Chicken meatballs and rice… nothing so special, but something the kids love. In all kinds of variations – chicken meatballs in tomato sauce with rice, Yakitori chicken meatballs with rice (on the kids menu of our favourite sushi place…), and so on. So when I saw this recipe – again in “If I were your wife” – I decided to add it to the dinner plan of the week. I was tempted by the coconut rice, rice boiled in coconut milk, but also by the fact that coconut flakes are added to the meatballs… all in all a very “coconutty” recipe, but why not?
I like rice, but avoided to prepare it myself for quite a long time. I just never really got it right – either it got stuck to the bottom of the pot and burnt or it was swimming in too much water and didn’t get the right consistency. It all changed when I our first Au Pair moved in. She was from the Philippines and could not be without her daily serving of rice. We bought a rice cooker – and I love it! I don’t know why I never considered buying one before – it’s so simple! And the result is great… one of my favourite kitchen tools now. For the coconut rice, I first wasn’t sure whether I should also use the rice cooker. I did, and it worked perfectly well.
The chicken meatballs are also fairly straight-forward. If you want it simple, just ask your butcher to ground the chicken thighs directly in the shop. The addition of the coconut flakes and cardamom gives them a nice asian touch – but I can also imagine that some chopped spring onions and chili peppers (if you like it hot) would be a great addition. Maybe lemon grass as well.
The mango chutney is a nice fit, but as I like it spicy, I also had some chili sauce on the side. The recipe quantities are quite generous, so you may have some leftovers for the next day – or for the lunch box!
- 50 g coconut flakes
- 100ml milk
- 500 g minced chicken (ask the butcher to mince some chicken thigh fillets freshly for you if you have no meat grinder)
- 1 tsp ground cardamom
- 1 egg
- 50 g breadcrumbs
- ½ tsp salt
- coconut oil
- 300 g basmati rice
- 1 can coconut milk
- 200 ml water
- 4 lime leaves
- 1 lime
- mango chutney
- Let the coconut flakes soak in milk for at least 20 minutes.
- In the meantime, prepare the coconut rice. Rinse the rice until the water is clear. If you have a rice cooker, add rice, water, coconut milk, lime leaves and a pinch of salt and switch it on. Otherwise, cook it in a pot at low temperature for about 20 minutes, until the rice has absorbed the liquid.
- Combine the minced chicken, drained coconut flakes, egg, breadcrumbs, cardamom and salt and knead with your hands until well mixed.
- Form small, flat meatballs and fry them in coconut oil until golden brown. Keep them covered on low heat for ca. 10 more minutes.
- Serve the chicken meatballs with coconut rice, mango chutney and a wedge of lime.