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October 3, 2016

chicken & kale in pasta bianco



We love sunday suppers at our house. Although we agreed meatballs sounded good, we weren’t quite ready to commit. So, we did a riff on spaghetti and meatballs that was herbaceous, rich and bright and  a little inspired by an osso bucco dish I’ve done before. This dish feels summery but as a good friend said at dinner, in Texas, our fall is most peoples’ summer. Tonight was the first time we have dined outside at least at our the house in many months and it was a treat.


1 lb chicken breast (if you have a meat grinder otherwise buy the breast and grind it yourself. If not, buy 1 lb of ground chicken breasts)
1 bunch of kale
1 cup grated parmesan
2 cloves of garlic minced
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1/4 cup chopped flat leaf parsley
1/2 cup breadcrumbs (toasted)
1 tbsp cumin seeds (toasted)
1/4 cups sour cream
1 beaten egg
1 1/2 tsp salt
pinch of red pepper flakes
3 tbsp olive oil  plus a good amount for frying
1 cup of flour (for dredging)

optional: lemon zest, sea salt and a tbsp of chopped parsley for garnish

salsa bianco
5 anchovies
2 minced garlic cloves
1/4 cup olive oil
1 cup white wine
3/4 cup butter
1/2 tsp salt
few rounds of ground pepper
2 tbsp oregano leaves
1/4 cup flat leaves parsley leaves
1/8 cup torn basil leaves
zest of one lemon
juice of a lemon
1lb of whole wheat spaghetti
grated parmesan for serving


Start by prepping your garlic and herbs. Remove the stems form the kale, wash, dry and tear into smallish pieces. Saute’ olive oil, 2 cloves of garlic and the kale in a large sauté pan along with a pinch of salt. Cook until the kale is wilted and bright green and just starting to turn dark green. Let them cool a bit, chop, and set aside. In a small dry sauté pan, toast your breadcrumbs and cumin together until the crumbs are starting to turn tan and the cumin is becoming fragrant. Set aside and let cool. Then in  bowl, add your ground chicken, salt, parmesan, cilantro, parsley, red pepper, sour cream, egg, toasted cumin and breadcrumbs. Mix well with your hands. Shape into 1 1/2 inch balls (makes about 16ish). Dredge them in the flour and shake off the excess. Heat a large frying pan to on medium high with about a half inch of olive oil. Test the oil by placing a teeny drop of water in the pan and stand back, if it pops its hot enough. Don’t crowd the pan, cook the meat ball until golden brown on all sides. Test them to see if they are ready to be turned by giving them a nudge, if they are medium golden brown and easily release form the pan. give them a turn. Cook them for about 8-10 minutes total. Place them in a 200 degree oven until ready to  serve. Meanwhile, make the sauce. Add olive oil to a medium sized pan at medium high heat. Add chopped garlic and sauté until fragrant. Add in the anchovies and use a wooden spoon to smash and break them up. Add in your white wine and lemon juice and let reduce by about 1/2. Then whisk in butter and oregano leaves. Cook and continue whisking until you have a slightly thickened, smooth butter wine sauce and set aside. Prepare the pasta per the instructions. To serve, toss the pasta in a bowl with the sauce and serve the meatballs on a platter with a splash of olive oil, sea salt, lemon zest and chopped parsley and plenty  of grated parmesan on the side.



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