Monthly Archives: October 2014

ROSEMARY CHICKEN TENDERS WITH SEASONED BREADING, STOVE TOP COOKING

165994_3211681293308_1441686714_n (1)CHICKEN TENDERS….they are not just for the kiddies and they do not have to be an over processed mess of unpronounceable ingredients, fats, and sugar and salt.  Yes, here’s an adult Chicken Tender recipe that will satisfy adults and self proclaimed “we only eat Chicken Fingers” kids.  Breaded Tenders are part of the American fast food scene, a big part but let’s not demonize the tenders.  Let’s be honest, you like them, maybe you LOVE them.  Me?  What do you think?  Good, you know me and yes, I LOVE THEM!  While I echew the QUICK AND EASY as the first thought in  approaching a recipe (simply because it takes away many key components to a dish or uses processed ingredients or takes away the best part of cooking (for me) which is the whole process of cooking itself.  Turning raw ingredients into a table of finished dishes for self, family and friends, that’s why I cook), this is a fairly easy recipe.  A little definition lesson here, a chicken tender is the inner part of the breast which is nestled along the breastbone.  It pulls away from the rest of the breast very easily.  It really is the most tender part of the chicken and requires the shortest amount of cooking.  It’s like buttah!  Not convinced that a chicken tender recipe will meet your adult needs?  Keep reading.  By the way chicken fingers are the rest of the breast cut into strips.  Tender, but not as tender as a…..TENDER.  Here’s the downside to most breaded chicken tenders from a technical point of view, there’s the flouring, the egg, the breading, the frying.  These tenders I’m presenting to you do not contain those steps.  See?  My idea of quick and easy.  The seasoned breadcrumb mix is simply pressed into the raw tenders and sauteed, not deep fried .  The breading doesn’t stay on in a uniform way like the traditional breading process does, think free form, think lots of flavor and a little time saved.  I don’t use one process over another, my cooking is impulsive.  My mood or available time will always dictate what and how I’m cooking so this is not a substitute for frying, it’s a whole ‘nother recipe for you.   Fresh Rosemary has such flavor,  let me pontificate on that for a moment…do not use dried.  The flavor is different and the texture certainly is different.  Most supermarkets carry fresh rosemary year round so I’m not sending you on a “hard-to-find” ingredient journey.  The difference between dried rosemary and fresh is so vast, i will not bore you with dull details, but it’s all about bright fresh flavor which the dried rosemary cannot deliver.  So having said all of this I hope you’re as excited to learn and cook this as I am to share my recipe with you!

 

FOR: 4 PEOPLE                                    TIME: 1/2 HOUR

12 CHICKEN TENDERS, LIGHTLY POUNDED (LIGHTLY, NOT THE SAME WAY YOU POUND A CUTLET), MAKE SURE TO TRIM OFF THAT LITTLE WHITE “TAG” THAT IS AT ONE END

1/4 CUP OLIVE OIL

1 CUP SEASONED BREAD CRUMBS (OR CREATE YOUR OWN)

1 1/2  TSP. FINELY MINCED FRESH ROSEMARY

2 TBS. GRATED PARMIGIANO-REGGIANO

KOSHER SALT, GROUND BLACK PEPPER

3 TBS MAYONNAISE

1 TBS DIJON MUSTARD

 

Whisk the mayo and mustard together in a wide bowl.  Set aside.  Mix the breadcrumbs with the Parmigiano and Rosemary, if using plain or your own breadcrumbs, season with salt and pepper. Do not season “Seasoned breadcrumbs”…obviously, you’ll over season/salt the crumbs.

Lightly coat the tenders with the mayo/mustard mix then press the breadcrumbs into the tenders on both sides.  Remove to a rack until you are done with the breading. You just want to moisten them with the mayo/mustard so they allow the crumbs to adhere to the tenders.

