • 2-3 Tbsp neutral oil 
    • One 2inch piece of ginger, finely minced
    • two cloves of garlic, finely minced
    • 3-4 scallions, mince the white parts, roughly chop the greens
    • Several tablespoons of minced parsley
    • a pinch of hot pepper flakes (to taste)
    • zest of 2 small lemons
    • juice from the two small lemons 
    • heaping 1/3 cup red or white miso (you can find several brands that are marked kosher)
    • 1/4 cup white wine or mirin 
    • 3-4 Tbsp dark maple syrup
    • 3-4 Tbsp soy or terriaki sauce 
    • 2 zucchini, cut into chunks 
    • 15 oz can chickpeas (garbanzo beans) 
  • Make rice according to your favorite method (using 1 cup of  your choice of brown rice)
  • Mix the chicken with oil and spices. Cook a small sample amount to check the spices. Shape 1 inch balls, let rest on a plate or sheet of waxed paper  
  • Sauté the ginger, garlic, white parts of the scallion 
  • Add the miso and liquid  ingredients and swirl the mixture in the pan , lower the heat to a very low simmer, add water if the sauce thickens too much
  • Gently add the meatballs, cover and simmer 5 minutes
  • Add the zucchini, cover and simmer 5-10 minutes. Don't overcook the vegetable
  • Add parsley and chopped scallion greens and beans 
  • Heat through, serve plated with rice. Enjoy !
I don't have many main-dish recipes on this blog, but you may be interested in Mafrum, another combination of meat with hearty vegetables. The recipe I use is from good friends in Israel, but the method is from Ottolenghi.


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