Meatballs, do you lovèm? I mean come on, if you tell me no I`m pretty sure you`re lying. Now, I`m not talking about the frozen, dry, taste like saw dust, suck the will to live out of your mouth, better have something to drink or you`re gonna choke breed you may have had in the school cafeteria growing up. I`m talking about the moist, flavorful, made with love & gentle hands rounds of goodness that almost melt on your tongue & make you swoon variety. I think you get me here. And, you know, we`re not alone on this one. There seems to be a world wide deep affection & appreciation for these sphere`s of yum. Albondigas in Mexico, keftedes in Greece, bakso in Indonesia, frikadellen in Germany, polpette in Italy, the list is really endless. For that matter there are 80 plus varieties in Turkish cuisine alone!
By now you probably know where I heading. This simple man`s plan to healthier eating today are Thai Curry Coconut Chicken Meatballs. Ground (or in this case food processed) chicken breasts are combined with an abundance of fresh herbs, ginger, garlic, red Thai curry, soy & oyster sauces & then gently simmered in a crazy good coconut milk broth to something bordering on perfection. I promise, with the exception of happy grunts & mmm`s the dinner conversation will be quiet when the plates hit the table. Serve over rice, noodles of your choice or even potatoes. This broth is so good you`ll want it by itself.
Here`s what you`ll need for your Thai Curry Coconut Chicken Meatballs:
Chicken Breast- 2lbs in chunks or ground
Fresh Ginger- 4 Tablespoons minced or grated & divided
Garlic- 3 Tablespoons minced & divided
Panko Bread Crumbs- 1/2 cup
Cilantro- small bunch
Mint- small bunch
Basil- small bunch
Green Onion- 4, green & white parts
Red Thai Curry Paste- 4 Tablespoons divided
Lite Soy Sauce- 4 Tablespoons divided
Oyster Sauce- 4 Tablespoons divided
Chinese 5 spice powder- 1 teaspoon (optional)
Canola or Olive Oil- 2 Tablespoons
Coconut Milk- 2 15oz cans
Chicken stock- 3 cups
Red Bell Pepper- 1 cup thinly sliced
Carrots- 1 cup thinly sliced or cut in matchsticks
Limes- 2-3 juiced A look at the key players.Start with the chicken breasts. Just cut them in large chunks & add to your food processor. You can totally use ground chicken instead, I just like knowing exactly what`s going in here. With preground chicken you can`t really be sure. Add half the ginger, half the garlic, an egg, the panko bread crumbs, Chinese 5 Spice powder, half the curry paste, 3 green onions & 3/4 of the cilantro, mint & basil. The remaining herbs are going to be used as a super important garnish at the end. Process until the chicken is finely chopped & all the ingredients are well dispersed & mixed.Dampen your hands in a small bowl of water & form your meatballs. Really try not to over handle them. This is the key to keeping them really tender. It doesn`t matter if they`re not perfectly round. These are about 1 1/2 inches in diameter. You`ll have about 30 meatballs.Cut your carrots & bell pepper, mince the remaining ginger & garlic.Heat the canola or olive oil in a large pot with a lid over medium high heat. When hot add the garlic & ginger. Stir & cook for 30 seconds until fragrant.Add the curry paste & cook about 30 more seconds.Add in the coconut milk & chicken stock. Stir well to fully incorporate & bring to a simmer.Add your meat marbles to the simmering broth. I love cooking meatballs in sauce, stock or broth like this. Not only are they infused with more flavor but you`re sure to keep them nice & moist. Nobody likes a dry meatball. Cover & gently simmer for about 20 minutes.Add in the carrot & continue to simmer for another 5 minutes. This is a great recipe to include other veggies as well. Snap peas, green beans, baby corn, asparagus, squash are all great additions. If using, toss them in now.Finally add the red bell pepper & lime juice. Give a stir & simmer 5 minutes longer. While your dish is finishing up finely slice or chop the remaining herbs & green onion. You don`t want to do this too early because the herbs will turn black (not pretty) fairly quickly. Time to serve!Make a bed of whatever you choose, rice, noodles etc. & ladle your Thai Curry Coconut Chicken Meatballs over the top. Be sure to add some extra broth! It`s so freakin good!! Garnish heavily with the chopped herbs & sliced green onion.
If you enjoy this take a look at my Albondigas en Salsa Chipotle, Albondigas de Camaron, Aunt Emma`s German Meatballs, Game Day Buffalo Turkey Meatballs or Herbalicious Italian Wedding Soup.