Heat 1 1/2 tbs of olive oil in a non-stick pan and when the oil is hot cook the chicken for on the first side for at least 5 minutes on medium heat, make sure you hear the sizzle or it’s too cool and the oil will soak into the breading and then burn. When there is a nice golden crust on the bottom you can flip them over and let them cook for 4 minutes or until golden.  Remove to a platter until all are done.  Serve with  sprigs of fresh rosemary.  Something magical happens here.  The fresh rosemary over the hot tenders adds more aroma to the dish and you will be tasting that while eating..  Dipping sauce?  This blogger says no, there are not fast food chicken fingers, these are succulent chicken tenders.    They look beautiful on a plate and as very flavorful.  Serve over a brown rice or rice pilaf and a vegetable.

I realize we all don’t want/care to spend time in the kitchen, but maybe think deeper about the “quick and easy” prefacing of cooking.  There can be a happy medium without compromising the food and the dish.  Happy Cooking!

 

 

CHICKEN FRANCESE…SOME “HISTORY” AND MY VERSION

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA  Chicken Francese, or Francaise, that most wonderfully delicious pounded chicken cutlet that too often is overcooked, made too thick and way over sauced.  OK, maybe some of that is my personal preference.  I’ll concede that on the sauce part..I love sauce but I don’t want sauce to be the most voluminous part of my plate.  Back to the chicken, a hotly debated topic among people who feel like arguing about such trivia, but here’s my history of the Francese.  The dish as we know it from countless restaurants and catering halls is purely Italian-American.  What does one mean by that?  It means the dish was the evolution or sometimes a close facsimile to a dish which the immigrant cooks brought with them during the Great Immigration, 1895-1930 or so.  For those Francese fans who are scratching their heads though when visiting Italy, the term FRANCESE or FRANCAISE will not be found on a menu referring to this dish.  Instead look for anything that says INDORATO which means “Encased in Gold”…the golden batter or breading that encircles the food.  Chicken today might be found in southern Italy, around the Amalfi coast to be exact where this cooking style originated..veal or eggplant cooked indorato style with a light lemon and wine sauce over it.  Simple.  Not at all different from today’s Francese.  The chicken is generally a new world idea (cutlet, pounded style).Italians, especially in the south of Italy needed those chickens to produce the valuable eggs.  They were not going to use those chickens for daily eating, instead when the birds got too old they turned them into those long simmered Cacciatore style dishes.  Braising the old tired birds till they were as tender as a spring chicken!  Most cutlet style dishes served, also known as Scaloppine style because of the sliced cut of the meat, if they contain chicken are New World notions where EVERYTHING was plenty.  I’m sure you’ve seen a varied of vegetables,fish, seafood, meats and poultry turned into Francese style.   The Francese (French style) part MIGHT harken back to when the immigrants first came to the US, the new country being awash in “if it’s written in French, it’s fancy”…remember, America was only 100 years young at that time and trying to gain traction in the world and be looked at the way you’d look at a country with a 2000 year old monarchy..well, calling something French gave it…CLASS.  Maybe it was a clever way to get people to think they were eating a classy dish, not Italian, but French…you see?  However, it ain’t French, it’s Italian, and tweaked and turned into the Italian-American dish we love today.

On a recent trip to Central Europe I did notice on a menu in Poland a chicken French style…it was the same dish..the egg and flour dipped piece of boneless chicken in a wine sauce.  So..further confusion…maybye not so Italian-American after all?  More delicious food for thought!!

Let’s cook!

Serves: 2-4      TIME: About 40 minutes

4 CHICKEN CUTLETS TRIMMED AND POUNDED TO NO MORE THAN 1/4 INCH

SIFTED UNBLEACHED ALL PURPOSE FLOUR  SEASONED LIGHTLY WITH KOSHER SALT, BLACK PEPPER

4 LARGE BEATEN EGGS

1/8 cup CHOPPED FRESH ITALIAN FLATLEAF PARSLEY

fresh GROUND BLACK PEPPER

1/8 CUP FRESHLY GRATED PECORINO ROMANO

OLIVE OIL

1/2 CUP CHICKEN STOCK *CLEAR*, preferably homemade, if not, use a good boxed 100% fat free and low sodium type

