Lately I've been battling some annoying inflammation in my right hand. My body is telling me it ain't happy about this irritation that's stubbornly refusing to take a hike - and, of course, now I regret not sticking with the food journal I began all those months ago. It's infuriating, yet so ironic, how whilst I'm documenting everything that passes my lips there is nothing to report, however the moment my diligence lapses a flare should rear its ugly head. And now I don't exactly know where it came from. Okay, I might have my suspicions: Could it be the lack of sleep I've been putting up with these last couple of weeks, the personal stresses I've been feeling lately or perhaps even *whispers in horror at the thought* the sweet potatoes newly introduced to the diet? Ugh, let's talk about chicken instead.
I've never really bothered with ground chicken before. Don't ask me why but writing a handful of chicken recipes for my recent project has got me thinking that pre-ground is quite a cost effective way to go. Ground chicken (from my butcher anyway) is still quality breast meat but stripped from the carcass once the breasts are removed. It's still the good stuff, only the itty bits nobody would want to buy so now I go forth because, I don't know about you, it's a rare occasion that I buy expensive chicken breasts.
I confess I also tend to err on the easy side of tropical fruits, given their abundance in the department of sweetness. However Mango should not be completely overlooked: It is full of phytonutrients and contains five times more Vitamin C than oranges (and if you eat it before smoking MJ it apparently increases the effects according to my 12 yr old. You've got that well known teacher, Instagram, to thank for that little nugget 🙁 and who knew!). Mango is more nutritious than other tropical fruits such as pineapples, papaya and banana, and also boasts prized anti-cancer properties. All that and a delicious flavour, there's a reason it is known as the King of fruits in certain corners of the world and eaten in huge volumes in Asia and Latin America.
The children love eating these koftas. We all do, but particularly them and, though the mango has a part to play, it'll be the hands-on thing again. Far from being dry, which poultry can so easily be, the zucchini keeps these sticked packages succulent but no matter if you have no skewers to hand, or you can't be bothered to buy some, they work a charm if you shape them into patties and cook in the same way. And should you need to eat a low histamine diet, look no further. Well, other than here and here. Naturally!
herbed chicken zucchini koftas with minted mango salsa
If you make the salsa several hours ahead of time don't add the salt until the end. Salt will draw the juices out of the mango and the salsa, although still tasty, will look a little deflated as a result.
Print the recipe here
for the koftas -
3/4 lb (1 large) zucchini, finely grated
1 tsp sea salt
1 lb ground pastured chicken
1/2 medium red onion, finely grated
2 packed tbsp finely chopped flat-leaf parsley leaves
generous pinch sea salt
2 tsp coconut oil or other solid fat
for the salsa -
1 small mango, flesh cut into small dice
1/2 medium red onion, cut into small dice
1/4 cup mint leaves, finely chopped
pinch sea salt
Soak 8 wooden skewers in water for at least 30 minutes.
Put the grated zucchini into a colander. Add the tsp of sea salt and mix together thoroughly. Put a bowl that fits over the top of the zucchini and weight it down with something while the skewers soak. This allows the excess juice to come out of the zucchini. Rinse well then squeeze dry in small quantities.
Now put the remaining kofta ingredients, except the coconut oil, into a large bowl and mix thoroughly. Divide the mixture into 8 balls, then form into sausages and thread the wooden skewers through the centre of each one, pushing all the way through and overlapping half an inch on the other side. Carefully transfer to a large plate and place in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to firm a little. Note the koftas will be fragile in their raw form so you will need to use your hands when moving them, rather than relying on the skewers.
Meanwhile make the salsa: Put all the ingredients into a small bowl and mix thoroughly. Set aside.
Slowly heat a cast iron griddle or skillet to a medium-high temperature and spread the coconut oil around so the entire base is coated. Using a wide palette knife or your hands, transfer the koftas from the plate and cook on one side until nice and browned, approx 7-8 minutes. With your palette knife again, turn the koftas over, turn the heat down slightly and cook for 5 minutes more. Do not try to move them too soon or the meat will stick to the skillet but if they are in danger of burning, lower the temperature. Next, stand them on their edges and cook a further minute or so on either side to get some colour and finish cooking. Add a little more coconut oil if needed. Once cooked, you will be able to move them by their skewers.
Divide koftas between four plates, together with a spoonful of salsa. These are wonderful served with 'butter couscous'.