Monday, January 5, 2015

Crispy Fried Boudin Balls – De-Casing A Cajun Classic

The first time I had Cajun-style boudin sausage, I was confused. I’d ordered something called “sausage,” but that’s not what I got. Instead of the firm, meaty tube I was used to, I was served a tough, rubbery casing filled with a soft, wet, paste-like meat and rice mixture.

It had pork and alligator in it, among other things, and had I not been in one of the most famous restaurants in New Orleans, I’d have thought the chef had done something drastically wrong. It was incredibly delicious, but the texture, and the fact you had to squeeze it out of the casing to eat, took some time for me to process.

I’ve come to understand how and why it’s done that way, and it’s become one of my favorite foods. However, since the casing is nothing more than a delivery system, I much prefer to form the boudin into balls, and fry them as seen herein.

The textural contrast between the crispy outside and moist, savory inside is a wonder to behold. The taste is just as impressive. Intensely flavorful and satisfying, these boudin balls would win any Super Bowl food table on which they appeared. Hint, hint.

Just don’t leave out the liver! I know you “hate” it, but I don’t care, put it in anyway. It makes this wonder of American cuisine what it is. I really hope you give these boudin balls a try soon. Enjoy!


Ingredients for about 48 Boudin Balls, depending on the size:
1 3/4 lbs boneless pork shoulder, cut in 1-inch cubes
6 ounces chicken livers, cut in 1-inch pieces
1 yellow onion, diced
2 celery ribs, diced
1/2 cup diced poblano chili or green bell pepper
1/2 cup diced jalapenos (seeded first)
6 garlic cloves, minced
3 tablespoons kosher salt (1 1/2 to 2 tbsp if using table salt)
1 1/2 tablespoons black pepper
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon cayenne
4 or 5 cups fully-cooked white rice,
1/2 cup fresh chopped parsley
1/2 cup fresh chopped green onion
Enough seasoned flour, beaten eggs, and plain breadcrumbs to bread the balls

- Fry at 350 F. for 3-4 minutes until browned, crisp, and hot inside.

39 comments:

Stefano Bart said...

I think they should be called BHoudini balls (no pun intended), because i'm pretty sure they'll disappear in seconds...

Chef John said...

Are you sure there was no pun intended?

Pudim said...

Can I use beef liver for this?
I'm not sure I can find chicken/pork liver around here, besides the fact that I love beef liver.

Sandy said...

The fork scrape noise crispiness demonstration! I KNEW it was coming!

Pottersquash said...

Chef, big thumbs up from a kid from Acadiana. Next time you get some Boudin with the casing, try it on the grill. The casing will char a little and tighten. When you bite into it you get a nice *snap* and the delicious rice/meat interior.

Reena Neogi said...

Oooo maybe you could cook the rice in the reserved liquid from the pork, etc. so those delicious flavors are absorbed into every grain, yum!! This recipe looks absolutely amazing! Thanks, Chef John!

DevilsAdvocate said...

Why must you torment me with such deliciousness so late in the evening?!?!

Looking forward to trying these out over this week!

Thanks CJ!

VeraMvJ said...

O, I thought you were going to make bitterballen, a very popular snack here in the Netherlands with some good mustard a beer. Maybe an idea for next time. But your boudin looks also very good.

I don't want to tell you my name said...

Chef John~

Is it okay to use the sticky rice varieties( cooked with rice cooker) instead?

I'm sure i can find the ones you used, but just asking :)

Chef John said...

Sorry, never tried with anything but long grain rice!

Lisa from Indiana said...

The only thing I ever hated in New Orleans was boudin, and I think it wasbecause of the casing. But this looks amazing and no pesky casings!

Now I guess I need to get a fryer...

Unknown said...

Hi Chef John,

do you have the recipe for the dipping sauce? From the video it sounds delicious!

jenny

Salli Gillespie said...

We get Boudin whenever we are travelling around down Louisianna way, very good. Thanks for this recipie I am sure I will try it. Of course people down there say it "BooDayn".

Chicau said...

Need to bring something to a party soon. Can these be served at room temperature and left out for a couple hours?

edward said...

