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In January 2018 we traveled to Loket in the Czech Republic. During winter and especially a few days after Three Kings, restaurants and shops in these little towns are mainly closed for business and only open over weekends. The weather was not in our favor that specific day and as we walked around this beautiful castle, we saw a fireplace being lit in a restaurant a few meters away from us. We looked at each other and our feet automatically walked that way… probably knew that we needed coffee. Oh, by the way, we are coffee addicts and snobs. Got there, and the fresh, warm smell of Czech Cuisine started tangling our taste buds. For those of you that know us, will know that our favorite country is the Czech Republic. Not only for the breathtaking nature and scenery but also for their food.
Got hold of a waiter, that obviously could not understand why these two South Africans are strolling around a winter ghost town. She gave us the menu and in broken English said: “chicken balls special today”. We did not think twice. Ordered the Chicken Balls (which was served with Czech bramboraky – potato pancakes) and the rest is history… here is my take on the chicken balls.
Chicken & Date Meatballs filled with Roquefort
- 700 g Chicken Mince See notes to make your own
- 5 ml Salt
- Black Pepper to taste
- 5 ml Smoked Paprika
- 15 ml Fresh Thyme chopped
- 15 ml Breadcrumbs
- 80 g Dates pitted and finely chopped
- 30 – 60 ml Milk if needed
- 200 g Mozzarella grated
- 60 g Feta crumbled
- 60 g Roquefort or any other blue cheese crumbled
- Preheat oven to 180°C and lightly oil a baking tray.
- Mix all of the ingredients for the chicken mince together in a clean bowl. Divide the mince into 10 x 80g balls.
- If the mince mixture is very dry, add the milk.
- In a separate bowl, mix the filling ingredients together and use your hands to compact the filling. Divide the cheese filling into 10 x 30g pieces and roll each piece into a ball shape.
- Take one of the mince balls, flatten it a bit and wrap the cheese in it. Use your hands to roll a ball and to make sure that it is completely sealed.
- Place the chicken balls in the prepared baking tray and use a brush to paint each ball lightly with olive oil.
- Bake for 20 – 25 minutes. Serve immediately
If you can’t find chicken mince for sale, make your own by cutting deboned chicken breasts in small cubes. Place the chicken bits and 30 – 60ml milk in a food processor and pulse until minced. Voila!
Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.