FEATURED RECIPE

Chicken Parmesan Meatballs

Chicken Parmesan Meatballs
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When introducing my Caprese Sheet Pan Chicken, I mentioned wanting to come up with a playful way to include Chicken Parmesan in this book, and if you ask me, nothing is more fun than meatballs. You can serve them small, medium, or giant; as dinner or an appetizer; over pasta, with bread, in a sandwich, or just in a baking dish with sauce and melty cheese on top. The possibilities are endless, and we haven’t even gotten to the millions of ways that you can flavor meatballs.

Why would we do that when we’ve got the best version right here?

I stuff these with mozzarella and garnish with grated Parmesan. But I have a confession: I’ve also made these with even more mozzarella melted on top. If you want to do that, too, you’ll need more mozzarella than called for in the recipe. And, yes, it’s worth it.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 ½ pounds ground chicken, preferably dark meat
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely minced or grated
  • Âľ cup grated Parmesan cheese (you can substitute Grana Padano; see note below)
  • ½ cup plain Italian-­style breadcrumbs‍
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste‍
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 ½ teaspoons dried oregano‍
  • 1 ÂĽ teaspoons freshly ground black pepper‍
  • 1 teaspoon salt‍
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder‍
  • 4 ounces low-­moisture mozzarella cheese, cut into ½-­inch chunks
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, plus more as needed
  • 2 ½ cups favorite marinara sauce‍
  • Fresh basil, torn into pieces, for garnish (optional)
  • Garlic bread, for serving (optional)

Directions

  1. Place the chicken, garlic, ½ cup of the Parmesan, the breadcrumbs, tomato paste, egg, oregano, pepper, salt, and onion powder in a large mixing bowl and, using your hands, a wooden spoon, or a silicone spatula, combine well, being careful not to overmix.
  2. Lightly wet your hands before rolling the meat mixture into golf ball–size meatballs (about 1 ½ inches), each stuffed with a small piece of mozzarella in the middle.
  3. Heat the oil in a large heavy sauté pan set over medium heat. Add the meatballs, being careful not to overcrowd (you may have to do this in batches). Fry until browned, turning the meatballs two or three times so that they brown all around, 6 to 8 minutes. If you do cook the meatballs in batches, note that you may have to add an extra drizzle of oil, especially if using white meat.
  4. Once all of the meatballs have browned, cover them with sauce in the pan. Keep at medium heat or adjust to whatever you need to bring the sauce to a simmer, cover, and cook until the largest of the meatballs are cooked through, 5 to 8 minutes, depending on the size of the meatballs.
  5. Sprinkle the meatballs with the remaining ¼ cup Parmesan and the torn basil leaves, if using. Season to taste with more salt as desired. Serve with thick-­cut garlic bread, if desired.

COOK'S NOTE

You don’t have to spend all of your hard-­earned cash on pricey imported Parmesan, thanks to Grana Padano. If you’re unfamiliar with this hard Italian cheese, it’s quite similar to Parmesan, with a sharp, nutty flavor. Though milder than Parmesan, the two are pretty much interchangeable in the home kitchen. Plus, Grana Padano comes at a much more affordable price. When looking to buy Grana Padano, just like with Parmesan, keep your eyes peeled for the real deal imported from Italy.

Excerpted from Winner! Winner! Chicken Dinner © by Stacie Billis.

Used with permission from Storey Publishing.

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