From Palermo Sicily: Rice Ball (Arancini)
Being successful in the RE forum requires an exceptional commitment. We all know …a little break will avoid burn out and retain high productivity levels. For many … a trip to a white sand beach with attentive servers is ideal. For others … a 4 to 6 hour project in a gourmet kitchen is the way to go.
We believe this recipe is centuries old. It was taught to me by my mother’s mother who “came over on the boat” from Palermo when she was about 16 years old. The recipe … and many others … speaks to family unity and the strength and value of tradition.
1 Large Fowl
2 lbs of River Rice
6 stalks of celery chopped in 2 in. pcs
8 medium carrots, peeled and chopped in 2 in pcs
2 bunches of Italian parsley
4 cups of freshly graded Locatelli Romano
8 cups of freshly grated semolina breadcrumbs
10 lge cloves of garlic
1 large Spanish or yellow (sweet) onion
2 lbs of chicken giblets
2 lbs of ground chuck
12 large eggs separated
¼ cup of Extra Virgin Olive oil
1 tablespoon of freshly ground white pepper
Simmer fowl in two gallons of water for six hours/1 tablespoon of kosher salt /4 whole garlic cloves
Add celery and carrots after two hours
Strain soup and remove an amount of broth that is slightly more than double the amount of rice
Simmer and then steam until less than completely cooked…slightly Al dente
When rice is almost fully cooked there should be very little visible broth remaining
(This remaining broth will create a stickiness or paste when cheese and egg yolks are added)
Let rice cool to room temperature in a tub or very large flat pot
While cooling/you do not want it to continue to cook. Fold over lightly periodically to release heat
After cooled add 4 cups of graded cheese, a cup of finely chopped parsley and 12 egg yolks and one tablespoon of freshly ground white pepper. Fold gently until dispersed. Hands might be the best tool for this.
Sauté finely chopped onion and six cloves of garlic (finely chopped) in a ¼ cup of olive oil until translucent
In a separate pan sauté ground beef at high temp until completely cooked and slightly browned/the GB should be fine. Drain fat and add sautéed onion and garlic
Filet, finely chop (1/4 in squares) and add giblets (ratio should be about 1 part giblet to 6 part meat mixture)
Tear into small pcs. the chicken breast and both legs and ad to GB
Salt and pepper to taste
Add half cup of finely chopped parsley and one cup of graded cheese
Mixture should be fully cooked/moisten with chicken stock if dry
Finley graded from non seeded light semolina Italian bread
For every cup add:
• one tablespoon of finely grated Romano
• one tablespoon of very finely chopped Italian parsley,
Rice should be moist and a little “pasty”/can be moistened with chicken stock if too dry
The rice must be sticky to avoid breaking apart when frying.
Wash left hand with egg white and put layer of rice on hand (circular, about 2.5” in diameter and 1 in thick)
Take two tablespoons of meat stuffing and put in center of rice circle (meat sphere should be 1 in. in diameter) and put layer of rice on top and make ball that should be about 3 in diameter.
When forming the ball use plenty of egg white…. will make the ball slick and create a shell.
Put pressure on the ball formation giving it some density.
Make sure that the rice is distributed around the meat core at an even thickness.
Wash ball in beaten egg white and role in bread crumbs/ whites should be beaten periodically to retain froth
Do entire batch while heating Mazola corn oil to 375 degrees in deep cast iron pot/oil should cover rice ball completely
Deep fry on one side for about three minutes and then role to other side for another two to three minutes or until golden brown. Put on rack to cool/best if served warm from the fryer…with a little salt
The above makes about 25 Rica Balls.
Consideration: If you are over 30 years of age and eat two Rice Balls
in one sitting you will not need to eat for at least 12 hours.