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Chicken and Quinoa Meatballs with Garlic Vegetables » Simple and Healthy Recipe! ✅

Minimalist like meatballs. While many recipes add a lot of buffers, like grated cheese, fresh herbs, and eggs, all you really need is ground beef and a starch binder. In this case, it’s chicken and quinoa. But not the ultra-lean ground chicken you find at the grocery store. Instead, we’ll move on to the minced chicken legs, blended in a food processor until thick. I learned this trick from chef Tyler Kord, who wrote our latest cookbook, Dynamite Chicken. “Grinding” the meat not only allows you to control the texture, it also means you’ll get darker meat, which has more flavor and is less likely to dry out. The quinoa gives the meatballs a lighter, fluffier texture and gives them a deliciously crispy crust. (Yes, you can cook them instead of frying them in a pan, but they will end up softer and brown less.) Since we are serving them with garlic vegetables, we will add more garlic to the meatballs forever. measure, though you could definitely skip this if you’re not a fan of garlic like me. Bitter endive is particularly dirty green, so make sure you wash it really, really well. I like to add it to a salad spinner, fill it all up with water, shake with my hands, lift the strainer to drain, then repeat until the water runs clear. If you can’t find escarole, or don’t like it, feel free to switch to kale, spinach, collard greens, or the like. —Emma Laperruque

  • Chicken meatballs with quinoa
  • 2/3 cup white quinoa, rinsed

  • 1 1/4 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1-inch pieces

  • 2 cloves of garlic (optional)

  • 1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt

  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus more if needed

  • endive with garlic
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

  • 12 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped

  • 2 heads of escarole cut in quarters and well washed

  1. Add the quinoa to a small pot with 1 ⅓ cups of water. Bring to medium heat and bring to a boil, then cover and reduce heat to low. Cook for 10-15 minutes, until all the water has evaporated and the quinoa is soft and tender. Pour onto a plate and spread out to cool.

  2. Blend chicken legs and garlic in a food processor, in small batches, until finely ground (but don’t blend!). Transfer to a large bowl and add the salt, 1 tablespoon cold water, and the cooled quinoa. Gently mix to combine. Form small kibble-sized meatballs (imagine one heaping tablespoon each, 25-30).

  3. Heat a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat and add enough olive oil to create a thin film. When the oil is hot, add about half of the meatballs (pass them through a pan to brown them better). Bake for 8-10 minutes, turning if necessary, until crisp and golden brown all over and cooked through (about 165°F core temperature); transfer to a plate or grill. Repeat with the remaining meatballs, adding fresh oil if necessary.

  4. While the meatballs are cooking, brown the escarole. Combine the olive oil and garlic in a very large frying pan or skillet, then set over medium heat. When the garlic begins to brown, add the escarole and sauté. Cover and cook for 5 minutes until endive has wilted significantly, then uncover and cook for another 5 minutes or so until tender. Season with salt to taste.

  5. Serve the meatballs with the escarole, or on top of the escarole or as you prefer.

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