1/8 cup WHITE WINE

2 TBS UNSALTED BUTTER

JUICE OF ONE FRESH LEMON,

4 thin SLICES OF LEMON

Start by pounding the cutlets gently between 2 pieces of plastic wrap.  When you have them at 1/4 inch, dredge them in the flour, shaking off the excess.  To the beated bowl of eggs add 1/2 the parsley, a nice pinch of the black pepper, the grated Pecorino, and whisk together well.  In a wide skillet (frying pan), the heavier the better, gently heat 2 tbs. of olive oil.  When a drop of the egg mixture bubbles and dances , the pan it ready.  Dip the cutlets in the egg mixture and let the excess run off then gently place into the frying pan.  Give at least 4 minutes per side, the coating should be a nice golden color.  Remove to a platter and keep covered until you’ve completed frying the chicken.  Deglaze the pan with the wine, then the stock and add a pinch of salt, then  bring to a boil.  Then reduce the heat and cook for 5 minutes then add the butter, whisk in, then add the chicken gently to the pan.  Let it cook for one minute on one side, then gently turn and let cook on the other side for 2 minutes.  Now add the lemon juice and remainder of the parsley and blend in.  Let the chicken sit in this mix now for about 2 minutes,  Serve.   Olive Oil garlic and Rosemary Potatoes work well with Chicken Francese as does any garlic and oil cooked green vegetable.  Top with a lemon slice!

See, not so difficult and lots of sunny Italian flavor.  Before you add the chicken though make sure you have checked the pan sauce before adding the chicken.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

 

 

 

POTATO, TOMATO, AND ARUGULA WALNUT SALAD..GREAT WITH GRILLED FOODS

Today is NATIONAL NUT DAY…celebrate by making this salad with #WALNUTS..they are not just for baking!!

A FOOD OBSESSION

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

SALADS are truly underrated in many kitchens.  So often you can really make an entire meal out of one and not with a tons of fats or carbs.  However I love carbs and one of my favorite ways to get my fix is through POTATOES.  Hello?? There are more way to make a potato besides french frying it or mashing it.  Not sure if there are many other ingredients with such great versatility in the kitchen.  Hit up a local green grocer, Farmers Market, Farm stand or your supermarket’s produce counter and you will find a host of ideas like a recent trip to the Farm market did for me.  I bought (locally grown, how fortunate is that?) POTATOES, ARUGULA, RED ONIONS, TOMATOES and for a side salad/dish for grilled chicken we were having that night I put together this salad which I crowned with a simple VINAIGRETTE and toasted…

View original post 355 more words

PASTA WITH RICOTTA, PROSCIUTTO AND ARUGULA..SIMPLE PASTA FOR A QUICK MEAL

001  One can never have too many PASTA recipes and ideas, it is just too easy to create a tremendous meal with a pot of water and some good pasta, fresh or dried.  Comforting and filling, PAPPARDELLE, a medium width long sheet of pasta from Tuscany is what today’s post is all about.  You may see this most commonly served with a long simmered Ragu’ of Wild Boar (Cinghiale) or Duck (Anatra) or Bolognese style sauces but let’s not limit ourselves.  Have a 1/2 hour to get dinner ready?  This may be of interest to you.  I know it will be.  I’m pairing it with wilted Arugula, Prosciutto and tossing it with a good ricotta and Parmigiano-Reggiano.  A hint of garlic and you are eating really well..where’s that crisp white wine or sparkling water???  Dinner is served!  A little about Pappardelle…I like to know all about whatever it is I’m eating.  Makes it taste better.  In Tuscan dialect the verb PAPPARE denotes eating with glee, having fun,  with the joy a child might have.  I’ll agree. Pappardelle make you happy and there’s an excitement at your plate.  Is that a little much?  I’m not thinking so, but maybe you are.  You’ll feel it when you eat this easy dish.

