[Chef Watson] Trial #3 : Apple Chicken Meatball

This post is about testing recipes created by artificial intelligence, Chef Watson of IBM

Before forgetting about the last tests (rice deviled eggs, pork tenderloin), I wanted to push this project forward using my excessive energy. When I’m focused on something new, I generally devote a large amount of energy on that project until I’m finally burned out. But I have been away from Korea for more than a month on business trips and vacations.

In the first test, Mingom and I have chosen one menu each for testing. But come to think of it, the purpose of this test is to find out how smart Watson is and how artificial intelligence can produce creative recipes that are hard to imagine. So, for the third recipe testing, I decided to challenge Watson by using an unfamiliar combination of ingredients and see if it tastes good.
I don’t know why I want to eat apples in autumn, so I asked Watson, “What’s a recipe with apples for the fall?” Watson created a very interesting recipe!
The third recipe for testing is apple chicken breast meatballs!
Chef Watson suggested this recipe based on Gluten-free chicken meatballs with braised lemon and kale of Bon Apetit

Recipe and ingredients

Ingredients | For 12 servings

One egg, two pieces of chicken breast (grind with mixer), 1 teaspoon Old bay seasoning ⓐ, 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning ⓑ, 3 tablespoons seafood stock ⓒ, 5 or 6 leaves of Swiss chard, 1 and 1/2 teaspoons olive oil, 1 teaspoon salt, 2 pieces of garlic, 1 chopped onion, morel mushrooms (replaced by shiitake mushrooms)
ⓐ Old Bay seasoning: A McCormick spice mix of salt, paprika powder, pepper, cayenne pepper, mustard seed, nutmeg, cinnamon, ginger, etc. This can be used to add flavor to fish or chicken dishes. Because this is a spice that plays a very important role in chicken breast meatballs, I highly recommend trying this spice for this recipe. In case you can’t find it at the nearby grocery store, use Google.
McCormick’s Old Bay Seasoning
ⓑ Italian seasoning: I used olive oil mixed with dried basil and oregano.
ⓒ Seafood stock: Combination of clams, shrimp heads, basil, carrots, celery, onions.

Recipe |

1. Prepping the ingredients is always the first step.
Chop up apples and onions into small pieces. Prepare seafood stock. I used shellfish and basil and boiled them, but if you don’t have time to prepare the stock, don’t worry. We can bring our hero (stock cubes)!
Chop the garlic and dry mushrooms. (Chef Watson told me to use morel mushrooms, but I replaced them with shiitake mushrooms which are easy to find in Korea.)
Finally, grind the chicken breast in the blender.
2. Put some olive oil chopped garlic in the pan over medium heat.
The smell of garlic cooked with olive oil is the most delicious smell and makes everyone in the kitchen hungry. Here, you should put in half of the chopped onions.
Dalji : In fact, I found a mistake in Chef Watson’s recipe. I couldn’t find the amount of onions for the meatball and the sauce, so I put half of the prepared amount in each of them.
Put in the mushroom (or shiitake mushroom) and Italian seasoning and stir for six minutes.
3. Put the chopped chicken breast into the bowl and season with Old Bay seasoning and salt. (Be careful, if you use Old Bay seasoning, the seasoning itself contains salt so you should adjust the amount of salt or you can even skip the salt.) While you’re fighting with the chicken breast, I guess step 2’s garlic and onions would be cooled down enough. Put them in the bowl and mix it with the chicken breast.
Make meatballs with a diameter of about 5cm.
4. Spread olive oil in the pan and cook the meatballs for 6-8 minutes.
5. Transfer the cooked meatballs to another plate. Add the remaining chopped onions and apple dices into a pan. Stir fry them for 2 minutes.
6. Pour the seafood stock into the pan. Put the meatballs back into the pan, and cover the pan with the lid and boil for 8 to 10 minutes.
Dalji : I wondered why I had to use seafood stock here. I agree stocks will pull out other ingredients’ flavor utmost by adding umami, but why not beef stock or chicken stock? Did Watson think that seafood stock will add more saltiness or is the combination of chicken and seafood good?
7. Turn off the heat and put the chopped the swiss chard and toss up with meatballs.
After decorating with apples as a garnish, it’s done! Looks yummy. 😉

I started this testing with a deep doubt of Chef Watson and a belief that he made recipe mistakes often. I was worried that the apple sauce with meatballs would taste unfamiliar to Koreans. But surprisingly, everyone who were invited to the testing this day raised their thumbs up! No one would expect that chicken breast meatballs can be juicy and goes well with apple’s sweetness. And the old bay seasoning was the kick, it went really well with apple. It was the most successful recipes we tested so far.

Watson, you did a good job. 😉

With this confidence, the next recipe to test will be the pizza topped with YAM! (I know it sounds a little crazy… but that’s what this testing is for.)

For those whom it may concern, I’m not related to IBM or Chef Watson. It is my personal interest to test how artificial intelligence decodes the way chefs create recipes and I want to see if this service can be offered to everyone in the near future.


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