My pantry

Zesty Baked Chicken Rissoles with Mozzarella

April 16, 2012

Recipes fly back and forth in my family. If someone finds something interesting we email each other, and even send photocopies – old fashioned style – through the mail. I have a big pink folder with tried and true recipes handed down from my family and friends. It’s a faithful ‘go to’ when I’m in need of inspiration. This one was an email from my Mama, to my Nana, with me as a cc. I’m still happy being an afterthought.

My Mama is one of those cooks who is as comfortable tackling a three course meal as she is a weeknight quicky. As the aim of this blog is fast and fabulous, at least for the present moment, so I won’t try to dazzle you with any of her doozies just yet (it’ll come, my pretties, we’re just getting to know each other), but this little recipe is super fast, and easy, and again suitable for little and big munchkins alike. It’s not fancy, but it’s tasty, and it’s healthy.

These zesty, cheesy little morsels are paired perfectly with pasta, or rice, but polenta is having a resurgence in my house, so I make a batch of creamy, delicious wet polenta. I always make sure to have left-over polenta because twice cooked polenta (read : polenta chips, mmmmmmmm) are delicious. These rissoles work equally well with turkey mince if you want to extra lean, but they’re also yummy with lamb mince if you want to go in a slightly different direction. You can add dried mixed Italian herbs to the lamb for a more robust herb aroma.

If you don’t have mozzarella just sprinkle with cheddar but the stringy, gooeyness of mozzarella takes this to a different realm for me. Again, I’m a little modest in my cheese usage for fat reasons but you can go nuts with it if you want to. I also struggle not to sneak in a little vegetable here and there, particularly if I’m feeding it to D Man who’s not yet au fait with ensalada (ha, French and Spanish, I’m obviously a linguistical genius. So tempted to remove this but it’s is how my brain works). These work well with a little carrot finely grated or zucchini. They’re both fairly innocuous and undetectable by the naked eye when smothered in tomatoey, cheesy, deliciousness.

Yeild : 10 rissoles

You will need :

  •  500g chicken mince
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped basil leaves
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan
  • 2 tsp finely grated lemon zest
  • 1 tbls lemon juice
  • 1 egg lightly beaten
  • 1/2 bread crumbs (make your own if you can, it does make a difference, but if you can’t be arsed, it doesn’t make that much difference!)
  •  plain flour for coating
  • 700ml jar passata (If you want to make your own, throw some onion and garlic into a pan and add some crushed tomatoes and Italian herbs – it’s totally worth the effort, but we’re keeping it simple this evening, because we’re tired and our back hurts)
  • mozzarella (1 cup grated, but I used slices)

Preheat oven to 180c.

Throw into a bowl your mince, breadcrumbs, parmesan and basil. Add lemon juice and zest, crack your egg in and get your hands in there to give it a good ol’ mix. Take your wedding rings off as rissoles in your filigree ain’t pretty. Shape into about 10 rissoles and coat very lightly with your flour. Heat oil in a large frypan and over a moderate heat and lightly sear rissoles on both sides before transferring to over proof dish. Pour over your passata, top with mozzarella and bake in the over until golden and bubbly and yummy. Serve with your pasta or polenta and a big salad.

‘Wow, what do you call these, love?’


Never gets old.




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  • Reply Bunny Eats Design April 17, 2012 at 12:04 am

    I had forgotten that I used to make 3 course meals during the week. I did! I must have been bored once 🙂

    I’ve been so busy lately that even quicky meals are almost disappearing from my repertoire!

    Super fast and easy is good to turn to now and then. I love the idea of a folder of recipes from friends and families.

    I have a binder of recipes, but they are mostly print outs from the web. I only have a handful of recipes that I’ve requested from my Mum. Mostly comfort food dishes that she cooked for us when we were very young.

    Your rissoles look great. How many do you eat in a sitting?

    • Reply Keeping Up With The Holsbys April 17, 2012 at 12:22 am

      Not bored, just had time and inclination!
      I would normally eat two, but currently can only manage a piddling one and a half due to the parasite occupying valuable food space….Mister H ate three though to keep it up for the team! D Man ate one but I may, or may not have, helped him.

  • Reply Helen Rydge April 17, 2012 at 9:56 pm

    Thanks, Danielle! I saw this and whipped it up yesterday between Hugo’s feeds/ dealing with a croupy Alice etc and reheated for dinner. Made my own passata as the cupboard was bare of the bought stuff. It was delicious!
    My friend who has 2 young kids and has just been in hospital will benefit from the leftovers. I will definitely add this to my freezable dinner / food to send to friends with babies repertoire.
    x Helen

    • Reply Keeping Up With The Holsbys April 17, 2012 at 10:12 pm

      Thanks so much for the feedback! It’s awesome to hear that these recipes are getting a spin in the kitchens of my friends. Hope Alice is feeling better and you’re getting some rest xxx

  • Reply Carolyn Colley April 18, 2012 at 1:31 am

    Nice job Danielle. Your finished product looks much more classy than mine ever does.
    With love, Mama

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