Friday, January 20, 2012

Chicken Meatball Noodle Soup

With a package of ground chicken staring at me every time I opened the refrigerator, I set out to do something with it.  I've made a variety of burgers using ground chicken in the past but find they are always a little bland and dry.  It was a cold, rainy Saturday and soup seemed just the thing.  Chicken Meatball Noodle Soup.

Smitten Kitchen is responsible for introducing me to food blogs and therefore directly to credit (or blame) for my addiction to the genre and to starting my own blog.  Deb's photography and writing continue to inspire me so when I went looking for a chicken meatball recipe, hers was the one I used.  

These meatballs were delicious.  I rolled 'em up really small for the soup and made a few larger ones for tasting.  A panade is the secret to keeping them moist.  Panade is a fancy word for a completely unfancy mixture of bread and milk.  Ham adds a big hit of flavor here.  I would have preferred pancetta, but the Canadian bacon I had worked just fine.  One of the things I loved about this recipe was being able to use of bits and pieces of leftovers (hamburger buns, Canadian bacon from a Christmas gift basket, a couple of shallots).   Perfect to help me waste less food.  Don't skip over the tomato paste/olive oil topping.  It was my favorite part and added extra moisture and flavor.  

The soup was basic and the perfect backdrop for the meatballs.  A lovely, slightly different soup that we all enjoyed immensely.  

What was the first food blog that made you swoon?

Chicken Meatball Noodle Soup

Chicken Meatballs
Smitten Kitchen (originally adapted from Gourmet)

3 slices Italian bread, torn into small bits, 1 cup (I used leftover hamburger buns)
1/3 cup milk
3 ounces sliced pancetta or Canadian bacon, finely chopped
1 small onion, finely chopped (I used 2 shallots)
1 small garlic clove, minced
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1 large egg
1 pound ground chicken
2 tablespoons tomato paste, divided
3 tablespoons flat leaf Italian parsley, chopped

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F with a rack positioned in the upper third of the oven.  

Soak bread in milk until softened, about 4 minutes.

Cook pancetta, onion, and garlic in one tablespoon oil, 1/2 tsp of salt and 1/2 tsp of pepper in a large skillet until onion is softened, about 6 minutes.  Cool slightly.

Squeeze bread to remove milk.  Discard milk.  Lightly beat egg in a large bowl and add chicken, 1 tablespoon tomato paste, pancetta mixture, and parsley.  Mix together until all ingredients are well combined.  Form into meatballs and place on baking sheet.  Note:  If making meatballs for soup, make small balls, about 1/2 to 3/4 inch in diameter.  

Stir together remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil and 1 tablespoon tomato paste.  Brush mixture over meatballs.  Bake until cooked through, about 15 - 20 minutes.

Chicken Noodle Soup

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small onion, finely diced
2 large carrots, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 thyme sprigs
8 cups chicken stock
1/2 cup egg noodles
salt and pepper
Chicken meatballs

Heat olive oil in dutch oven over medium-high heat.  Add onions and carrots and cook until onions are translucent and softened, about 6 minutes.  Add garlic and cook until it become fragrant, about 30 seconds.  

Add thyme and chicken stock and cook over medium-low heat until carrots are almost tender, about 15 minutes.  Add egg noodles and cook until they are done.  Remove thyme stems.  Season with salt and pepper.  Add meatballs (6-8 if you are using small meatballs) to bowl.  Ladle chicken noodle soup over and serve.

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  1. What a lovely soup, especially sor this kind of weather! Have a lovely weekend!

  2. I've been meaning to try those chicken meatballs from Deb's site for a while, thanks for the reminder! Your soup looks wonderful, great for this time of year.


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