Poultry in motion

[Recipe 1] CHICKEN, ALMOND and ZUCCHINI PATTIES transform into
[Recipe 2] CHICKEN MEATBALL and NOODLE SOUP

I think I’ll launch head-first into the recipes this week. I’m absolutely pooped, and for once my brain is empty of chit-chat. Did I mention we have a newish cat, Moe (named after Moe from the Three Stooges)? We rescued him from the Greensborough Cat Protection Society, and he’s lovely. He’s such a good sport with our boys, tolerating endless tummy rubs and being wheeled around in home-made carts. The only negative about him is his daily 5.30am loud wakeup miaowing. Ouch. Although I would kill for an extra 90 minutes slumber, I’ve turned this ritual into a positive. The rest of the house manages to sleep ’til 7am, giving me a blissful 1½ hours of ‘me time’ every morning to blog and cruise Pinterest with a warm cat on my lap. I’m doing just that, as we speak!
Wow, I still managed some chit-chat, even in my sleep-deprived state. Now, onto the recipes… this week I’m sharing two fab chicken dishes. First up is Chicken, almond and zucchini patties. These are super easy to make, cheap and cheerful, and my boys love them. By making a large batch of the chicken mince mixture, you can set some aside and make chicken meatballs to use in a lip-smacking Chicken meatball and noodle soup for a second meal.
A word of warning – my 6-year old was quite freaked out by the ‘weird white balls’ in the soup, so the second time I tested the recipe I browned the balls before plunging them into the hot stock, and he was quite satisfied. You can choose your method, but cooking the raw meatballs in the stock is quicker, and more authentic. The husband and I prefer them done this way as the flavour is more delicate, but you may find that your kids will be happier with ‘proper brown balls’.
Ciao for now. Moe is hollering for his breakfast and I need a second coffee. Have a lovely week. xx

Moe-the-cat!Chook, zucchini almond patties[Recipe 1] Chicken, almond and zucchini patties

Ingredients (serves 4 for 3 meals; ie. 2 batches of patties and 1 batch of meatballs):
1 tablespoon peanut or vegetable oil
1 leek, white part only, halved lengthwise, cut into long strips and sliced finely
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1½ kilos (3 lb) minced (ground) chicken
3cm (1¼”) piece ginger, finely chopped (about 2 tablespoons)
3 tablespoons very finely-chopped lemongrass stalk, white part only
3 medium zucchini (500g/1 lb), grated, squeezed to remove excess liquid
250g (9 oz) almond meal
3 eggs, beaten
½ teaspoon sea salt
Peanut or vegetable oil, extra, for frying patties
To serve with patties:
Sweet chilli sauce
Green beans with toasted pine nuts

Heat oil in a small saucepan and fry the leek and garlic over a medium heat for 3 minutes. Process cooked leek, 500g (1 lb) of the chicken mince, ginger, lemongrass, zucchini, almond meal, eggs and salt until smooth. Transfer to a large bowl, add the remaining chicken mince and mix well.
Divide mixture into three portions of approx. 800g (1¾ lb) each.
Shape 2 portions into 8 patties each (total of 16 patties). Reserve one portion of 8 patties for tonight’s dinner. Freeze the other portion of 8 patties for another meal.
Roll the third portion of chicken mince into about 36 walnut-sized balls, with lightly-floured hands (use gluten-free flour if required).
♦ Reserve the chicken meatballs for the Chicken meatball noodle soup.
Note: The mixture is quite soft and sticky, but it firms up nicely when cooked; and makes for lovely light-textured patties and meatballs.
For tonight’s patties, heat extra oil in a large non-stick frying pan and cook patties on a low–medium heat for 6–8 minutes each side, until golden brown and cooked through.
Serve patties with sweet chilli sauce and green beans with toasted pine-nuts.

