Spicy Hoisin Chicken Balls and…Gap Year Number Two

Archie applied for the course he wanted to do for 2012 but wasn’t accepted.  They still think he’s too young and still want him to gain more life experience before allowing him to do the three-year degree.

Spicy Hoisin Chicken Balls

Of course Archie was fine about it.  He said, ‘It’s okay mum, I’ll just go to Uni and start a business degree and get a part-time job so I can support myself’.  I wish that’s what he said.  What he actually said was, ‘Don’t worry mum, I don’t need that college owning my life for the next 12 months, now I can get my motorbike licence and I’ll be able to put my band together and I’ll go around Australia gigging in pubs’.

But I will let that worry me.

It is such a shame these colleges don’t interview the mothers of these boys and ask, ‘So on a scale of one to 10, how well do you think you’ll survive the next 12 months if we don’t take your son?’

And on that basis Archie would be enrolled right now.  Instead he’s researching motorbikes, which isn’t good especially as I used to work in Orthopaedic Theatres and saw many Archie’s, being pieced back together with plates and screws and glue and grafts and sutures.  And those were the lucky ones.  The others were in Anatomical Pathology which is the polite and discreet name for the hospital’s morgue.

I came home yesterday and I couldn’t enter my lounge room because there was a 200-year-old German double bass and its case lying across the room.  I had no idea a double bass was so large.  And there was a tiny pretty wee thing standing beside it and Archie said with huge enthusiasm, ‘Mum, this is Natalie, she’ll be playing double bass in my band.  We’ve been rehearsing all day.  Come in Mum and listen to this’.  So I fought my way into the room and listened to an impressive repertoire all the time being grateful that for the moment Archie is passionate about the tones of a double bass and not the rev, rev, rev of a motorbike.

Spicy Hoisin Chicken Balls

Tonight Carl and I are taking Alfie to Carols by Candlelight.  These chicken balls, although better served hot, are excellent picnic food.

Dipping Sauce

This is a recipe I’ve had for quite a few years.  I found it in the December 1999 issue of the Australian Women’s Weekly.   Back then the recipes were all contained within a tear-out section of the magazine so you could rip out the supplement and file it away without having to keep the entire magazine.  Why did they stop doing this?

Because some of our friends joining us at the Carols are gluten free, I have substituted the bread crumbs for cooled cooked quinoa.  This has meant the mixture was slightly softer and therefore the balls were not as round as I would have liked.

Degree of Difficulty:  2/5

Cost:  Minced chicken is inexpensive so this is an affordable appetiser to serve with drinks

Makes:  About 60

The chicken balls can be made a day ahead.  Reheat them for about 10 minutes.

1kg minced chicken

3 cups stale breadcrumbs (for gluten free substitute cooled cooked quinoa)

1 small brown onion, chopped finely

2 cloves garlic, crushed

1 egg, beaten lightly

1/4 cup hoisin sauce

1 tbspn soy sauce

2 tspns grated fresh ginger

1/2 tspn sesame oil

1/4 tspn five spice powder

1/3 cup peanut oil

Dipping Sauce

1/2 cup sweet chilli sauce

2 tbspns white vinegar (I used coconut vinegar)

2 tbspns chopped coriander

Combine chicken, breadcrumbs, onion, garlic, egg, auce, ginger, sesame oil and five spice in a medium bowl and mix well.  Shape level tablespoons of the mixture into balls.

Heat peanut oil in a large non-stick pan.  Cook the chicken balls, in batches (shaking the pan to keep the round shape until browned all over; drain on absorbent paper.  Transfer them to an oven tra;; bake, uncovered, in a moderate oven (180°C/375°F) for about 15 minutes or until cooked through.  Serve with the Dipping Sauce.

Dipping Sauce:

Combine ingredients and mix well.

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  1. Big chickens 😉

  2. Psssssshhh! Boys! I have a 19 year old that could be your boy’s twin! I enrolled him in college right after high school. He attended one semester, did okay. The next semester he told me he had a system that he didn’t need to waste my money on books. uh-huh. Sure. Then, he decided that college made him get up too early. He wasn’t getting enough sleep. So, he dropped those classes. He says he’s going back this semester. My fingers are crossed.

    Meanwhile, the chicken looks delicious! It reminds me of potstickers. I was craving those earlier too!

  3. I love double bass! I wish I could play 🙁 What’s the name of your son’s band?
    The chicken meatballs look great, excellent idea with the quinoa!

    • hotlyspiced says:

      Thanks Jasmyne, I’ll have to get back to you re the name of the band because it doesn’t have one yet! It’s still very much in its birthing stages.

  4. Ooo. These look great and the flavours sound really interesting. I’ll have to give them a go.

  5. Sorry to hear he wasn’t accepted – I often wonder what qualifications the people who make these decisions have – any at all ?????? You are right – they should ask Mom’s – because, as we all know, Mom’s know everything !!!

    Congrats on your 25th anniversary this year – it isn’t often that I come into contact with people who have been with the same partner for so long – nowdays it seems to be too easy to get into and out of relationships rather than work at them.

    Those chicken balls look amazing – think I might have to give them a try one day between Christmas and New Year when we have people over. I can almost taste them already !!!!!

    Have a great Sunday and take care – love, hugs and positive energy !

  6. Those bites look delicious! Hopefully your son’s band will gain success similar to Quay Po’s son!

  7. Ahh the trials and tribulations of being a mother of a teenager! Yes I guess that the double bass is definitely preferable to say drums and definitely preferable to a motorbike!

