My son Nicholas refused to eat chicken until I came up with this dish, which is now one of my signature recipes. Although he wouldn’t eat chicken, he did love apples – the grated apple gives a delicious flavour to these chicken balls, which makes them appealing to young children. They make perfect finger food and they are delicious hot or cold. A mix of breast and chicken thigh gives the best flavour, but you can also sometimes buy ready-minced chicken.

Makes 20 Chicken Balls

Ingredients

  • 250 g/9 oz chicken breast, cut into chunks
  • 250 g/9 oz boneless chicken thighs, cut into chunks
  • 1 large Granny Smith apple, peeled and grated
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme or sage, chopped, or a pinch of mixed dried herbs
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 low-salt chicken stock cube, crumbled (for babies over 1 year)
  • 50 g/2 oz fresh white breadcrumbs
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper (for babies over 1 year)
  • Plain flour for coating
  • Vegetable oil for frying

Method

Put the chicken in a food processor and pulse for a few seconds. Using your hands, squeeze out a little excess liquid from the grated apple. Mix the apple with the chicken, onion, herbs, egg yolk, stock cube (if using) and breadcrumbs and roughly chop in a food processor for a few seconds. Season with a little salt and pepper (if using).

With your hands, form into about 20 balls, roll in flour and fry in shallow oil for about 5minutes until lightly golden and cooked through.

Taken from Annabel Karmel’s New Complete Baby & Toddler Meal Planner by Annabel Karmel (Ebury Press, £14.99)