  • Uncooked chicken patties and chicken meatballs can be refrigerated for up to 3 days, or frozen for up to 3 months. Defrost overnight in the fridge. Pat dry with kitchen paper before using, to soak up excess moisture.
  • This recipe makes two batches of patties, and one batch of meatballs. You could of course choose to make 3 batches of patties or meatballs instead!
  • For a change, the patties can be served in soft rolls with chilli slaw or sliced avocado and mayo.
  • Grated lemongrass can be purchased frozen from Asian stores. I keep a large block in my freezer and hack off a chunk when required.

Chicken meatball noodle soup

[Recipe 2] Chicken meatball and noodle soup

Ingredients (serves 6, leftovers are great for lunch):
200g (7 oz) thin fresh egg noodles
2 litres chicken stock, home-made or store-bought
1–2 tablespoons fish sauce (to taste)
4 star anise
4 kaffir lime leaves
2 teaspoons sesame oil
♦ 800g (1¾ lb) portion reserved chicken meatballs
1 bunch bok choy (or choy sum), leaves only, very finely chopped

Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Chopped fresh coriander (cilantro), to serve
3 spring onions (scallions), thinly sliced, to serve

Place noodles in a large bowl. Cover with boiling water and set aside for 5 minutes to soften. Drain. Divide noodles amongst 6 deep serving bowls (or 4 bowls and 2 plastic containers if you’re saving 2 portions for the following day’s lunch).
Place stock in a large saucepan and bring to the boil. Add fish sauce, star anise, kaffir lime leaves and sesame oil. Turn heat down to low and simmer for 5 minutes, covered.
Carefully place half the reserved raw meatballs into the hot stock. Simmer gently for 6–8 minutes, until cooked through.
Using a slotted spoon, transfer the cooked meatballs to 3 of the serving bowls. Repeat with remaining meatballs.
Note: if liked, meatballs can be browned in a lightly-oiled frying pan before adding to the stock. See my notes in the introduction.
Remove and discard star anise and lime leaves.
Add bok choy to the stock and simmer for a further 2–3 minutes. Season to taste – if you’ve used store-bought stock, it may be salty enough.
Ladle hot stock over the noodles and meatballs, and serve with scattered coriander and chopped spring onions.

  • Dried star anise is available from the spice section of supermarkets, and Asian food stores.
  • Kaffir lime leaves can be purchased fresh or frozen from Asian stores. 
  • 1 small red birdseye chilli, finely sliced, can be added to adult serves.

35 thoughts on “Poultry in motion

  1. The girls love the pictures of Moe! I am thinking that they would like both dishes and may just make the chicken patties while we are at the cottage next week. I have missed connecting with you but hope to be able to start blogging again in September. It has been a very long year in terms of work. If only we didn’t have day jobs! Hope you are well and up to chit chat again soon!

    • Hi Barb. Great to hear from you! Ah, I can relate to the work situation. I doubt I’d be able to snaffle the time to write recipes and blog at the moment if it wasn’t for my early morning sessions with Moe! Enjoy your time at the cottage. Sounds like you need it! x

    • I forgive you for overlooking the chicken Cass. Both dishes are a vegetarian’s nightmare! Moe is damn lucky he is cute, let me tell ya! About an hour ago he dropped yet another severed lizard’s tail on the couch, right next to my leg, and again it was still wriggling. *shudder*

  2. I’m one of those boring people who is ALWAYS cooking with chicken and I think these two recipes look delicious. In fact, the soup looks perfect for a blustery day like today.
    If I was not allergic to cats, I would enjoy a cat like Moe sitting on my lap as I drink coffee and peruse Pinterest in the early hours of the morning! He looks like a sweetie.
    Have a good weekend — I hope you get to catch up on some sleep….x

    • I didn’t catch up on some sleep, in fact over the last couple of mornings Moe’s 5.30 wakeup call has morphed into 5am. The ‘me time’ novelty is starting to wear off now… I feel like we have a newborn all over again! Being allergic to cats is probably a blessing in disguise Sandra xx

  3. little moe looks so sweet trapped in the barn!! those chicken patties look yum and one of my kids loves chicken, the other zucchini and the other almonds so this looks like a winner recipe for me to try! and the noodle soup w ‘white balls” (hee hee! 🙂 too!!!

