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Chicken Patties with Swiss Chard, Leeks and Celery

Made from beef or chicken, fried, grilled or steamed, served on a bed of rice or couscous, or even stuffed in a pita, meat or chicken patties are the very epitome of Israeli home cooking. In this light recipe, chicken patties are cooked in a fragrant, slightly sour broth brimming with leafy greens. This is one of my personal favorites and I frequently make it at home.

Ingredients (serves 6-8)

       The Sauce:

  • 3 tablespoons oil

  • 2 leeks (white part only), cut into large chunks

  • 1 bunch celery (stalks and leaves), cut coarsely

  • 1 bunch Swiss chard (stalks and leaves), cut coarsely

  • 2 tablespoons sugar

  • 1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice

  • 2 cups clear chicken soup or stock

  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
    The Patties:

  • 500 g (1 lb) ground chicken

  • 1 egg yolk

  • 2 tablespoons breadcrumbs

  • Salt and white pepper 

Prepare the Sauce: Heat the oil in a large wide sauce pan and sauté the leeks for 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the celery and Swiss chard and continue sautéing for 5 more minutes. Add sugar, lemon juice and chicken soup, season with salt and pepper, and cook on low heat until the vegetables are tender, about 15 minutes.


Prepare the patties: While the sauce is cooking, mix the ingredients for the patties and knead well. 


Form small patties, slide into the sauce, cover and cook over low heat for about 30 minutes. Turn off the heat and wait 10 minutes before serving.

Variation: Fry the patties briefly in a small amount of oil, only until they turn golden, before adding them to the soup.


'photo: Daniel Layla ("Fresh Flavors From Israel")

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