Sunday, November 15, 2015

Lemongrass Chicken Meatballs in Green Curry Broth

I got my Fine Cooking issue for December 2015/January 2016, and they had recipes for five different kinds of meatballs. This one caught my eye immediately. Every flavor in this recipe is one of my favorites, and together, they just sing. I made mung bean threads (very similar to rice noodles) to go with my meatballs, but you could do rice or rice noodles. So delicious. This recipe is a major keeper. Also, I already had ground chicken, so I didn't use the thighs as directed. Also, I doubled this recipe and served six people with one serving left over.

Lemongrass Chicken Meatballs in Green Curry Broth via Fine Cooking
1-1/2 lb. boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1-inch pieces
1-1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1-1/2 tsp. ground coriander
Kosher salt
1 Tbs. finely chopped fresh lemongrass
1-1/2 Tbs. peanut or canola oil
2 large shallots, thinly sliced (about 1/2 cup)
1 jalapeño, seeded and thinly sliced
1-1/2 cups lower-salt chicken broth
1/2 cup well-shaken canned coconut milk
1-1/2 cups fresh cilantro sprigs; more for garnish
1/2 cup small fresh basil leaves
1-1/2 Tbs. fresh lime juice
1 Tbs. granulated sugar
2 tsp. fish sauce
1-1/2 cups matchstick-cut or grated carrots
Sriracha, for drizzling (optional)

1. Sprinkle the chicken thighs with the cumin, coriander, and 1-1/2 tsp. salt, and toss well. Transfer to a plate and chill in the freezer for 15 minutes.

2. In a food processor, pulse half of the chicken until minced. Transfer to a bowl and repeat with the remaining chicken. Mix the lemongrass into the chicken. To form the meatballs, set a small bowl of cold water nearby and, occasionally moistening your hands, gently roll 1-1/2-oz. portions of the meat between your palms into balls; you should get 16. *I used an ice cream scooper so my meatballs were all uniform. This also means I didn't have to roll each ball in my hands.

3. Over medium-high heat in a 5- to 6-quart heavy-duty pot, heat the oil until shimmering hot. Add half of the meatballs, reduce the heat to medium, and cook, undisturbed, until browned on the bottom, 1 to 2 minutes. Flip and brown the other side, 1 to 2 minutes more. Transfer to a paper-towel-lined plate, and repeat with the remaining meatballs.

4. Add the shallots, jalapeño, and 1/2 tsp. salt to the pot; cook, stirring, until the shallots soften, about 4 minutes. Add the chicken broth and coconut milk and bring to a boil. Stir in half of the cilantro and the basil, and remove from the heat. Using an immersion blender or working in batches with a regular blender, purée the mixture. Return to the pot if using a regular blender. Add the meatballs, lime juice, sugar, and fish sauce. Bring to a simmer, cover, and cook until the meatballs cook through (165°F), 15 to 20 minutes, adding the carrots during the last minute or two to cook until crisp-tender.

5. Divide the meatballs, carrots, and broth among bowls. Top with the remaining cilantro. Drizzle with Sriracha, if using, and serve.

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