SERVES: 4                                                 TAKES: 40 minutes

1 LB. EGG PAPPARDELLE, FRESH IS BEST, BUT THERE ARE EXCELLENT EGG PAPPARDELLE THAT ARE DRIED

1 1/2 CUP RICOTTA

1/4 cup freshly grated PARMIGIANO-REGGIANO

1/2 TSP. BLACK PEPPER or PEPERONCINO

1 clove sliced GARLIC

2 CUPS CHOPPED BABY ARUGULA

1/4 LB. CHOPPED PROSCIUTTO

2 TBS. EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL

Pinch of SALT

Cook the Pappardelle according to the package instructions.  While you are waiting for the water to boil you can get the “sauce” completed.

In a wide pan heat 1 tbs. of Olive oil.  Add the prosciutto and cook for about 5 minutes to melt the fat on it and lightly caramelize it.0002  Add the garlic and let it get fragrant (LOVE THAT TERM WITH FOOD, I’M STARVING AGAIN WHEN I HEAR THAT!!), this should only take about 1 to 2 minutes..do not let it burn.  Add the arugula and cook for no more than 2 minutes and pepper.           10965_1151469789308_1304531591_30356921_1242298_n  Remove from heat.  Season with salt if needed. Drain your Pappardelle retaining 2 tbs. of the water.004   Add the al dente pappardelle to the pan of prosciutto and arugula. Gently mix well.  Fold in 1 1/2 cups of ricotta and 1/8 cup of the Parmigiano Reggiano  Let it sit for 5 minutes then add the additional ricotta and DRIZZLE  with the remaining oliveoil. serve.  More Parmigiano and pepper if you like.  I like.20 Angelo-Brocato-New-Orleans  done.  Just a note here you may be thinking one clove of garlic is not enough.  I appeal to your senses of at least trying a dish in a more Italian fashion.  Too much garlic, in my opinion in this dish reduces it to a pile of garlic noodles.  Some Italian dishes do in fact have a real punch from garlic, others simply do not and are flavored with it, like this one.  Try it.

BACON, APPLE, AND CHEDDAR STUFFING..FALL COOKING SEASON HAS BEGUN

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThere are some pairings and combos that are truly meant for each other.  Let’s start with BACON. I don’t agree it goes with everything.  There, I’ve said it and I’m not taking it back.  i LOVE Bacon..especially American bacon with it’s pork belly fat and smokey goodness.   It really needs to either shine in a dish or on it’s own, or be part of a bigger picture..lofty ambitions for sure especially when I ‘m talking about bread stuffing.  Here’s the thing, and I love simple as well as the fussed..but some American stuffings are terribly bland.  Bump up one ingredient on that list you’ve got something but mushy bread is not a great idea on it’s own.  Here’s my other lecture with regards to this post, this is not my only stuffing, in fact, i hardly ever make a stuffing the same way twice.  So there you go! Basically for Thanksgiving I will make the same stuffing which is a mixture of my own ideas with my Mom’s t-day stuffing.  I use what’s hanging around the kitchen and last night i made some Roasted Chicken halves that were brined in Apple Cider (my favorite Fall ingredient) and roasted along with some Chicken stock.  The stuffing I do in a separate dish, i just like that better, certainly you can always stuff the bird.  No right or wrong. I hate when people feel they need to be slaves to ONE recipe for a type of food..like stuffing.  It’s waiting for you to personalize it!!! Well my little “Chopped” experience, which is basically how I cook started with some stale bread, just natural whole grain white bread sitting on the counter.  Opening the fridge revealed some natural (unsweetened ) apple sauce, and an open bag of shredded sharp cheddar, next to the bacon.  In that moment the recipe developed.  Knowing basics about what really goes well with other ingredients is the building block for me, for any recipe.  Bacon, Apple, and Cheddar all compliment each other.  Can you say TASTES LIKE FALL and not have a combo like that as part of what you are thinking?  I can’t.  Stuffing is the perfect way to deliver these tastes that combine into a buttery, comforting stuffing that will compliment your roast poultry or pork dishes.  Add this to your recipe files as another idea for your stuffings.

