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Melissa's Moroccan Chicken and Apricot Meatballs

This recipe is from Melissa Joulwan's refreshing new cookbook, Well Fed 2: More Paleo Recipes for People Who Love to Eat. She has some excellent recipes in both the first and second books with ethnic spices and all kinds of innovative ideas for re-creating these masterpieces to suit personal tastes. We loved the chicken meatballs and plan to make them again using lamb instead of chicken, which she recommends as a substitute for chicken. We highly recommend these cookbooks!

Ingredients:

  • 2 Tbs. warm water
  • 1/2 tsp. cream of tartar
  • 1/4 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 pound ground chicken (Slanker Select Omega-3 Chicken is recommended)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced (about 2 tsp.)
  • 4 dried apricots, minced (about 2 Tbs.)
  • 2 Tbs. almonds, chopped (we omitted these because we limit our nut consumption)
  • 1/4 c. fresh cilantro leaves, minced (about 1 Tbs.)
  • 1/4 c. fresh parsley leaves, minced (about 1 Tbs.)
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/8 tsp. ground turmeric
  • 1/8 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp. powdered ginger
  • 1/8 tsp. ground black pepper

Instructions:

1. Prep.  In a small bowl, mix baking soda and cream of tartar in water. Meanwhile, place meat and all other flavorings in a mixing bowl. Add the baking soda/water to meat.

2. Blend.  For a smoother, more tender texture, use a food processor or a standing mixer - fitted with  the paddle attachment -  to blend the ingredients. For a more traditional texture, mix the meat by hand.

3. Shape and Cook.  Form into your desired shape - burgers, balls, or bangers - and chill for 10 minutes in the fridge. Then choose your cooking method - oven baked (which we did), gas grilled, or pan fried - and fire it up. To bake in the oven, cover a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Preheat oven to 400°F, then bake meatballs for 20-25 minutes, until brown and sizzling.

Enjoy as no doubt you will as these are delicious!