Spanish -style cocktail meatballs in tomato -saffron sauce

This was a true find in cooks illustrated. Instead of the red meat traditionally used in these tapas, little appetizers , there are tapas bars found all over Spain , this recipe uses ground chicken . I use ground dark meat chicken , the end result is more juicy and flavorful than with all white meat.

serves 6 to 8 as an appetizer


2 slices high quality white sandwich bread , torn into small pieces

1/3 cup whole milk

1 lb ground chicken

1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese

2 tbs minced fresh parsley leaves ( I use flat leaf , it has most flavor)

1 large egg yolk

1 medium garlic clove ,minced

3/4 tsp salt

1/8 tsp ground black pepper

2-3 tbs olive oil


1 small onion minced

1 small tomato, cored , seeded and chopped medium

1 cup low sodium chicken broth

1/2 cup dry white wine

2 bay leaves

1 tbs minced fresh parsley

1 tbs finely chopped blanched almonds

2 medium garlic cloves ,minced

1/4 tsp saffron threads

1/4 tsp paprika

salt and ground pepper , to taste


In a large bowl , mash the bread and milk together to form a smooth paste. Add the ground chicken , parmesan , parsley ,egg yolk, garlic ,salt and pepper to the mashed bread and mix until uniform. Shape the mixture into 1 inch round meatballs (1 tsp per balls , giving you 35 to 40 balls)

Heat 2 tbs of the oil in a 12 inch non stick skillet over medium high heat until shimmering. Add half the meatballs and brown on all sides 5 to 7 minutes ,reducing heat if oil begins to smoke. Transfer balls to a paper towels. Discard all but 1 tbs of oil and repeat with the remaining balls. Add additional oil if needed.


Add onion to the skillet and cook over medium heat, scraping up any browned bits, until softened and lightly browned , 5 to 7 minutes. Stir in the tomato and cook for 1 minute. Stir in the broth , wine and bay leaves, then carefully return the meatballs to the skillet. Simmer just until the meatballs are cooked through and the sauce is thickened, about 10 minutes.

While the meatballs cook , mash together the parsley , garlic , saffron , paprika , 1/8 tsp salt and black pepper. When the meatballs are cooked through stir in the parsley mixture , season with salt and pepper to taste. Remove bay leaves and serve.


Rich Chicken Curry

1 chicken ,about 3 1/2 lbs , cut into 4 pieces

1/4 cup vegetable

3 onions ,sliced

2 cups thick yoghurt

 1 cup cashews ,soaked in cold water for 20 minutes ,drained and ground

2 tsp each grated ginger and garlic

pinch of saffron soaked in 1 tbs warm milk

Few drops Rose water

4 cloves

3 green cardamon pods , bruised

2 bay leaves

1 tsp salt

In a heavy saucepan ,heat oil and gently fry the onions till light brown. Using a slotted spoon remove the onions and turn off the heat.

Combine the yoghurt ,onions ,cashew paste, garlic ,ginger saffron and rose water. Stir in the chicken.

Heat oven to 300*F

Heat the oil , already in the pan. Saute the cloves ,cardamons and bay leaves for a few moments, lower heat and add in the chicken with the marinade. Stir to mix well.  Cover and place in hour for 45 minutes to 1 hour. Uncover once done and serve.

Chicken Masala on toast

This is a great mildly spiced ,Indian style chicken served on toast ,British style. I feel this is a creation made during Britsh rule in India ,referred to as the “British Raj”. It would make a great appetizer with cocktails or a light lunch. I have seen this served as part of a high tea. The spiced chicken may be prepared ahead of time and served on freshly toasted bread immediately prior to serving.

1 lb boneless chicken breast , diced

1/2 cup thick yogurt ( I use Greek style )

1 to 2 tsp chili sauce

1 tsp Garam Masala

1/2 -1 tsp each grated ginger and garlic

1 freshly juiced lemon

2 tbs vegetable oil

1 large onion ,sliced

1/2 tsp cumin powder

1/2 tsp cayenne powder

salt and freshly ground pepper

1/2 cup tomato puree

3 tbs finely chopped fresh cilantro

Marinade the chicken in yoghurt ,chili sauce, garam masala and lemon juice for half an hour.

Heat oil in a heavy pan and saute onions till golden. Add spices and ginger and garlic and saute till fragrant. Add the chicken with the marinade and stir for a few minutes. Add the tomatoes and simmer uncovered, until the chicken is tender. Remove the chicken using a slotted spoon and continue cooking the sauce till it is fairly thickened. Remove sauce from heat , stir in the chicken and cilantro. Serve warm ,spread on hot buttered toast.

Chicken Fricassee with wild mushrooms

Fricase de Pollo con setas is dish from Neichel in Barcelona in Spain. The cuisine is French with Catalan touches. Like most of my posts this dish is simple and easy to make,but delicious and elegant in presentation. I must admit though,I love this most ,as it is a make ahead dish just great for entertaining.

