Mark Ferri
Chicken Meatballs with Polenta & Tomato Ragoût from executive chef Marco Moreira of The Fourth in New York City
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Chicken Meatballs with Polenta & Tomato Ragoût

The Fourth, New York City, Marco Moreira - April 2014

For 10 servings


  • 4 1/2 lbs. (2K) ground chicken
  • 2 1/4 lbs. (1K) light and dark chicken, cut into med. dice
  • 3 lg. eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2 cups (90g) fresh white bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup (57g) mixed herbs, such as thyme, marjoram, and oregano
  • 1 1/4 tsps. (3g) red pepper flakes
  • 1 1/4 tsps. (3g) fennel seeds
  • 1 gal. (3.7L) chicken stock
  1. Heat oven to 350°F.

  2. Mix all ingredients except stock in large bowl; shape mixture into 1 1/2"-diameter meatballs; place on a tray lined with aluminum foil; bake, until brown (about 20 minutes); transfer meatballs to a rondeau; add stock; cover; braise until meatballs are cooked through (about 1 hour); remove from oven; reserve (keep warm).

Tomato ragoût:

  • 12 Tbsps. (180ml) olive oil
  • 12 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 12 tomatoes, concassé
  • 6 Tbsps. (16g) basil, roughly chopped
  • salt
  • black pepper, freshly ground

Heat oil in heavy-bottomed pot set over medium heat; add garlic; cook, stirring frequently, until fragrant (1 to 2 minutes); add tomatoes; heat to medium simmer; cook, stirring occasionally, until slightly thickened (about 30 minutes); remove from heat; stir in basil; season; reserve (keep warm).


  • 4 cups (624g) white or yellow cornmeal
  • 1/2 lb. (227g) Parmesan, finely grated, plus extra for garnish
  • 8 Tbsps. (114g) unsalted butter
  • salt
  • black pepper, freshly ground
  • 10 frico (for garnish)
  • 20 slices white bread, toasted (for serving)
  1. Bring 6 cups water to a boil in medium saucepan; whisking constantly, add cornmeal; simmer over low heat, stirring every 5 minutes, until thick and creamy (about 40 minutes); stir in cheese and butter; season; remove from heat; reserve (keep warm).

  2. To serve, divide polenta among serving bowls; top each with 7 meatballs; spoon ragoût over; sprinkle with cheese and pepper; garnish with frico; serve with 2 slices of bread.

What to drink: Palmina Barbera Dolcetto Sangiovese Rosso Raro Santa Barbara County 2010