05 March, 2009

Chicken Meatball

Finnish Meatballs - Lihapullat

Everyone loves meatballs. Yesterday morning, on her way out the door, Bonne Femme asked if I had anything for her to make for dinner.

"Well I have half a chicken how about some meatballs?"

I came up with this recipe for a party last Christmas, but they are good anytime of the year.

Finnish Meatballs - Lihapullat

620g (1lb 5oz) Chicken. That's half a chicken, bones removed skin on.
8 g (1 t) Kosher salt
2 g black pepper
1 g allspice
Pinch of mace or nutmeg
Pinch of caraway seed
2 g mustard seed

5 g dried milk
90 g Onion diced
30 g of bread whole wheat or rye or whatever is laying around, torn up

Chicken for meatballs

Dice the chicken. Process salt and spices as needed in spice mill. Mix together all ingredients in a bowl and refrigerate for an hour. Run the mixture through meat grinder using the small plate (I use the meat grinder attachment for the Kitchen Aid). If you don't have a grinder, you can do it by hand, read about making sausage without a grinder here. Knead the mixture in the bowl, by hand, until it comes together about one minute.

Portioning the product - Lihapullat

Preheat the oven to 400F. A portion scoop (that's a #40 pictured above) makes quick work of forming 1 oz meatballs, they are like ice cream scoppers of varying sizes that you can find at restaurant supply stores. Anyway, put em on a cookie sheet, using parchment paper makes things easier, but do whatever you want. Bake them for about 10 minutes.

Portioned Chicken meatballs

Let them cool on a rack. I made about 24 1oz meatballs. Once you get the hang of it play around with the seasonings. The dry milk helps retain moisture and the mustard works as an emusifier; together these ingredients make the texture light and juicy.

I decided to have a Finnish themed Christmas Party, a Pikkujoulu, after traveling to the Lapland last summer. I asked my Suomen sister-in-law for a recipe. she said "What do you mean? Just make meatballs."

I said "Ok...What's the difference between Swedish and Finnish meatballs?"

"The Finns don't eat Swedish meatballs."

Okay then.


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