kicking it old skool: garlic & zucchini chicken meatloaf

While I love fusion flavours, Thai food and sushi, sometimes there’s nothing better than a meal that harkens back to those rose-coloured 1950’s that never really existed except in advertisements for eggshell blue refrigerators. I’m talking about meatloaf. It’s a pretty contested meal with vocal camps on either end of the meatloaf debate. You either love it because it reminds you of your mother’s cooking or you venemously hate it for the exact same reason. Me, I’m a meatloaf lover and I guess that’s because my mom never turned out a bad meatloaf recipe.

So when I found myself with almost a pound of ground chicken, a meatloaf sounded like a pretty reasonable dinner. But I should warn you, ground chicken is quite different from the traditional ground beef. Let’s face it, the raw texture is pretty icky stuff. It’s mushy and sticky and did I mention mushy and sticky? It’s bad enough raw (which is why I use a spoon to mix all the super-sticky ingredients rather than my bare hands) and even when cooked, the texture is much softer than beef, which for some can be a bit off-putting. A chicken loaf also has to be strongly flavoured because a bland meatloaf is a bad meatloaf that will leave you stranded along with all the other meatloaf-haters. But warnings aside, this meatloaf is wonderful. It’s nicely flavoured with lots of fresh garlic and the grated zucchini and oats work as a binder to really improve things texture-wise.

This meatloaf is pretty darn yummy. Next time I make this recipe, I’m totally doubling the sauce used for the topping. The amount listed is perfect for topping the meat while it cooks, but I ran out of ketchup and would have loved more sauce heated up and served alongside for dipping purposes.

Serving this kicked-up retro feast totally put me in the mood for afternoon heels and a pretty apron. Now if only I could weasel myself matching teal kitchen appliances….

10 comments to “kicking it old skool: garlic & zucchini chicken meatloaf”

  1. 1
    Joanne   December 19, 2006 at 1:27 pm

    Ahhhh. Meatloaf! Yum!
    Comfort food.
    Memories of my mom’s cooking.
    Being 8 years old and picking the hard-boiled egg out from the centre of the loaf.

    I no longer eat beef but a ground chicken/turkey loaf or pork loaf sounds just fine to me!

    And ‘said’ robin’s eggshell blue retro kitchen appliances…50’s nostalgia at it’s finest.

    That, and Edith Bunker running to greet Archie at the door wearing her heels and wiping her hands on her apron…*sigh*…memories ;D

  2. 2
    KathyR   December 19, 2006 at 1:46 pm

    What is that in that retro oven? It looks like an angry levitating bowling ball…

    I do love me some meatloaf. Whenever I make a recipe with breadcrumbs, it comes out perfectly. Whenever I try one with oatmeal, it comes out awful. So I’m afraid of this recipe.

  3. 3
    Joanne   December 19, 2006 at 2:18 pm

    ha! It does look like a bowling ball!
    Maybe “June Cleaver” is hiding her husband’s bowling ball in the oven so he can’t go out with his bowling buddies tonight…*insert snicker*

  4. 4
    tania   December 19, 2006 at 2:35 pm

    i have always wanted to try meatloaf!
    i think we had it once as kids-

  5. 5
    Amanda   December 19, 2006 at 3:07 pm

    i have a fantastic turkey meatloaf recipe that i’ve already made like, 3 times in the past couple of months. it’s uber easy and involves several household condiments so you know it’s gotta be good. let me know if you want the recipe, it’s perfect for when you can’t be arsed doing much more than mixing and pouring. ok, you have to chop up mushrooms but that’s it, i promise!!

  6. 6
    Meena   December 19, 2006 at 3:23 pm

    Aaahh meatloaf!! Been ages since i had one, this one looks delish!

  7. 7
    Nicole   December 21, 2006 at 2:04 pm

    This sounds great! I have some ground turkey in the freezer and now I know exactly what to do with it! Also, LOVE the retro kitchen!

  8. 8
    kickpleat   December 21, 2006 at 9:42 pm

    joanne, i don’t think i could get behind a boiled egg in my meatloaf. now that is just torture!

    haha, kathyr! it’s totally a roasted bowling ball!! heehee.

    tania, you’ve got to be kidding me! no meatloaf ever? get yourself to a diner now!!

    amanda, i’m all for any new recipes! condiments are never a bad thing in my book.

    meena, meatloaf is a funny thing! total childhood memories.

    yup, nicole, i love that kitchen to death! let me know how the loaf turns out!

  9. 9
    Anonymous   January 5, 2007 at 12:35 pm

    can you try this meatloaf with ground pork? i dont know where to buy ground chicken except the chain grocery stores possibly. should i add more spices if using ground pork? thanks!


  10. 10
    kickpleat   January 5, 2007 at 1:04 pm

    Janet, I rarely cook with ground pork (if ever!), so I can’t say for sure, but I think it should work fine. This is a very flavourful meatloaf with all that garlic, so I’m sure the pork (or any meat) will benefit! Let me know how it turns out!

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