~ "By wisdom a house is built, and through understanding it is established; Through knowledge its rooms are filled with rare and beautiful treasures." ~ "Reckless words pierce like a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing" ~ "But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy." ~ "Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths."~

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Chicken Meatballs(Chiftelute)....

Chicken Meatballs(Chiftelute)....My nephew and nieces are coming for a visit, so I decided to make these meatballs for them. The kids only have these meatballs at Grandma's house...I know they won't be the same. That's because my mom always had a pinch of her love added to it, which makes it all the more harder to replicate. This recipe comes from my wonderful mom, who lovingly made these for us while growing up. We devoured them...and still do! A long time ago, my mom used to make them using beef, but she later changed them to chicken. It was a hit!... and she never went back to using beef again. Seasonings and amounts are my additions. This is my attempt at copying her recipe.
These are Romanian meatballs, so don't expect them to be like the American version. They are good though! Kids love them! You can stuff them in pita bread and pour some yoghurt sauce or eat them as an appetizer dipped in your favorite sauce. My mom would also cook them in a tomato based sauce(chiftelute marinate) that was delicious over mashed potatoes/rice/pasta. But, here is my version...
I usually grind my meat. But, feel free to use store bought ground chicken. I have used turkey meat, with different results though,... yet, still delicious.

You will need:this will give you about 50 golf size meatballs...not perfectly round.
3 lbs chicken thigh meat(dark meat),ground
2 tsps onion powder
1/4 cup grated onion
1 small garlic clove, grated
1 TBS kosher salt, or to taste
2 tsps dried parsley(or 3 tsps fresh)
2 slices white bread*
3 TBS milk, or enough to soak bread
2 large eggs
Some flour (for dusting/rolling the meatballs)
oil for frying
* feel free to use some mashed potato instead for a gluten-free option

Grind meat (I used dark thigh meat) and set aside in a large bowl.
Get your seasoning ready. In a small bowl place sliced bread and pour milk over the bread.
Let the bread soak up the milk and mix it to get a paste like consistency. Now, I have also used dry breadcrumbs as well and skipped the milk(because I didn't have any on hand) and they still came out. But, I prefer the sliced bread option, so that is why I used it in this post. I am just giving you an alternative. Set aside. To the ground chicken meat, add seasoning, parsley, grated onion, and garlic.
Add the milk bread paste and two eggs.
Mix completely using your hands or a heavy spoon. I usually let the mixture sit for a while in the fridge while I clean up....this helps the meat to firm up a bit.
In a small bowl add some flour( oh, I'd say about 1 cup...you can always add some later if you need extra). Take about a tablespoon size chunk of the meat mixture and place it in the flour roll it around and shape into a ball using floured hands....try not to compact the mixture too much. Just lightly roll it in a ball.
Place on a plate or a cookie sheet( I like to place a wax piece of paper on it before). Your hands will get sticky...just wash and flour them again. Continue making all the meatballs.
I like to fry the meatballs using a large pot so this way the oil splattering will be minimized. You can use a skillet , if you prefer. My mom always used a skillet. Pour enough oil to about 1 inch....you can pour some more if you like. Dust off excess flour from the meatballs before placing them in the oil. You will notice that as the meatballs sit on the wax paper, they will probably absorb some of the flour. They might stick...just lift them up using a flat spatula and they will be ok....if need be, roll the meatballs into a bit more flour and dust off the excess flour.
Place meatballs in the hot oil and fry until golden . Turn them over and fry the other side. Drain on paper towels. Serve with spicy ketchup or any sauce you like. Stuff them in pita bread with some yoghurt sauce. Mix them with same marinara sauce...etc. They freeze very well....just reheat in the toaster oven at 450 until hot.


AB said...

I've been exploring your site a little this evening and LOVE all the Romanian recipes! One of my good friends and I are both of Romanian ancestry and I've been looking for some good recipes to try. Thanks so much for these! I hope you'll do more Romanian food in the future. :-)

Ellie said...

Alpha Belle,
Thanks for stopping by and for leaving the nice comment. I am glad you are enjoying the blog. Let me now if you try any...

Alina---Explora Cuisine said...

Lovely meatballs :) I love them!

Adina said...

I have to say that I feel guilty so many time I've use you're recipes, for not saying thank you for the great recipes you have on this blog,is a real blessing for me,I have four kids and a job ,
I love cooking but I have no time to look for new recipes but on your blog everything is so simple.I made those meatballs today and everybody love it. May God bless you in all things,and may you know His favor and mercy.

Ellie said...

Adina, Oh, you are so very welcome! And thank YOU for your kind comment and taking the time to share your feedback.
It means so much to me that I can be used of God... to be a source of help to people. I feel so blessed when readers write and share their comments, as you have done. So, thank you for bringing me joy today:)!
I'm especially thrilled the kids liked the meatballs:)... May God give you strength in raising them up for His glory.

Laviheartsjoe said...

Hi, I had a quick question. Is wheat bread ok to substitute for the white bread? I don't have any white bread, I do have bread crumbs but the are Italian and I don't want to add then since they have Italian seasoning added. By the way, thank you so much for your blog. I too am Romanian and I come back often to your blog when I can't understand my moms writing lol( you know that old school,all caps romo handwriting). Thank you again!


Ellie said...

Hi Lavi:),

Yes, you can definitely use whole wheat bread. It will be fine. If you feel the mixture is too soft to form into meatballs, just add a bit more bread.... If the meat is too dense, add a bit more milk or egg.

Thank you for your kind comment.... so glad I could be of help:)!

Anonymous said...

I really appreciate your website! I'm a missionary in Romania, and my husband is Romanian. I've been here for four year, but it has been hard to find recipes for most food here,since so much is just passed on to the next generation without a written recipe. Your website helps me make some of his favorite foods. Happy husband...happy wife! :) God bless!

Ellie said...

Kristie, Oh, thank you! . Made my day knowing the Romanian recipes have been of help to you... so glad I could, in a small way, be available for you to help you adjust to the food culture differences.

So thank you for taking the time to write and let me know... I really appreciate it!

And yes, I'm with you on the happy part:). Things always fare better when we take care of our husbands:).

Thank you also for sharing the gospel to the Romanian people. God bless you as a family and may He continue to watch over you.

Unknown said...

Love your recipes, I have already tried a few all very successfully.

Can I use coconut oil to fry the meatballs? Do you recommend some oil? I have olive oil and canola and coconut in the house, I know olive oil shouldn't be heated at high temperature. Thanks and Happy Easter!

Ellie said...

Roxana, Happy Easter to you and your family as well:)! Thanks a bunch for trying a few recipes, glad you've enjoyed them. Always makes my day to hear that.

You know, I've been loving coconut oil... and I love to fry with it as well. But it is important not to heat the coconut oil too high either. However, I like to use it mainly because I noticed minimal lingering frying smell in my house when I fry in coconut oil.... I also love the flavor of the coconut oil:). But it can get to be expensive.... however, if you use a small pot and fry in batches you can make the oil go longer. Just remember that it is an oil that doesn't have a very high smoke point... best to fry at 350 deg F.

Canola oil works very well too, but I haven't bought it in ages.

I love to use grapeseed oil and avocado oil also, when I have it on hand... because they have a high smoke point(400-450 deg F) and you don't need to worry about keeping the oil at a lower temp.... as long as the oil is refined. Unrefined oils have a much lower smoke point.

You could use safflower oil or sunflower oil as well, as their smoke point is usually in the 400 deg F range.

Yikes, what a long answer, but hope that helps:). And thanks for stopping by.