Tuesday, 14 May 2013

Chicken meatballs in plum sauce

Late this afternoon I started to think about what  I could take from the freezer for dinner.  I found a single chicken breast, a quick look through my cookbook and I came across chicken meatballs in plum sauce, I love asian style food and I haven't made these in awhile.  A quick check of the pantry and I found I didn't have chinese five spice, no worries I can make my own blend in the spice grinder. With that I proceeded to mince the chicken breast in the food processor, I actually prefer chicken thigh fillets for this, it gives a chicken ball that has more moisture than a breast fillet.  I'm working with what I have though, I was also going to have to adjust this recipe down from feeding four to just one.  I love the flavours in this recipe and with the sticky sauce and a little rice and vegetables I have a tasty meal.  I was able to get eleven chicken meatballs from the one chicken breast fillet.  Some for lunch as well.

How to make your own chinese five spice:
1tsp ground cinnamon
1tsp ground cloves
1tsp ground fennel seeds, toasted and ground
1tsp ground star anise
1tsp ground szechuan peppercorns
Store the blended spice mix in a sealed container .

Sauce:          1/2 cup water
                    1/4 cup soya sauce
                     3 tbls chinese plum sauce ( or homemade plum sauce if you have it)
                     1 tbls honey
                     1tsp grated fresh ginger
                     1 tbls  sweet chilli sauce (optional)

Meatballs:     250gm chicken thigh fillets or breast fillets  (you can use minced chicken)
                     1/4 cup spring onions green stems as well
                     1 egg lightly beaten
                     1tbls soya sauce
                     1 tsp chinese five spice
                     1tsp fresh garlic, crushed
                     1tsp fresh ginger, grated
                     1 tbls breadcrumbs
                     1 tbls vegetable oil

Place the sauce ingredients in a small pan and bring to the boil, turn down the heat and simmer till it thickens
Cut the chicken pieces into chunks and put into the food processor with the other ingredients and blitz till combined.  With damp hands roll into balls the size of golf balls, shallow fry turning to brown all over, pour the sauce over the chicken balls and cook a further 5 mins rolling the chicken balls in the sauce until they are well coated in the sauce. Serve with rice and steamed vegetables.