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  • Writer's pictureNava

Spinach and tarragon chicken balls

I have selective denial. Some people have selective hearing, not me! I have selective denial especially when it comes to dairy.

You see when I cook our meals, prepare breakfast or make chia pudding I use non-dairy products. Dairy gives me a sore throat, headache and a sore tummy. But when it comes to pastries, cakes or dessert of any kind, dairy doesn’t really effect me that much. Yeah, it might give me a BIT of a tickle in my throat and my stomach doesn’t ALWAYS hurt and the headache is REALLY VERY MILD and doesn’t last long... Today, however, is non-denial day so my delicious homemade spinach and tarragon chicken balls from Womans Weekly is dairy free and it’s oh-so flavoursome. I did tweak it a little and it’s really quiet delicious. The family was divided when it came to the risonini cooked in almond milk, but I guess it’s just a matter of taste, and you will have to decide for yourself. Approval of the chicken balls, however, was unanimous.

spinach and tarragon chicken balls

  • 3 1/4 cups (100g) crushed walnuts

  • 500 g minced chicken

  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed

  • 120g baby spinach

  • 1 egg

  • 1/4 cup finely chopped tarragon (leaves only), plus 1 extra sprig

  • ⅓ cup (25g) finely grated parmesan

  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon mixed spice

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

  • 1/4 teaspoon cinamon

  • 1/4 cup oil

  • 1 cup risonini

  • 2 teaspoon cornflour

  • 1 vegetable or chicken stock cube

  • 2½ cups (625ml) almond milk

  • 1 tablespoon dijon mustard

  • 150g spinach leaves


  1. Place walnuts in a food processor and process until finely chopped.

  2. Remove a handful of spinach leaves and chop it up. Set aside the remaining spinach .

  3. In a bowl, combine chicken, the chopped spinach, walnuts, garlic, egg, finely chopped tarragon, spices, salt, pepper and parmesan.

  4. Roll chicken mixture into tablespoon-sized balls. (I made 14 balls). Heat the oil in a large, shallow frying pan over medium heat and cook chicken balls, turning, for 3-4 minutes or until cooked through, set aside.

  5. In a small pot over medium heat, mix almond milk and mustard and two sprigs of tarragon leaves, bring to a simmer and stir in stock cube, keep stirring until dissolved. Bring milk to the boil, dissolve the cornflour in a cup with two tablespoons of water stirring until smooth. Stir cornflour mixture into boiling milk. Reduce to a simmer and keep stirring for a minute. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Remove from heat. Discard tarragon leaves.

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