MAKES:   4 servings                           TIME: 1 hour

The servings are a “strange” idea because stuffing is usually a spoonful while you are loading your plate up with other sides and the main.  By 4 servings I mean enough for 4 people to have a nice sized portion so use your head here, the more food you are serving doesn’t mean you need more stuffing..however..it’s so good, you may want leftovers, just saying.

1/2 lb chopped BACON (SMOKED)

1 large ONION, small diced

1 cup fine diced CELERY

10 slices of good stale white BREAD  that you’ve torn into pieces or 14 oz. of a cornbread or mixed bread stuffing (the cubes).  Feel free to use a whole wheat if you like.

1/4 cup unsweetened APPLESAUCE

1 tsp. fresh chopped Thyme

1/2 tsp. BELL’S SEASONING (http://www.bellsseasonings.com/BellsSeasoning.html)or 1/4 tsp Poultry seasoning

1/4 stick UNSALTED BUTTER

1/4 cup CHICKEN STOCK(WARM)

1/8 CUP APPLE CIDER (filtered and unsweetened)

1/2 tsp freshly ground BLACK PEPPER

1/4 tsp. KOSHER SALT

1/2 tsp. YELLOW MUSTARD

1/4 cup Shreddded SHARP CHEDDAR

1 tsp UNSALTED BUTTER CUT IN CUBES

In a large skillet/pan heat on medium and add the bacon and let it start to render it’s fat.  Once is starts to crisp up a bit, add 1/2 of the butter and let it melt.  Now add the celery and onions and let this cook on low until the vegetables are soft.  Add the cider and stock and bring to a boil.  Add the thyme.  Let this cook for 3-4 minutes and then add the bread and mix well until it’s a pasty consitency, all hydrated.  Cook stirring for 2 minutes.  Remove from heat.  Into this add the salt, pepper, mustard, Bell’s Seasoning, Applesauce..Blend.  When all is nicely mixed in add the cheese folding it in gently.  Pour this into a baking pan, I use cake pans.  Smooth it down and place the cubes of unsalted butter over the top.  Bake in a preheated OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA 350 degree F oven for 25 minutes or until it looks like that picture.  Nice and golden.  Remove from the oven and serve with the meal.  If there are any drippings from the poultry, pour some of that over the top too.  Adds more flavor.

Stuffing (dressing in some parts) is an American Classic that for me has no peer.  I may have more ideas for you as the Fall progresses, let’s start with this one. Who doesn’t love BACON???  By the way, the mean was amazing…OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

I like it richly flavored, certainly, you can alternatively cook the bacon separately and discard most of that fat, just in case that’s your preference, then continue with the rest of the recipe.

