Saturday, July 15, 2017

Ginger-Chicken Meatballs in Broth with Greens


We have been away--I have gone back to Illinois and then the husband and I went up to Mt. Shasta to see a volcano and to hike around. But we still need to eat.  

Is it Tuesday? (Okay, truth here, it's Saturday, but this dish will do anytime during the week.) Do you, too, need something to eat? Are you willing to put in 30 minutes? Do you need a revelation in broth? Well here's the little soup for you, no matter if you're traveling or hanging out at home.



The meatballs are a snap. As many of you know, I am huge fan of Diana Henry, in part because she takes ordinary ingredients and whips them into fine flavor combinations. More importantly, though, she does so without a lot of fuss and fanfare. Just make a meatball. Then put it in a broth. 

But before you do that, why don't you make your broth a little more flavorful? Don't have time? 

Let's not talk nonsense.



All you need is 10 minutes, some ginger and some chiles. If you have homemade broth, this is going to be divine. If all you have is store bought, well, trust me on this one--infusing it with some aromatics will boost this little soup. And, well, we all need a little boost from time to time. Why not now?

So let's get to it. We all have to eat, and whether we're going fully homemade or just upping the ante on what is in our pantry, Diana Henry is to the rescue, as usual.  Let's have some soup together.






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Ginger-Chicken Meatballs in Broth with Greens

Adapted from Diana Henry's A Bird in Hand

Yield
4 Servings

Ingredients
1 lb ground chicken
2 garlic cloves, minced
1½ Tbsp soy sauce
1-inch piece ginger root (¾-inch finely minced, plus 2 slices, about ¼-inch thick)
4 scallions, sliced, divided
salt and pepper
5 cups chicken stock
1 chile (red or green), halved, seeded, and minced, divided
2 Tbsp olive, peanut, or sesame oil
4 small heads of bok choy (feel free to substitute spinach and add more than you think)
juice of 1 lime

Instructions
1. Using your hands, mix together the chicken, garlic, soy sauce, ¾-inch finely minced ginger, and half of the scallions. Season with salt and pepper. Wet your hands and shape the mixture into small balls, each about the size of a walnut. If you have time to chill, these will be easier to work with. Set them on a baking sheet, and put in the fridge for 30 minutes or the freezer for 15.

2.  Bring the chicken stock to a boil. Add the ginger slices and half the chile. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from the heat--this is just to flavor the broth with the ginger.

3.  Heat the oil in a sauté pan and cook the meatballs, rolling them over to ensure that they brown all over--you may need to do this in 2 batches. It should take about 10  minutes per batch. Transfer to a plate using a slotted spoon.

4.  Add the stock to the pan and bring to a boil, scraping the base of the pan with a wooden spoon to loosen any browned bits. Reduce the heat, return the meatballs to the pan, and bring to a simmer and cook for about 3 minutes. Add the greens (and then add a little bit more than you think you should) and the rest of the chile and cook for another 3 minutes. The meatballs should be cooked through and the greens should be tender. Discard the ginger slices. Add the lime juice and remaining scallions. Serve with more chile, if you like.

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