  8. Isn’t it amazing what we’ll settle for? You wanted school for him, he wanted a motorbike, but ended up with a band. Much better than constantly worrying about an accident. Now all you have to worry about is his earning a living. 🙂 It’s really hard being a parent.

    Love your spicy chicken meatballs!

  9. Sorry to hear your news but they say there is reason for everything. Hope it all works out.

  10. I love reading your stories! And the chicken balls look so great.

  11. Those chicken balls look so delicious! I love all the flavours.

  12. I love your blog and style so much that I’m really happy for you … and those food looks totally yummy.

  13. These look delicious and I love that you gave a gluten-free alternative. I’ve a family member just starting down that path and, in this family, she can use all the help she can get!

  14. I haven’t heard of anatomical pathology. I guess thats one department that no one can avoid. Those motor cycle revs can be music to some peoples ears, and I guess you are not one of them:)

  15. Maybe the enthusiasm will wear thin once Archie realises that its tricky to transport a double bass ona motor bike? My bigj had3 months in hospital, and had to learn to walk again aftera dirt bike incident, so I hope he changes his mind for sure sweetie.

  16. Sounds delicious! Hope you had fun at Carols. Go Archie, I say, forgive me for being glad that it’s your 18 year old and not mine, Charlie.. 😉

  17. Kids … what can I say? I’ll stick to food, great photos 😉

  18. WOW!!! The stresses our kids put us through. Mine is only 16 and wants to do his L’s on a bike!!!

    Have you thought about suggested he do a year of TAFE in the same area as the Degree he planned, he can then get credits toward the degree and reduce the overall time spent at Uni. He would also be more likely to be excepted to Uni the following year. That’s what I did, oh so long ago and it still works the same way. The course I wanted at the uni I wanted needed a TER of 98 and I got in after 1 year of TAFE and got almost all my subjects credited.

    • hotlyspiced says:

      Wow! You did so well. That is a great idea. Yes, we’re definitely going to enrol Archie into some courses for 2012.

  19. I feel the same way about motorbikes, having had a good friend who was really into them – ironically he was a tearaway as a young man but finally stopped using his motorbike when it skidded in the mud as he ambled down to the local milk bar for bread – the irony!

    I agree the recipes should be tearaway and easy to file – and the picnic snacks should be available for gf types – I have recently used rice crumbs instead of breadcrumbs and they were quite good – though I must experiment more

  20. These Spicy Hoisin Chicken Balls are definitely a must have appetizer recipe. I can’t wait to make these one day when I’m having a get together.

  21. Hmm, boys – they do eventually grow up right – well my husband still believes he is 16 and he will be turning 51 in January!
    Loving these chicken balls and dipping sauce – delicious!
    🙂 Mandy

  22. Aww hopefully he’ll come to his senses…or just stay enraptured by the double bass. And/or the girl who arrived with it 😛

    What perfect picnic food! I hope you guys had a great time!

  23. I have to say I am envious of the gap year…..and the 3 year programs 😉
    Those hoisin balls looks so perfect for a party appetizer. I want to try my hand at them with raw tuna. I wonder if it would hold together as well with the breadcrumbs.

  24. Love the flavors in these, and using quinoa was a great idea. They do look like great picnic food!

  25. This recipe looks really great, perfect picnic food! Good luck to your son on his adventures, I’m sure he’ll be fine!

  26. It seems these later teen years are the challenge with boys. Mine tells anyone who will listen that he is now retired and is busy planning his beery trip round Europe on a Contiki tour – at least I won’t be there to see it!
    There have been noises about a motorcycle in this house but, because of a family death on one, my kids know that their chances of getting that one past us are very slim indeed.

  27. These look awesome! Definitely bookmarking this recipe. And I’m sorry to hear about your son. I just went through the whole college application thing a few years ago and the process is just so unbelievably stressful! Good luck with everything though!

  28. My 5 year old has already whispered the motorbike word… I’ve politely steered him off that topic each time.
    Here, have a chicken ball instead!

  29. oh dear, motorbikes don’t sound that good to me.

    I never had a gap year, I went straight from high school to uni. Mind you, when I did my PhD, some of the research and travel I had to do as part of it felt like a late ‘gap year’, because I finally got to do some proper travelling.

    Here’s hoping Archie likes the band better than the bikes!

  30. LMAO Oh I have so much to look forward too 🙂
    Are you a NBeaches gal too – as the narrabeen Carols was on Saturday night. Though I suppose so was a million other suburbs across Oz 🙂
    Have a fab Chrissy and I look forward to following you into 2012 xx

    • hotlyspiced says:

      Hi Sonya, we went to the Carols at the Balmoral Rotunda. They were excellent. And an added bonus – it didn’t rain! Yes, with three boys I fear you indeed have SO MUCH to look forward to but this will include excellent blogging opportunities. Have a wonderful Christmas with all your family and best wishes for 2012 and I look forward to following your fabulous site. xx

  31. I feel for you regarding Archie, my son is 19 and we are going through a very similar episode. On a bright side, the ball look scrummy.

  32. My mouth is seriously watering after reading this palate pleasing recipe.

  33. Those chicken balls are looking excellent & I also love the dipping sauce a lot!

    Good luck to archie with his band! yeah! 🙂

  34. Hoisin is my fave! Love the sound of these babies!

  35. I’m always a little afraid of minced chicken. My fear of not cooking it thoroughly. But by baking it as well would work for me.

    Has Archie thought of working as a GO for Club Med. One of my boys did and it was a great experience. Two years stretched into 5 years so we had several Club Med holidays to visit him.

  36. I am so sorry about Archie — but deep down, I know there’s something better in-store for him, in the future 🙂

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