Tender chicken meatballs or chicken dumplings simmered in a cream sauce and served with mashed potatoes.
CHICKEN MEATBALLS IN SAUCE
This chicken meatballs in sauce recipe is something for the children. And for grown-up men, who love children food. Like my husband…
A delicious and comforting meal, soft and creamy chicken dumplings made with chicken breast and rice and slowly simmered in a cream sauce with herbs.
I found this recipe for ground chicken meatballs in sauce in a Romanian cookbook written by Silvia Jurcovan. I use Silvia Jurcovan’s books often when it comes to Romanian cooking, here are some more of the dishes she inspired, if you are curious: Cauliflower in Tomato Sauce, Romanian Sweet Bread with Walnuts – Cozonac or the Greta Garbo Cake.
This creamy chicken dumpling dish is quite easy to make, you just need a little patience when forming the meatballs. The result is a very mild fine meal, with soft chicken meatballs that will almost melt in your mouth and a velvety creamy sauce.
These are more chicken dumplings than meatballs in my opinion. However, I had to call them meatballs because when searching for chicken dumplings the other day, I only got results for chicken AND dumplings, nothing for chicken dumplings…
And this is not a chicken and dumplings recipe, but soft dumplings made with chicken breast meat and some rice.
INGREDIENTS FOR GROUND CHICKEN MEATBALLS
Making ground chicken meatballs is not the first choice when making meatballs. Is not that I don’t like them, I love them actually, but ground chicken meat is not available in Germany, I have never seen it.
So, when making poultry meatballs, I usually go for turkey, it is at least from time to time available. You could make these creamy chicken dumplings using turkey meat instead, if you wish.
Or go for beef or a mixture of ground beef and pork, the dish will be delicious as well.
But, of course, preparing the chicken breast for making chicken meatballs at home is not that difficult either, I will explain later how you can do that.
I use white, uncooked rice for the creamy chicken dumplings. Don’t worry about the rice being uncooked, it will have enough time to get soft while you cook the ground chicken meatballs in the sauce.
I would not use brown rice in this case, because brown rice needs a longer cooking time.
I used cremini mushrooms, but button mushrooms or chopped portobello mushrooms would be perfectly fine as well.
Actually the difference between these sorts of mushrooms is just age. The white button mushrooms are the youngest variety, the cremini are in between and the portobello mushrooms are overgrown white mushrooms.
I cooked the mushrooms separately in a little water, drained them and added them to the sauce after the meatballs were cooked.
HOW TO GRIND CHICKEN FOR CHICKEN MEATBALLS
There are two ways of grinding chicken or any kind of meat at home, with a grinder or with a food processor.
This will be the obvious choice. I remember my grandmother’s old red grinder, she would fasten it on the kitchen table and grind the meat for any kind of meatballs she ever made, I don’t even think that ground meat was available in the communist 80s in Romania.
To grind the chicken breast with the grinder, I prefer to use frozen and partially thawed chicken breast. I let it thaw partially, cut it into cubes and grind it.
If you bought fresh chicken breast already, cut it into cubes, place the cubes on a baking sheet (that will fit in your freezer) lined with baking paper and freeze the meat cubes for about 30 minutes.
Freezing the meat might seem like an unnecessary step, but it really isn’t. This will help the meat stay firm and make the whole grinding process easier.
I use a manual grinder, so I just give the meat cubes into the hopper and turn the handle until the meat is ground. If using another sort of mixer, regard the instructions concerning the setting and speed you are supposed to use.
The food processor:
Not many people actually own a grinder nowadays. So, most people would use the food processor for grinding meat. I use my Thermomix to do that, but any good food processor would be fine.
To grind the chicken with the food processor, you will also have to partially thaw frozen chicken breast or partially freeze fresh chicken breast. The procedure is the same as explained above.
Read the instructions of your food processor in order to know what setting and speed you are supposed to use for grinding meat.
Safety when grinding meat:
- Don’t stick your fingers into the hopper when grinding meat. Always use the meat pusher provided with the meat grinder.
- If you have long hair, better tie it back, so that it won’t get caught into the grinder.
- Here you can read more about safety when using a grinder.
HOW TO FORM THE CHICKEN DUMPLINGS
- Add all the dumpling ingredients to the ground chicken meat.
- Mix well to obtain a paste and form the chicken dumplings with the help of 2 teaspoons.
- The mixture is very sticky, so using the hands to form them is not a good idea. You will have about 25-30 of them.
HOW TO SERVE THE CHICKEN MEATBALLS IN SAUCE
Definitely with mashed potatoes, for me that is the perfect combination. Soft mashed potatoes, topped with this velvety cream sauce and the tender chicken dumplings.
However, you can also serve the ground chicken meatballs in sauce with plain rice, pasta, boiled potatoes or even bread. And a nice green salad.
The creamy chicken dumplings in sauce can be easily reheated.
- Chicken meatballs:
- 250 g/ 8.8 oz boneless skinless chicken breast
- ½ tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1 small onion
- 50 g/ 1.7 oz/ scant ¼ cup white rice
- 25 g/ 1 oz/ 3 level tablespoons flour
- 1 egg
- 1 tablespoon dill or parsley, very finely chopped
- 1 scant teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 small onion
- 600 ml/ 1.2 pints/ 2.5 cups of chicken stock
- 25 g/ 1 oz/ 3 level tablespoons flour
- 150 ml/ 5 fl.oz/ 2/3 cups heavy cream
- 2 tablespoons cold water
- 125 g/ 4.4 oz cremini mushrooms (See note)
- a few grindings of nutmeg
- 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice, more to taste
- fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon chopped parsley
- If the chicken breast is frozen, let it thaw partially and cut it into cubes. If the chicken breast is fresh, cut it into cubes, place the cubes on a baking tray lined with baking paper and freeze for 30 minutes. This will make the
- Grind the chicken with a grinder or in a food processor. See blog post for more details on that.
- Chop the onion very finely. Heat the oil in the pot that you will use afterward for making the sauce and braise the onion lightly. Give it to the ground chicken meat and mix well.
- Add the washed but uncooked rice, flour, egg, chopped herbs, salt and pepper. Mix very well.
- Form the chicken meatballs with the help of 2 teaspoons. The mixture is very sticky so using the hands to form them is not a good idea. You will have about 25-30 of them.
- Melt the butter in the pot you used before for cooking the onion.
- Chop the onion finely, cook until translucent.
- Add the chicken stock and bring everything to a boil.
- Reduce the heat and add the meatballs.
- Cover the pot and cook on low heat for about 30 minutes. Stir once after 15 minutes to turn the balls on the other side.
- Slice the mushrooms. Give them to a small pot, cover with water, bring to a simmer and cook for about 3 minutes. Drain well and set aside.
- Whisk the flour with the cream and cold water very thoroughly.
- Whisk this mixture into the sauce and bring to a boil again. Add the drained mushrooms and stir well.
- Let the sauce cook for a minute or two until the sauce thickens slightly.
- If the sauce gets to thick you can add a little water or broth and let it simmer for another minute or two.
- Adjust the taste with nutmeg, salt, pepper and some lemon juice.
- Add the parsley and serve with mashed potatoes, salad or pickles.
You can use white button or portobello mushrooms instead.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1/4 of the dish
Amount Per Serving:Calories: 437 Total Fat: 24g Saturated Fat: 12g Trans Fat: 1g Unsaturated Fat: 10g Cholesterol: 155mg Sodium: 979mg Carbohydrates: 26g Fiber: 2g Sugar: 7g Protein: 29g