Chicken Thigh Swedish Style Meatballs

I don’t live in Sweden.  It might feel like I’m in Sweden right now.  It’s 12 ° F and snowy, but this is Ohio.  I’ve never even been to Sweden, unless an Ikea (really, like five different Ikeas) count as having been to Sweden. (They don’t. I know.)

But one thing those Ikeas do have is meatballs.  I like Swedish meatballs.  They’re good. Simple, honest mildly flavored balls of meat.  I mean, what’s not to like about that – other than that I was in an Ikea and the parking lot was large enough that the car I came in might have been in another state.

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Anyway, after that nearly incomprehensible introduction, here’s a delicious recipe for Swedish style meatballs, but – like everything else on this site – it’s made with chicken thighs. The recipe is pretty simple and is based on the classic formulation – ground meat with mild seasoning with cardamom and nutmeg, and doused in a simple cream sauce – which apparently is not traditional in Sweden, but definitely is traditional in an Ikea in suburban … everywhere. You can even serve them with lingonberry jam.

I’ve found over the years that I get the best result with meatballs – be they more traditional pork/beef meatballs, or the Coconut Green Curry Chicken Meatballs previously posted here – by quickly poaching the meatballs after shaping them. This means you can have round meatballs, instead of squishy somewhat flat meatballs. A quick bath in simmer stock gives you nice, round meatballs without sacrificing much flavor. More so if you use the stock (as we do here) to make the sauce.

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Chicken Thigh Swedish Style Meatballs

Recipe by DrewCourse: MainCuisine: American, SwedishDifficulty: Medium
Servings

4

servings
Prep time

30

minutes
Cooking time

30

minutes

Swedish style meatballs made from chicken thighs.

Ingredients

  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken thighs

  • 2 cups dark chicken stock

  • ½ cup breadcrumbs

  • ¼ cup heavy cream

  • 1 large egg

  • 2 tbsp whole milk

  • 1 small shallot

  • 2 tbsp AP flour

  • ½ tsp ground black pepper

  • 1 tsp kosher salt

  • ½ tsp dried dill

  • ¼ tsp ground cardamom

  • ¼ tsp freshly grated or ½ tsp ground nutmeg

  • ½ tsp finely chopped fresh parsley

  • Additional nutmeg and chopped parsley as garnish

Directions

  • Cut the chicken into 1–2-inch pieces.
  • Season with salt.
  • Peel, trim, and microplane the shallot
  • Beat the egg and milk together.
  • Add the breadcrumbs to the egg and milk mixture.
  • Add the chicken, microplaned shallot, egg/milk/crumb mixture, black pepper, cardamom, nutmeg, salt, and dill to the container of a food processor.
  • Process until the mixture is smooth with no remaining chunks.
  • Transfer to a covered container and refrigerate for 1 hour.
  • Bring 2 cups dark chicken stock to a boil, then reduce to a simmer.
  • Form the chicken mixture into 1 to 1 ½ inch balls.
  • Working in batches, poach in the simmering stock for 1-2 minutes. Keep the stock warm for later use.
  • Once all balls are poached, transfer to a fry pan over medium high heat (add up to 1 tbsp butter if necessary) and cook until lightly browned on all sides.
  • Remove the meat balls from the pan and add the flour, stirring in to create a roux.
  • Cook just until the raw flour smell has dissipated.
  • Add 1 cup of the reserved chicken stock, whisking to incorporate the roux.
  • Once the mixture begins to thicken, add the heavy cream, and cook until the sauce thickens Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  • Add the meatballs back in to re-warm and coat with the sauce.
  • To serve, garnish with chopped parsley and fresh grated nutmeg and accompany with lingonberry jam.
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