Chicken meatballs

The relish will make more than needed but it is completely delicious and will last in the fridge for a couple of weeks at least. Serve it with roasted vegetables, grilled chicken or slow-cooked lamb. Commercial harissa varieties can vary. If yours isn’t very spicy, add a bit of cayenne pepper to it to enhance the kick. Serves four, making about 12 meatballs.

Serve the meatballs warm with the relish.

Ingredients

  • 1 whole corn cob, husk removed
  • About 60ml olive oil
  • 35g crustless white bread, roughly torn, soaked in water for a few minutes, then drained and squeezed
  • 500g minced chicken
  • 1 small onion, grated (60g net)
  • 1 clove of garlic, crushed
  • 15g coriander, chopped
  • 7g parsley, finely chopped
  • 1½ tsp ground cumin
  • 1 small red chilli, finely diced
  • 1 medium egg, lightly beaten
  • Salt and black pepper
  • Lemon and harissa relish:
  • 2 preserved lemons, flesh and skin sliced into thin strips (220g net);
  • 1 tsp lemon juice;
  • 3 tbsp olive oil;
  • 1 tbsp harissa paste

Method

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180C.
  2. To prepare the corn, put a ridged griddle pan on high heat and allow it to get really hot. Brush the corn with ½ a tablespoon of the olive oil and char grill it for 8-10 minutes, turning regularly. You want the flesh to get lots of dark charred specks and the corn to turn smoky. Remove from the heat, and once cool enough to handle, shave the corn off the cob using a large, sharp knife. Place the kernels in a large mixing bowl and set aside.
  3. For the relish, mix together in a medium bowl all the ingredients and set aside until needed.
  4. To make the meatballs, add to the bowl with the corn the bread, chicken, onion, garlic, herbs, cumin, chilli, egg, ½ teaspoon of salt and a generous grind of black pepper. Stir the ingredients until well combined. Lightly moisten your hands with some of the olive oil, take 60 gram portions of mix, then form them into round meatballs and lay on a tray lined with baking paper.
  5. Return the griddle pan to a high heat. Once hot, cook the meatballs for 1-2 minutes on each side. They should have visible char marks and lift up easily from the pan.
  6. Take off the grill and place back on the baking tray. Put in the oven for 6 minutes or until cooked through.