SOUP: A GIFT FROM LIDIA, SEMOLINA AND ESCAROLE SOUP

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

It’s very rare that I blog someone else’s recipe since I’m so glad to share my own but every now and then one jumps at me and I have to blog about it.  Lidia Bastianich is probably out of all the “Celebrity” chefs, NYC restauranteurs, Italian cooking experts, cookbook writers..the one who I love to listen to the most.  So many of the Italian food types put up a great big wall between “real” Italian (meaning in Italy) and the Italian food that Americans serve, particularly Italian-American food.  It’s often dismissed as overdone, not good, just awful and not bearing any resemblance to the foods of Italy.  Well, truth be told America has definitely turned some Italian or Italian based dishes into Circus Carnivals of food that really break every rule of Italian cooking and even Italian-American cooking.  That’s one type of Italian American food problem.  I’m sure the people of Mexico cry when they see a 200 layer dip of cheese, jarred salsa and lettuce.  There is a very wonderful Italian-American food culture, I pride myself on being quite knowledgeable in it and love to share that with you.  Lidia is one of , if not the only Italian born food experts that really knows the connection and bridges that river that separates Italian and Italian American cuisines.  Never once have I heard her call an old fashioned Italian-American restaurant a RED SAUCE JOINT.  Nothing gets me angrier than that insulting phrase.  She has taken the time to learn what makes America’s Italian communities tick, and how being thousands of miles from homelands in Italy the immigrants adapted the foods of their new home to stand in for the foods of their motherland.  Chicken and Veal Parmigiana, serving Spaghetti along with the meatballs, Garlic Bread…a few of the examples of purely Italian American dishes, not to be found in Italy, but certainly strong roots to dishes and techniques throughout the Italian country.  Dishes like a Creamy Tomato and 5 cheese sauce topped with Roasted Peppers, Olives, Onions, and Grilled Sausage and Shrimp are the problem dishes…these are just American overkill, usually created in big corporate think tanks..taking ingredients used in Italian food and creating these mashups that cause Italians in Italy to shake their heads.  Lidia, being the lady she is does not mention them, instead, she always chooses to present to the world and her audience everything there is to know about Italian food in Italy, Italian food in America, and Italian food around the world and how it all got to where it is and why there were some creations and changes along the way.389297_2149464138543_118335309_n  There I am with Lidia at the 2011 NYC Fancy Food Show at the Javits Center.  I’ve had the pleasure of meeting her 3 times and she was always engaging, interested and wonderful.  So…the other night I was watching her on one of our local PBS stations and from her new cookbook, Lidia’s Commonsense Italian Cooking (http://shopping.lidiasitaly.com/lidiascommonsenseitaliancooking.aspx)  she was cooking SEMOLINA AND ESCAROLE SOUP.  I was mesmerized!  Semolina, I love it in anything it’s made with.  It creates Italian pasta, makes dumplings, puddings, hot cereal, breads, desserts, cookies, cakes, it’s really a versatile item.  I had to make this.  I don’t have the book yet!  So online I went and luckily there’s a link to the soup recipe.  Now I can’t copy it (copyright rules prevent that) but if there’s a live link I can drop it in here so..here’s the recipe:

http://parade.condenast.com/170248/parade/sneak-peak-lidia-bastianichs-semolina-and-escarole-soup/

OK.  I followed the recipe tonight..and here are my thoughts.  Start with a homemade stock and make it as richly flavored (meaning don’t skimp on the amount of chicken parts you are using) as you can.  I also season my stock with a little saffron for extra color.  It was straightforward and came together with no stress.  10590523_355851134583193_816628793859554853_n  There’s my stock in the back with a head of well rinsed escarole in front.  The semolina I was able to get at one of my Local supermarkets, Bob’s Red Mill makes a 1 1/2 lb bag of Semolina.  Good stuff.  My youngest looked at the finished soup and said..”Really?  what is it??”..I said Cream of Escarole.  She bought it.  Loved it.  The whole family loved it.  We will have it again!

Thanks Lidia!! Grazie Mille!!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

