The other day, I was kicking around a few dinner ideas that I could make with Chicken Breast, Gouda, and Asparagus. I went back and forth with ideas in a cloud of mental strife all afternoon trying to pick the right one to make. In the end, I picked the winner because it embraced a way of cooking chicken breast that I’d never tried before: food processing it into a paste of sorts. From there, we had a couple more options: 1. Form into meatballs and bake, 2. Form into small flat patties, coat with corn meal, and make nuggets, and 3. Form the chicken and asparagus mixture around a BBQ skewer, and grill it. In the end, we went with the meatballs simply because our schedules forced a late dinner, it was raining (knocking #3 out of the running), and #1 would require less clean-up than #2. All that is to say that your options are wide open with respect to how to cook these!
Other Chicken/Asparagus/Gouda ideas we pondered that wound up in the “runners up” circle (which will probably appear in later posts when we restock our gouda supply and get around to making them) were:
- Chicken and Asparagus “Gouda Alfredo” over Penne
- “Chicken Cordon Vert” (Cordon Bleu, but stuffed with asparagus and Gouda)
- Blackened Chicken and Asparagus Grit Casserole
- Some Sort of Stir Fry (never got around to fleshing that idea out further)
We baked ours and served them over Gouda Grits with a side salad. However, depending on how you season them, they’d also be good over pasta with Marinara Sauce (or a roasted red pepper sauce), served on a hoagie roll as a sub, or even as a (highly unconventional) dipping ingredient for Fondue!
Time: 30 Minutes
Ingredients (Makes about 10 balls):
- 1 Chicken Breast
- 1/2 Bunch of Asparagus (approx 2/3 of a pound)
- 2 Eggs
- Bread Crumbs to bind (we used whole wheat panko)
- Seasonings of your choice. We used a little salt and a lot of black pepper. Use more than you think you need.
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F, line a baking sheet with some foil, and give the foil a quick oil spray to prevent future sticking.
- Wash your asparagus, cut the fibery bottom ends off (discard), cut the remaining good asparagus into inch long strips, and place in your food processor.
- Cut your chicken breast into roughly 1 inch cubes, and add that to the food processor too.
- Crack two eggs, and put them in the food processor bowl as well.
- Lastly, add in your seasonings, and then process to form your chickeny/asparagusy paste!
- Transfer your mixture to a bowl, and stir in some bread crumbs. Keep adding and stirring bread crumbs until your mixture is “bound” enough that it can be shaped into balls.
- Shape your meatballs, and place them on your baking sheet.
- Transfer everything to the oven, and bake for about 8-9 minutes (true timing will depend on the size you make your meatballs)
- Flip your meatballs, and bake for another 8-9 minutes. When your meatballs reach a minimum internal cooked temperature of 165 degrees F (as read by a digital thermometer), they are done!
- Plate, devour, and enjoy!