I confess, have no real interest in the Super Bowl. In the past I would watch for the commercials, but a few years ago a Canadian broadcaster picked up the rights to air the game here. So in Canada we see Canadian commercials, no Soup Nazi, no Ferris Bueller, just the same stuff we see every day. Thank goodness for youtube!
Despite not being interested in the game itself I do have a system for picking a team, cutest quarterback will win. Today I believe that to be Tom Brady. Please note these are my personal opinions, if you happen to think Eli Manning is the bees knees I won’t argue with you.
The best part of the Super Bowl has to be the food. This year I decided to make something a little different, but not too different. Buffalo Chicken Meatballs, like wings but in ball form. There are advantages to the meatball over the wing. First, there is the messiness factor. Wings are greasy, slippery, and sticky all at the same time. In meatball form the messiness is no longer an issue, you can use a fork or if the meatballs are small enough toothpicks to pick them up like appetizers. Second, wings are strangely expensive. I really have no idea why they cost as much as they do, but ground chicken is a much less expensive option. Either way, you can’t go wrong with butter and hot sauce!
Just one note on the recipe. The original does not say to fry the meatballs, but when I took mine out of the oven they were a very unappetizing colour. I would call it dusty rose. So I fried them after baking. In my instructions below I’ve written to fry before baking, because that’s what every meatball I’ve ever read says. Feel free to fry afterwards.
Buffalo Chicken Meatballs
(adapted from Bon Appetit)
- 4 tbsp vegetable oil, divided
- 4 tbsp unsalted butter
- 1/3 cup sriracha
- 1 pound ground chicken
- 1 large egg
- 3/4 cup bread crumbs
- 1 celery stalk, minced
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp pepper
- 1/2 tsp onion powder
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- Grease a 9 by 13 inch glass baking dish with 2 tbsp of the vegetable oil, set aside. Preheat the oven to 450 F.
- In a medium sauce pan, melt the butter with the sriracha. Set aside to cool.
- While the butter is cooling, mix the chicken, breadcrumbs, eggs, celery, salt, pepper, onion and garlic powder together with your hands. Pour in the cooled butter mixture and continue to mix until well combined. Form into 3/4 inch balls.
- Pour the remaining oil into a heavy bottomed frying pan over medium heat. Brown the meatballs on all sides, but do not cook through.
- Place the meatballs in the prepared baking dish and bake for 15 to 20 minutes until the chicken is cooked through. Serve with BBQ Dipping Sauce.
BBQ Dipping Sauce
- 1 cup ketchup
- 1 tbsp sriracha
- 2 tbsp molasses
- 2 tbsp brown sugar
- 1/4 cup cider vinegar
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp onion powder
- salt and pepper
- Pour all the ingredients into a small sauce pan. Simmer for 10-15 minutes, stirring to combine. Let cool before serving.
Last week when I decided to cook this dish, I planned to write a silly little post about the pot holes in Montreal, or “nids de poules” as they are called in French (chickens nests). But then Japan happened. Seeing all the devastation caused by the earthquake and tsunami made writing about a few bumps in the road seem so petty.
People around the world are looking for ways to help. The easiest thing to do is to make a donation to a non-profit that is helping in the area. Which non-profit to donate to is always a tough call. The safe choices like The Red Cross have high overhead costs, and the smaller organizations may not be legitamite. Because of their reputation, I choose to donate to organizations like The Red Cross or Medecins Sans Frontieres (Doctors Without Borders); they may have more overhead but they are trusted, well known organizations.
If you are looking for another way to help, Sabrina from The Tomato Tart is hosting an Online Bake Sale to help Japan. Check out her post if you want to donate goods or bid.
If you simply want to donate, here are a few links.
The Canadian Red Cross
Medecins Sans Frontieres
In the United States:
The American Red Cross
Doctors Without Borders
And now for the recipe…
Chicken With Vegetables and Spinach
- 2 chicken legs
- 1 medium onion, roughly chopped
- 1 red bell pepper, cut into large pieces
- 5 Yukon Gold potatoes, cut into large pieces
- 4 garlic cloves
- olive oil
- salt, pepper and thyme to taste
- 1/4 cup white wine
- fresh spinach
- Preheat the oven to 425.
- Clean and pat dry the chicken legs. In a large bowl, toss the chicken with the onion, garlic cloves, bell pepper and potatoes with oil so that everything is coated. Season with salt, pepper and thyme.
- Place the vegetables on a large baking sheet in an even layer. Place the chicken legs on top of the vegetables. Bake for 40-50 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through.
- Remove the chicken and vegetables from the pan. Place the pan on a burner on high, pour the wine into the pan and deglaze (scrape up all the brown bits).
- Place the chicken and vegetables on a bed of spinach and top with the wine sauce.
It’s amazing how quickly stuff can accumulate. I’ve been in my current condo since 2006. It was my first place so all I had when I moved in were the basics. My budget was pretty tight in the beginning, so I stayed with the basics for awhile. As time went on and I got more comfortable, I started buying some of those “nice to have” things. Then I started buying the “don’t really need by it’s so darn cute” things. Now as I’m decluttering and simplifying for my next move, I’ve realized that I’m bursting at the seams with stuff.
I know most of it is unnecessary, but just putting things in a box is difficult. It’s easy to become attached to stuff. Memories and emotions get all mixed up with possessions. I know that by choosing to sacrifice square footage in order to be in a better location, I’ve also made the choice to simplify. I need to start embracing that.
Simplicity can be a very good thing, like this one pan meal of roast chicken and vegetables. Low on effort and dirty dishes but high in flavour, this is one of my favourite things to make when life gets a little too hectic. Just chop up some root vegetables, toss them with oil and pour them in a pan, put some seasoned chicken on top and roast. I used chicken legs, but if you’re feeding a crowd a whole chicken be used in the exact same way, just use a deeper pan.
Roast Chicken and Root Vegetables
- Chicken Legs
- Potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
- Carrots, cut into chunks
- Leeks, cleaned and sliced into large pieces
- Olive Oil
- Garlic Powder
- Salt and Pepper
- Preheat oven to 400
- Put the potatoes, carrots and leeks in a pan. Drizzle with some olive oil, then season with garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Toss until the vegetables are evenly coated ( I used my hands)
- Season the chicken legs with garlic powder, salt and pepper. Coat with a small amount of oil, then sprinkle with paprika.
- Place in the oven and roast for about 40 minutes, until the vegetables are softened and the chicken is cooked through. (Test the chicken by piercing it with a knife and seeing if the juices run clear)