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Playing Fennel, Rosemary and Honey Oatmeal with Chicken Sausage Meatballs


For the Chicken Sausage Meatballs:
  • 1 1/2 cups homemade, coarse, stale white or peasant bread breadcrumbs (whizzed up in a food processor)
  • Milk, to moisten bread
  • 1 1/2 pounds ground chicken
  • 3 tablespoons dry white wine
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • Freshly grated nutmeg, about 1/8 teaspoon
  • 2 teaspoons ground poultry seasoning, 2/3 palmful, preferred brand Bell’s
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons granulated onion, half a palmful
  • 2 tablespoons EVOO – Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, grated or minced
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, a couple of handfuls
For the Savory Fennel, Rosemary and Honey Oatmeal:
  • 1/4 cup pignoli (pine) nuts
  • 2 teaspoons fennel seed
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 cup golden raisins
  • 1 cup steel-cut oatmeal or 1 cup rolled oats
  • 2 to 3 small sprigs rosemary, stripped and coarsely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons Acacia honey, or to taste


Serves: 4-6


For the meatballs: Preheat oven to 400ºF. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Moisten breadcrumbs with milk and squeeze out excess liquid. Place meat in large bowl and add wine, breadcrumbs, egg, salt, pepper, red pepper, nutmeg, poultry seasoning, granulated onion, EVOO, garlic, cheese, parsley. Roll meatballs about the size of large walnuts (I use a small scoop to roll faster) and arrange on a baking sheet,. Bake 15-18 minutes until cooked through and golden.

For the oatmeal: In a medium pot, add pine nuts and fennel seed and toast; remove to a plate. Add water, milk, butter, sea salt, golden raisins, oats and rosemary, and bring to simmer--do not boil. Cook oats, 20-22 minutes for steel cut and 8-10 minutes for rolled oats, until tender; add honey to taste.

Serve oatmeal in shallow bowls topped with chicken meatballs.