Category Archives: meatballs

Queen’s Pie


I’ve always been a fan of chicken pot pie. It is the ultimate in comfort food and is the perfect use for both left over chicken as well as those chicken breasts in your refrigerator that need jazzing up. And because I’m a fan of pot pies, I naturally gravitate to them when they appear on a restaurant menu. So when I spotted something called “Queen’s Pie” on a restaurant menu recently I just had to inquire as to what it was.

My inquiry was met with a chuckle from the waiter who went on in broken English to describe a dish that contained chicken, meatballs and vegetables in a creamy broth. To me it sounded a lot like chicken pot pie and that is exactly what it was and it didn’t disappoint.

Back at home I set out to recreate this dish. Because I made this for a weeknight dinner, I used pre-made meatballs and puff pastry shells that just needed to be heated in the oven but if you have the time, could make both of these from scratch if you prefer. I augmented the meat with a generous amount of vegetables–in this case peas and corn–since they are favorites in my house and combined in all in a creamy sauce. The results were a hit. After all what isn’t to love about a chicken pot pie with meatballs!


3 Tablespoons unsalted butter

2 large carrots, peeled and cut into small coins

1 stalk celery, diced

1 leek, thinly sliced

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

1/3 cup dry sherry

3 cups low sodium chicken broth

1/2 cup heavy cream

2 bay leaves

3 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite sized pieces

24 – 1/2 inch meatballs

3/4 cup frozen peas

3/4 cup canned corn

6 puff pastry shells

  • Melt the butter in a large Dutch oven set over medium heat.  Add the carrots, celery, leek and salt and saute for 5-7 minutes or until the vegetables are soft and the onion is translucent.
  • Add in the garlic and saute for 15 seconds or until fragrant.
  • Stir in the flour and the sherry, scraping up any stuck bits from the bottom of the pan.
  • Add the broth, cream, and bay leaves and simmer for 8-10 minutes or until the mixture has thickened.
  • Gently stir in the chicken and meatballs.
  • Season with salt and pepper and simmer gently for 15 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through.
  • Discard the bay leaves and stir in the peas and corn, heating until the vegetables are hot.
  • Cook the pastry shells according to package instructions.
  • To serve, generously fill the pastry with the meat mixture.

Serves 6

Italian Meatballs


To finally fulfill my Christmas promise to Sidney I cooked up a batch of meatballs this past weekend.  Not being able to find any ground meat that I liked in the local stores, I purchased whole portions of veal and pork and ground my own.  Yes, I finally broke out the Kitchen Aid meat grinder attachment Glenn gave me for my first birthday in Albania (isn’t he romantic?!?) and made my own ground meat. I don’t know why I waited so long.  Not only was it easy but the quality of the meat was so much higher.  It looks like the meat grinder will be getting a workout in 2013.

1/4 cup fresh bread crumbs
1/4 cup whole milk
1/2 lb ground veal
1/2 lb ground pork
1 egg, slightly beaten
1/2 cup fresh grated Parmesan cheese
1 small onion, minced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 pinch ground nutmeg
1 pinch ground cloves
1 tsp dried marjoram leaves
Salt and pepper to taste
Olive oil as needed for frying
1)  Combine bread crumbs and milk in a small bowl.  Set aside.

Breaking out the meat grinder for the first time


2)  In a large bowl combine veal, pork, egg, Parmesan cheese, onion, garlic, and spices.  Add the bread
      and milk mixture.  Season with salt and pepper.

Everything goes into the bowl


3)  Using your hands, knead the mixture until all of the ingredients are well combined.

Some therapeutic mixing going on


4)  Using your hands, form 1-inch sized balls.  Place on a tray or baking sheet until ready to fry.

Ready to cook


5)   Heat 1/4 inch of olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
6)  Once the oil is shimmering add the meatballs, in batches, to the oil.  After 2-3 minutes, turn the
      meatballs over so that they brown on all sides.

Frying to a golden brown


7)  Remove the meatballs from the oil and drain on paper towel lined plates.
8)  Continue frying the meatballs until they have all been browned.
9)  Preheat an oven to 375 degrees.
10)  Place the meatballs on a rimmed baking sheet.  Bake for 20 minute until hot and cooked through.
Yields:  50 1-inch meatballs

The meatballs can be served with a tomato sauce over pasta, with ketchup (Sidney’s preferred method) or as is.

Because one can not survive on meatballs alone, I served
these with risotto and steamed spinach
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