Serves 4

1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter

4 boneless chicken breast halves

4 boneless chicken thighs

6 oz fresh wild mushrooms (such as shiitake,chanterelle or oyster),sliced

4 green onions,chopped

1 cup dry white wine

2cups chicken stock or canned low salt broth

2 large tomatoes ,peeled,cubed

1/3 cup whipping cream

Melt butter in heavy large skillet over medium high heat. Add chicken in batches and cook until golden brown and cooked through,turning occassionally,about 10 minutes. transfer chicken to plate. Add mushrooms and green onions to skillet and saute until mushrooms soften, about 3 minutes. Using slotted spoon ,transfer mushroom mixture to small bowl. Add wine,stock,tomatoes and any accumulated chicken juices to skillet and bring to boil,scraping up browned bits. Boil until reduced to 3/4 cup,about 20 minutes. Add cream and boil 1 minute. return chicken and mushroom mixture to skillet and stir to heat through. Season to taste with salt and pepper ( Can be prepare a day ahead.Cover and refridgerate. Before serving rewarm  over low heat until heated through,stirring frequently)

Spicy chicken fritters

Murgh Pakore ,or spicy chicken fritters,was one of the favorite snacks in the time of British rule in India  and is greatly enjoyed today ,especially with tea instead of something sweet. When deep frying these delicious morsels be sure not to over crowd the frying pan,causing the temperature of the oil to drop . This will result in a soggy mess.

Courtsey Mridula Baljekar

serves 4-6

12 oz skinned chicken breast,cut into 1 inch cubes

1 tablespoon lemon juice

2-3 large cloves of garlic,crushed

1 inch piece fresh ginger,grated

1/2 -3/4 teaspoon chili powder

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon garam masala

1 teaspoon salt,or to taste


2/3 cup chickpea flour (besan)

2 tablespoons cilantro,leaves and stalks finely chopped

1/2 -3/4 teaspoon crushed dried chilis

a small pinch soda bicarbonate

Oil ,for deep -frying

Place the chicken in a zip top bag with the lemon juice,garlic,ginger,chili powder,cumin and garam masala. Add half the salt seal the bag and mix the contents throughly. Allow to marinade at least 2 hours,refridgerated. Bring it to room temperature prior to cooking.

When ready to cook,place the chickpea flour,salt,cilanto,dried chilis,bicarbonate of soda. Add in the chicken and 4 tablespoons of cold water. Stir till the mixture resembles a thick paste.

Heat oil to 350 degrees. Drop fritters in by tablespoon. DO NOT OVER CROWD THE PAN. Fry for 5-6 minutes until golden brown. Drain on absorbent paper. repeat till all the batter is used up.

Serve hot.

Fried rice with chicken and curry powder.

Fried rice in the Thai culture is served as a seperate meal,never as a substitute for plain boiled rice. As I have previously mentioned the best time to prepare fried rice is when you have day old rice,how economical!!! especially with the price of rice right now. I love this recipe as it does not really require any fancy ingredients but can all be shopped for at most local supermarkets.

2 tablespoons oil

2 garlic cloves,finely chopped

3 oz boneless chicken,chopped or sliced

21/2 cups cooked rice

1 tablespoon light soy sauce

2 tablespoons Fish sauce

1/4 teaspoon sugar

1 spring onion,trimmed and slivered into 1 inch lengths

1/2 onion,finely slivered

a shaking of ground white pepper

In a wok or frying pan,heat the oil till a light haze appears. Add the garlic and fry until golden brown. Add the curry powder,stir and cook for a few seconds;add the chicken and cook for a minute or two until the meet is opaque . add the rice and stir throughly. Add the soy sauce,fish sauce and sugar,stirring after each addition.

Cook together for a few seconds until you are certain till you are certain that the meat is cooked and the rice throughly reheated.

Turn onto serving dish,garnish with the spring onion,and lightly sprinkle with pepper.

Coutsey Vatcharin bhumichitr

Chicken with hot pepper and sherry sauce

Years ago I found this super recipe in a magazine,wish I knew which one.Suffice it to say it is great and spicy. This type of dish predominates in the western region where the weather is hot and humid.

serves 4

2 lbs chicken thighs,skinned and boned.

1 tablespoon cornstarch

1 tablespoon soy sauce

2 tablespoons water

4 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 large green pepper,seeded and cut into 1/2 inch pieces

1 clove garlic,minced

1 teaspoon crushed red pepper


Combine 1 teaspoon sugar,1 teaspoon cornstarch,2 tablespoons soy sauce,1 tablespoon sherry,1 tablespoon water and 1 teaspoon vinegar in a cup,stir well.

Cut chicken into 1/2 inch cubes. Combine cornstarch,soy sauce and water in a medium sized bowl. Add chicken,toss to coat. Refridgerate 30 minutes to 24 hours.

Heat a wok or skillet;add oil. Place chicken in wok;stir fry 2 minutes or until chicken changes color and cubes seperate. Return to bowl using slotted spoon.

Reheat wok;add peppers,stir fry 2 minutes.Add garlic and red pepper. Stir fry 1 minute.

Return chicken to wok. Stir sherry sauce to combine. Add to chicken,cook and stir until sauce thickens and coats chicken with clear glaze,1 to 2 minutes.

Serve with steamed rice