CHICKEN PROVOLONE MEATBALLS AS A MAIN COURSE OR APP

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

These are not to be confused with a meatball you drop into tomato sauce, please.  I’ll never forget that dark day when my mother upon the advice of her nutritionist switched from beef and pork meatballs for her Sunday sauce to turkey or chicken.  Now in theory the nutritionist was giving some good healthy advice..less red meat, less fatty meat, more lean poultry.  I get it.  The piece that my dear late mom was never told by the good doctor was that unless it’s 100% white meat and/or natural or organic free range etc, that ground poultry was close to or at least as high in many of the things she was trying to avoid.  Are you shocked?  Will you run now to Foodbabe (not a fan, just saying) to see if this is correct?  I’ll help you out..this is why..when something is termed ground chicken or turkey it means ANY part of the bird is used..like the dark meat..yes, succulent and flavorful, but fatty.  It means skin, yes, delicious and wonderful on a roasted or fried bird, but when you are buying that ground poultry is mixed up into the meat and basically is fatty filler.  Look closely at that label.  BROTH and additives along with water are added and hello..that means salt.  Salt is not the enemy, i’m not advocating that, but if you are trying to stay “lean” or be more healthy, ground turkey for example is loaded with extra “flavorings”.  A grind of beef is generally just ground beef.  Pound for pound you are buying a processed product…so does this mean I’m anti-ground poultry?  Absolutely not.  Great product when you are buying it in it’s simply ground form.  Unfortunately as with most of our American accessible food supply, it’s not that easy to find and generally ridiculously priced.  Not a fair way to play, but, it is what it is.  So when does A FOOD OBSESSION use ground poultry?  Lots of ways, for apps, for stuffings, for breakfast sausages, for meatloaves, and for meatballs..but not with tomato sauce unless it’s a Mexican style sauce.  The most popular ITALIAN way of eating meatballs is as a main course and only certain regions pair them with a sauce and pasta meal.  Let this blog post be a detour from the usual, i love taking detours, there’s a world of different out there to explore!  This recipe is a common type of meatball dish which is served with greens, a salad, potatoes, usually roasted in olive oil, garlic, and rosemary or some herbed raw tomatoes, especially if they are in season.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA  For this meal I paired it with some beautifully colored and ripe local heirloom tomatoes simply dressed with extra virgin OLIVE OIL, fresh OREGANO,  ground BLACK PEPPER and SEA SALT.  Let’s go into the kitchen and get this Chicken Meatballs (POLPETTE DI POLLO) started and PLEASE, this is not the WAY TO MAKE CHICKEN MEATBALLS, it’s ONE of virtually an endless combinations to make an endless number of meatballs.

MAKES: 20 meatballs                            TIME:  40 minutes

1 lb GROUND 100% ORGANIC  OR NATURAL CHICKEN, WHITE MEAT OR A BLEND (BLEND IS BETTER ALL AROUND, TRUST ME)

1/4 CUP GRATED PROVOLONE CHEESE (FROM ITALY, NOT DOMESTIC AND SHARP)

1/8 CUP WHOLE MILK RICOTTA

1 FINELY MINCED CLOVE OF GARLIC

3 TABLESPOONS ITALIAN BREADCRUMBS, MOISTENED WITH A LITTLE WHITE WINE

2 FRESH EGGS, BEATEN WITH BLACK PEPPER, PINCH OF SALT, 3 TBS. FINELY MINCED PARSLEY

1 TSP. FRESH CHOPPED BASIL

OLIVE OIL

WHITE WINE

1 WHOLE CLOVE OF GARLIC

FLOUR FOR DREDGING

at least 10 WHOLE BASIL LEAVES

In a large bowl, blend the ricotta, provolone, breadcrumbs, eggs, and basil together.  Then add the ground poultry.  Do not over blend.  Form into 20 medium sized meatballs, about the size of a large walnut.    Roll the balls in sifted flour shake off excess.  Chill for 10 minutes.  In a skillet add 1  1/2 tbs. olive oil and heat on medium.  Smash that clove of garlic and add it too the pan. Remove when it just begins to turn golden.  Now in batches depending on the size of your pan gently fry the meatballs till browned on all sides, remember this is chicken…so this  should take about 10 minutes per batch.  If you find the meatballs are getting too brown your heat is too high.  Reduce.  They should look like this before you remove them:OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA  Toss a few basil leaves over them..then discard (why? it’s just flavor for now, we’ll return to the basil shortly). Keep the finished balls warm in on a covered plate there is one more step.  When you are done frying the balls, add a little more olive oil, then deglaze the pan with about 1/8 cup of White Wine, or Vermouth, or Marsala and bring to a boil, then simmer. Add the meatballs gently to the pan and let this simmer until the wine is pretty much evaporated.  Let those chicken balls (sounds dirty) soak up all that flavor.  Takes another 10 minutes.  Let them sit for 5 minutes before serving and drizzle extra virgin olive oil over them, coating them so they look “glazed”.  Serve with more basil leaves on top.  NICE!!!  Happy Cooking!!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA