Chicken Meatballs Piccata

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I often have frozen chicken breasts in my freezer, as well as chopped parsley. Pretty much everything in this recipe are common staples in my kitchen, and many folks have in their kitchen. I often get bored of grilling chicken breasts or making them tenders, so I will grind the meat in my food processor and use it for ground meat recipes. You can freeze meatballs to use at a later time, and this is a super fast weeknight dinner.

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Chicken Meatballs Piccata

Makes 4-6 servings
MEATBALLS
1 pound ground chicken breast
1/4 – 1/2 cup plain breadcrumbs, as needed
1 egg, beaten
Handful chopped parsley
I small onion, finely diced or grated
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Salt and Pepper, to taste

Mix ingredients until fully incorporated, starting with 1/4 cup breadcrumbs. If mixture feels too wet, add a bit more. Shape into 1.5 – 2 inch balls. Arrange on a baking sheet lined with foil or parchment paper. Broil on high about 10 minutes, turning halfway through cooking for even browning. Set aside. Note – these can be done ahead of time and frozen or chilled.

PICCATA SAUCE
4 tablespoons butter
4 tablespoons all purpose flour
2 lemons, juiced, plus zest from one
1.5 cups chicken broth, warmed
Salt and Pepper, to taste
2 tablespoons capers, or more, as desired

SPAGHETTI
1 pound – cook to package directions.

GREENS
Greens – spinach, arugula, kale, etc – as little or as much as you want. You may also substitute additional vegetables for a more complete meal.

Mix lemon juice, zest, and broth. Heat until warm or hot, set aside. On medium heat, butter in saucepan and whisk in flour about one tablespoon at a time, until fully incorporated. Cook about 3-4 minutes, do not brown. Slowly whisk in broth mixture, a little at a time, sauce will thicken immediately. Cook 2-3 minutes, season with salt and pepper. Add capers and meatballs. Remove from heat.

For greens, heat a small amount of sauce and sauté until soft. To serve, arrange a serving of spaghetti in a bowl, top with sauce, some greens and then a few meatballs. Enjoy!

Oil-Free Chicken Tetrazzini

what's cooking

For some reason I have several varieties of mustard in my home and in significant quantity. I decided I wanted to make a mustard flavored sauce, and then I remembered how my mom used to make turkey tetrazzini on occasion. Her recipe was light and used grain mustard. I researched a few recipes, but did not quite find what I was looking for, especially as most of the recipes had a lot of cream and were baked in a casserole. So I decided to experiment and was quite happy with the results.

As I started cooking I took things a step further and did not use any oil in the recipe. When necessary, I substituted water or broth.

The dish is made in three parts, utilizing a large saute pan in all three steps – chicken, then spinach, then sauce. Serve over egg noodles or your favorite pasta.

OIL-FREE CHICKEN TETRAZZINI

CHICKEN:
1 pound chicken breast, pounded thin and cut into two-bite pieces
salt and pepper

SPINACH:
2 or 3 10-ounce packages baby spinach
1/2 small onion, finely chopped

SAUCE:
2 cups chicken broth
1/3 cup grain mustard
2 tablespoons flour, mixed well with water
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 cup Greek yogurt
3/4 cup finely shredded Jarlsberg or Swiss cheese

  1. Heat a large nonstick pan (only use nonstick) and add chicken ( you may need to two this in 2-3 batches). Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook on each side about 2-3 minutes. If chicken sticks to pan, add about a tablespoon of water. When cooked through, remove from pan (do not overcook, if chicken is slightly pink in the middle it is ok) and set aside.
  2. Using same pan, add onions. There should be a little chicken fat in the pan. Saute, add a little water, and cover for two minutes until onions soften. Add spinach and cover again for about 30 seconds to wilt spinach. Cook the spinach about one more minute, and remove from pan. Set aside with chicken.
  3. Deglaze pan with chicken broth. Add mustard and bring mixture to a boil.
  4. Add flour mixture and reduce heat to low. Simmer the sauce for about five minutes, stirring frequently to ensure no lumps – sauce will thicken and become slightly opaque.
  5. Add nutmeg and yogurt. Once yogurt is mixed in thoroughly, add cheese. Cook sauce about two more minutes – taste and adjust seasonings if necessary.
  6. Add chicken and spinach back to the pan and mix thoroughly with sauce. Cook all ingredients together about two more minutes (this will ensure chicken is cooked through without overcooking it). Remove from heat, and serve immediately, or reserve for later.

Sauce can be cooled and reheated.

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