When I first started as a personal chef, I had no experience. As in none, nada, zip. Sure, I’d watched a ton of Food Network and read every book ever published by Cooks Illustrated but I was fresh out of college, (for something entirely different than cooking) and had never cooked for anyone other than friends and family, and definitely had never run a business. So with a
bit lot of naivete and a leap of faith, I started my own business.
The first job I got was cooking for a family, making dinner, three nights a week. I couldn’t have asked for better first clients. Not only did I gain the confidence and experience I so desperately needed but I met an amazing family who showed me the true meaning of loving fiercely. Almost 10 years later, we’re still dear friends.
This ground chicken meatloaf is one of their family recipes and it was one of the first things Liz asked me to cook for them. It quickly became a favorite and I still make it often for my own family. It’s comfort food without being too heavy or filling. The cubes of cheddar cheese melt while cooking so when you cut a slice of the hot meatloaf you get oozing cheesy deliciousness. My husband and I fight to get the end pieces where the cheese browns on the edges of the pan. The only change I’ve made from Liz’s original recipe is adding some fresh garlic to the meatloaf and topping it with a sweet and spicy ketchup sauce. It’s a glaze that my mom always put on her meatloaf. It always was and still is my favorite part.
Lastly, I feel the need to apologize that I don’t have a picture of the meatloaf plated. I made this while my husband was out of town. The kids and I ate it for dinner and went to bed early. I had every intention of taking pictures of the leftovers the next morning but the Mr. got home late night and saw 1/2 of a meatloaf in the fridge. The rest, my friends, is history.
A twist on meatloaf using ground chicken breast, diced cheddar cheese and lots of pantry spices. It's one of our families out to meals and I make it at least once a month. Enjoy!
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 yellow onion, chopped
- 1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1/2 teaspoon ground oregano
- pinch salt and pepper
- 1/2 cup breadcrumbs
- 2 tablespoons milk
- 1 egg
- 1 generous tablespoon ketchup
- 1 1/2 teaspoons worcestershire sauce
- 1 lb ground chicken breast
- 4 oz diced cheddar cheese (about 1/2 cup)
- salt and pepper
- 1/3 cup ketchup
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 1/2-1 teaspoon ground mustard
- Preheat oven to 350F degrees.
- In a small bowl, combine 1/3 cup ketchup, brown sugar and dried mustard; set aside.
- In a small saute pan, heat olive oil and saute onion and bell pepper for about 2 minutes. Add minced garlic, dried oregano and pinch of salt and pepper. Cook for one minute more and remove from heat. Combine bread crumbs and milk in a small bowl; set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, beat egg slightly. Add 1 tablespoon ketchup, worcestershire sauce, ground chicken, cubed cheese, bread crumb mixture and sauteed peppers and onions. Season with a generous pinch of salt and ground black pepper. Mix all ingredients together taking care not to over mix.
- Put chicken mixture in a standard loaf pan. Top with brown sugar/ketchup mixture.
- Bake, uncovered, for 35-40 minutes.