I’m not sure how you feel about what goes on behind closed doors in your pantry or kitchen cupboards, but I know that my pantry can be a place of mystery and intrigue. My pantry-room is quite large and this is not necessarily an asset. There are dark corners of it which have become repositories for seldom-used domestic items, shopping bags, jars (none of which seem to have a matching lid), empty boxes and languishing, unloved purchasing lapses in judgement. While, at the time, I was utterly convinced I would use a popcorn maker/seed sprouter/turbo-roasting oven, it seems I was wrong and The Husband was right. But we won’t go there.
Weird things happen on the dry-goods shelves too. Tins of tomatoes or white beans that I just know were there vanish to be replaced with mysterious cans of three bean mix and jars of pickled onions that no-one will own up to buying. Other things replicate themselves. We are soon to go on a family trip and, in a laughable effort to impress my domestic competence upon the lovely lady who will be house-sitting for us, I have made a few forays into the pantry to try to whip it into some sort of shape. I was surprised to find I currently have six different kinds of salt on one shelf, five different varieties of pepper and five separate containers of dukkah – and no idea where any of them came from.
For those of you who are wondering what on earth I’m rambling on about, dukkah is a ground-up mixture of herbs, nuts and spices and is of Egyptian origin. I love it served with olive oil and a good chewy, crusty bread to dip into it, I also use it to coat chicken for frying and I sometimes add it to dips. When faced with the reality of five jars of the stuff I decided I had to get a little more inventive about ways to inject more of it into our diet.
The silly season has started in earnest around here and I’ve come up with this simple, speedy and adaptable (as per usual) Dukkah Chicken Bites recipe for a very tasty cocktail snack. Make short work of these with your food processor and try making them in bulk to freeze. They are great for unannounced guests or for when you suddenly remember that you’re expected to show up somewhere with a plate of something. (Although I’m sure, dear, capable reader that never happens to you! ) They make great chicken burgers for the barbecue and it would be a very simple matter to adjust this recipe for for lamb or beef. A word of warning – this recipe makes up quite a few, but apparently not enough. They vanished very quickly.
- 600 gms chicken meat (I used thigh as it is not as dry as breast meat)
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- ⅓ cup dukkah
- ½ cup fresh bread crumbs
- ¼ cup chopped fresh coriander
- 1 clove garlic, finely diced
- ½ onion, finely diced
- ½ preserved lemon, remove flesh & discard, rinse skin, pat dry and roughly chop
- 1 good pinch of salt
- Place chicken meat in processor and pulse 2-3 times or until finely minced.
- Add the rest of the ingredients and process until well combined.
- With wet hands (to prevent sticking) roll into balls about the size of a walnut.
- Shallow fry in hot oil until golden and cooked through. Alternatively, spray with olive oil, place on a baking tray lined with baking paper and bake in a hot oven (180-200C) for 15-20 minutes, or until golden and cooked through.
The ⒸKitchenAid food processor was kindly supplied by KitchenAid Australia.
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