This dish is prepared exactly like chicken fricassee with meatballs and was a standard appetizer on Friday night when the chicken giblets were on hand. It may be done with meatballs and giblets in combination or with either alone. The tiny meatballs prepared without giblets make good hot appetizers for cocktail parties, kept warm in a chafing dish. They are also delicious served on rice as a light main course. They may be flavored with either garlic or onion, something I vary with my mood. The garlic is preferable if the meatballs are to be served with cocktails. Proportion of giblets to meatballs is arbitrary.
- 1 pound chicken giblets, to include gizzard and heart (but not liver), neck, backbone, and, if you like, chicken wings
- ½ pound ground lean chuck
- 1 small egg
- ½ clove garlic, crushed in a press, or 2 teaspoons grated onion
- Salt and black pepper
- 1 tablespoon fine, dry bread crumbs, as needed
- 2 tablespoons schmaltz (rendered chicken fat), margarine, or sweet butter
- 1 large onion, peeled and finely chopped
- 1½ tablespoons sweet paprika or 1 tablespoon sweet paprika plus 1½ teaspoons hot paprika
- 1 or 2 cloves garlic, peeled and cut in half vertically
- 1 cup water, or as needed
Clean the giblets, removing all skin and bits of fat. Gizzards should be scalded for 2 or 3 minutes in boiling water.
Mix the chopped beef with the egg, crushed garlic or grated onion, 1 teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon black pepper (or adjust to taste); add just enough bread crumbs to make the mixture firm enough to mold into bans. Toss the ingredients lightly with a fork or the mixture win become too compacted and the meat balls win be hard. Shape into tiny meatballs, each about the size of a hazelnut.
Melt the fat in a 2-quart saucepan or casserole. Add the onion and sauté very slowly until it is completely soft and bright yellow; do not let the onion brown. Stir in the paprika and sauté for a minute or two, or until it loses its raw smell. Add the cut-up garlic and 1 cup water.
Place the giblets and meatballs in the pan and add more water as needed to come about halfway up the meats. Add a little salt and pepper, half cover, and simmer gently but steadily for about 30 minutes, or until the giblets are tender and the meatballs are well done. Check frequently to see if more water is needed. Serve plain or with steamed white rice.
Nutritional information is based on 1/8 teaspoon added salt per serving.