    • Hi Kim. Moe loves that barn. It’s actually an old house-frame model made by a builder, and there is a door hole for Moe to go in and out. We often find him asleep in there! Ha, love that your kids have different tastes. I can relate. Patty mixture is great as you can break it up and customize each portion! You can really throw anything into this mix – carrot is good too.

  4. Hahahaaa, ‘weird white balls’!!! Ah, kids seem to be so finicky when it comes to small food details. One of my friend’s children didn’t like the bread I provided at dinner because it had ‘bugs’ in it (seeds!). I’ve since learned how to hide such hideously healthy things! Love both of these recipes. The soup is so perfect for our continuing cold weather, it’s on my to-cook list for this week coming! xx

    • Yes, I’ve become a dab hand at deception too when it comes to healthy foods! My eldest is quite adventurous, but my 6 year old is suspicious of anything ‘weird looking’ and likes inspecting, poking and asking lots of questions.

  5. Hey Moe! Lovely to see his sweet, chilled out face here. I love that he’s your morning companion Sas! Okay, so now you are my go-to destination for gluten free meals as well as everything else. You are making my life too easy! Both of these dishes look super – can’t wait to try the patties and the soup looks absolutely wonderful. I can even swap in kale, which tends to run rampant everywhere in my garden at this time of year!

    • Don’t be fooled by that sweet, chilled-out face – Moe is quite a vicious game hunter. Today he brought me in a ‘gift’, a tiny still-wriggling severed lizard’s tail. Grisly and fascinating at the same time. Last week he hunted down 2 worms and a slug, which he dragged onto our rug. He is certainly earning his keep.
      So glad you’ve found a few GF meals here – you could use fresh rice noodles if you decide to make the soup.
      Hail the mighty kale!

  6. Welcome home, Moe! I bet the 5:30 alarm will end once he gets fully acclimated. Max was the same way, waking me at 5:00 or 6:00 every morning. Now, a mere 5 years later, I can sleep-in until 6:30 or so. He is a dog though … 🙂
    Both of your recipes sounds great, Saskia, though they’d have to be given this post’s title. (Loved it, BTW.) I really do like meatballs in soup, no matter the color, and the bowl of soup in your photo looks delicious!

  7. Well, I just stumbled upon one of the most brilliant blogs I have had the pleasure to see. 2+1 is a wonderful concept. Liked it the moment I saw the photograph on your “about” page!

  8. What a sweet little pussy pops! Sounds like you got an extra tolerant one there! Follow the cat and you will always find the warmest place in your house. I love trying to find the latest nook or cranny that our cute little cat has sequestered herself into! Will cast an eye over receipes soon… just need a little sleep…

  9. Adding a teaspoon or so of dark or mushroom dark soy sauce to the third portion of chicken mince before making into walnut-sized balls would give the meatballs a dark color and the boys may go for the meatballs cooking directly into the broth.

    • LOVE that idea Norma. Will definitely give it a try. Airlines have used the faux browning technique for their food (and I use the term ‘food’ loosely) for years – about time I give it a try! Frying the balls first is a pain. The whole idea of the second recipe is that it be quick and easy, and your idea is the perfect solution.

    • Thank you! Moe is indeed charming, although that’s perhaps not a word I’d use to describe him at 5.45 am. He does manage to win me over pretty quickly though by gazing into my eyes and purring.

    • Cheers Amelia. I love using almond meal in place of breadcrumbs – it adds a good burst of nutrition and it makes them gluten-free too. It does result in a wetter, softer mixture but the eggs help them firm up nicely whilst cooking.

I love a chat!

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