Boom!Dan (Herron) balls? You had me at balls, sir. I'll be making this for the bowl. Go Colts! Can I say that here?

inchrisin said...

Thank you, John. I'm going to go make some southern-fried Scotch eggs immediately! It should be amazing!

Mark Neff said...

I was wondering why not boil the ingredients with more water to make more flavored water for the rice to cook in?

I love boudin sausage and balls. I used to go visit family every year in LA but they all passed and I haven't had any boudin for a long time now. can't wait to try this recipe i'm sure it is as original as it gets since you are using liver.

Patricia Evans said...

Where do I find the recipe for the sauce to dip them in?

ClaudiaSorensen said...

I love, love, love your show. This recipe looks good enough to eat as a main dish. Would it work if the balls were formed into patties, and fried with less oil?

Chef John said...

For those asking, the sauce was simply our remoulade recipe with extra mustard!

Elisha said...

Hey Chef,

Any thoughts on a pork substitution in this recipe?

Bill Peterson said...

Chef John thanks for this recipe. I'm going to make this for the Ducks v Ohio game on Monday. Happy New year

Unknown said...

So Chef John....was watching the Las Vegas BBQ chicken contest in which was mentioned beer can chicken some years ago. The chef making it made his in a loaf pan (Loaf Pan Chicken?) and you said you were going to do your adaption of that. Did you? Can we see it? Yvonne.

Unknown said...

Me too! Go DUCKS. No offense to Ohio.
y

DevilsAdvocate said...

CJ,

I'm with Yvonne!

Some friends and I won best beer can chicken at this summer contest from another food blogger.

Well, more like Pintrest for food.

The few Ph.D's that were there actually did some readings on the beer can and concluded that the temp. doesn't get hot enough to actually affect the bird, but hell...it's fun!

Would love to see a CJ adaptation!

ATB,

-Duncan

Boudinballsquestionguy said...

Would it work out ok if you baked the balls instead of deep frying them?

Chef John said...

Sorry, baking will not work!

Chef John said...

Sorry, baking will not work!

AFB said...

Any reason you didn't use the cooking liquid to cook the rice?
Looks great by the way!

miriam weizman said...

Hi, Chef John, I don't eat pork, what's the best
substitute(s) for the pork shoulder ?
Thanks

Aya Morgan said...

hello chef john
can i substitute the pork with beef will it effect the taste ...i can't eat pork ..will beef be okay in this recipe??

James atusf said...

I make these, they are good. Took them to work, people think they are delicious.
But they are a little time consuming to make.
Great for a party. I would recommend the panko breadcrumbs and not the Vigo breadcrumbs, more crunchy.

Rhonda said...

This may very well be the most delicious thing I have ever tasted or made. Thank you Chef John for making me the most popular girl at work, with friends, family, and the hubby. This is not near as much work as it appears...the work is spread out over 3 days so it isn't that bad. I followed the recipe exactly. I have made it twice already. I am planning on making again for the family for Easter weekend. I pair these delicious balls with Louisiana Fish Fry brand Remoulade Dressing. Even those who claimed not to like boudain came back for seconds and thirds. I highly recommend giving this a try.

Charlie Trey said...

Word to the wise from someone who just made them: take your time adding the liquids back in... Much harder to reduce the moisture level than to increase it (my mixture was too wet and made ball making and breading a pain until I could get rid of the excess moisture). If you follow the directions, you will have a restaurant quality item sitting in front of you. Thanks for the awesome recipe!

Unknown said...

We're a family of two and this makes a whole lot. Is there a point at which I could freeze these?

Gretchen inNOLA said...

So, when you say "chili powder", exactly what type of chili...Like Mexene chili powder for making Chili?

Andrew Payne said...

Hey Chef John,

I want to make these for a party at my house tomorrow night but I need to have them all ready before guests arrive. Is there a way to reheat fried boudin balls that preserves all the crispy deliciousness of the freshly fried ones?

Andrew from Texas

June Alex said...

Hi chef,
Shall I cook the rice using the liquid that was reserved from cooking the meat or just in plain old water?

Using the reserved broth would cut a step I believe.
What do u think?

Jessica Lee said...

Hi Chef John, can I substitute the pork with beef?