Saturday, 30 July 2011

Who Are You Calling Chicken?

Polpette di Pollo & Salami con Melanzane e Zucchine alla Griglia
Chicken & Salami Patties with Grilled Aubergine and Zucchini

It is getting to that critical time now, a week before I leave on vacation and a week in which I have a couple of obligations in the evening, where I am being cautious not to buy too much in the way of groceries. I want to make sure I use up what I have at home before I skedaddle- I am Sicilian and we invented the phrase "waste not, want not". Well actually we didn't- but still- we don't. Either waste, not want. We recycle. And everyone knows that's a good thing, right?

So, with one chicken breast, a hunk of salami, 1/3rd of an eggplant and 1/3rd of a zucchini, I created a meal. That's right- that was basically all I needed. An egg, some breadcrumbs, a little onion and some herbs and spices later, dinner was served and pretty tasty it was too!

I coarsely chopped the chicken, the salami, 1/4 of an onion and a clove of garlic and blended them in my machine with an egg and some breadcrumbs. I added some finely grated salted ricotta, a squeeze of tomato paste, some parsley and seasoned with salt and pepper. I rolled this out like a sausage, and deciding it was a little too large and likely to fall apart in the frying pan, split it in two. I also pressed them down a little flatter, just to get them to cook a little more quickly, as I was still a little wary of the chicken ending up being dry. 

I put them into a dry Teflon pan at a moderate heat and whilst they were starting to sizzle away, sliced up the eggplant and zucchini. Once the patties have begun to sizzle in earnest and exude some yummy fat, add the vegetables and sprinkle with dried oregano and thyme. The rest is plain sailing... keep tossing everything around gently for 9-10 minutes until everything is deliciously golden brown.

I served them up with a light squeeze of lemon juice, plenty of fresh parsley and a good sprinkle of red pepper corns- I love the mild heat and the crunch they add... and of course the splash of color too! Next on the list to be reloaded is some ground lamb... and I am already hatching a plan for that too...


  1. I can tell you that Sicilians aren't the only ones who don't like to waste food—it was drummed into me since birth and I *still* hate to throw out food. So when I see such a beautfiul and imaginative way to use leftovers, color me impressed!

  2. Hi Frank! I am glad that I was brought up that way! If people in Sicily hadn't thought of a way to make use of leftover icky and sticky risotto rice for example... we wouldn't have such a delicious thing as arancini to feast on! Good to have some kindred spirits out there and always great receiving your comments Frank! Saluti da Francoforte- Francesco