Here is a simple chicken meatball recipe with a Moroccan flair. The apricot chutney that accompanies these little tender bites really adds a nice multi-layered flavor. The Apricot Chutney can be used with other recipes. It is also delicious with cream cheese or goat cheese on crackers.
These can be cooked on in a pan stove top or baked in the oven. You may choose to cook them in the apricot chutney or to cook separately and use chutney as a dipping sauce if desired. Or you may try a different sauce such as a tomato based sauce with Moroccan spices.
Moroccan Spiced Chicken Meatballs
Sauté in olive oil over medium-low heat for 4- 5 minutes and cool--
1/3 - ½ cup minced onion
2 tsp garlic paste or crushed garlic
2 tsp ginger paste
1 tsp, salt, coriander, ginger, optional
½ -1 tsp cumin, black pepper, smoked paprika, optional
¼ tsp cayenne, optional
Other optional seasoning: 1 tsp za’atar or greek seasoning mix or mint or thyme,
Mix in a large bowl:
1 ¾ lb. or so ground chicken (or may use beef or turkey or a combination)
1 cup bread crumbs, (or cracker or panko crumbs)
Add cooled onion, seasoning mixture and thoroughly combine.
Using small scoop or teaspoons scoop out uniform sized meatballs; rolling each for a smooth exterior. You may make the meatballs smaller for appetizers and larger if served over rice or couscous.
Stove top cooking method: Heat a bit of oil in a large shallow pan and add meatballs, not too close together. Brown them over medium heat, turning gently after 5 minutes. Brown the other side for about 5 minutes. If you are going to cook in the apricot chutney, take meatballs from pan to a plate and remove excess oil from pan. Add prepared apricot chutney and meatballs to the pan and simmer on medium low 10-15 minutes.
If you are not cooking in the apricot sauce, then continue cooking them a couple minutes longer until completely done before serving.
Oven baking method: Preheat oven to 400 and put meatballs on cookie sheet prepped with a bit of oil. Place in center of oven and bake for 6 minutes then turn them over to cook other side. Continue baking another 5 minutes or until just barely cooked through. Remove from baking dish and place them into pan filled with apricot chutney. Simmer for 10 minutes. OR you may cook them completely and serve with sauce to dip.
Garnish meatballs with fresh chopped parsley, and or cilantro and toasted almond slices.
Moroccan Apricot Chutney
About ¾ cup dried apricots, chopped
1/3 cup orange juice
¼ to 1/2 of small preserved lemon, rinsed, seeded, finely chopped*
4-5 TBSP apricot jam
4 tbsp. white wine vinegar
1 TBSP orange blossom water, optional
Pinch of cayenne, cinnamon, salt, and/or sumac