4.04.2012

Cheesy Chicken Meatballs


If you're anything like me, you're probably always looking for new ways to prepare chicken. It's the story of my life, and I'm sure the story of many other people's lives as well. My family in particular likes to buy chicken in bulk from Restaurant Depot, which doesn't really help the situation because that just means more chicken we don't know what to do with. Gratefully, I'm always hard at work hooking my family up with a variety of different chicken dishes, like these tandoori chicken kebabs, this chicken parmesan casserole, and these cheesy basil stuffed chicken breasts. This weekend, I hooked them up with something they never saw coming. Cheesy. Chicken. Meatballs.



How's that for different?

You don't ever really consider grinding up chicken and making it into a meatball, or I guess chickenball would be a more appropriate name. I think I remember my mother grinding up sheep meat for us once and making it into burgers, but it didn't taste very good...so I probably subconsciously ignored the fact that I could grind my own meat if I wanted to from that point on. Hey, now that I think about it, aren't chicken nuggets made of ground chicken?! This is literally just hitting me, right now, as I'm writing this. Sigh. I don't know if I should be impressed that I figured this out or sad that it's taken me this long to.



Anyways, these meatballs are way better than any chicken nugget at any fast food place. And they're super easy to put together. You basically start off with some ground chicken (obviously)--you can buy ground chicken, or you can grind it yourself at home. I ground mine myself, like a boss. Then you add in plain breadcrumbs that have been soaked in milk, minced onion, sour cream, one egg, salt and pepper, and you mix it all together and you're ready to start rolling. Can I just say that I am the slowest meatball roller ever? No really, ask my mom. I'm pretty sure I hold a Guinness World Record.



If you experience any difficulties in rolling these meatballs, don't fear. Breadcrumbs are near. You can always add more breadcrumbs if the mixture is too moist. But the mixture is supposed to be somewhat moist anyway, so another option is to just moisten your hands in water and then toss the meatballs gently from hand to hand to shape them into balls (my dear mother taught me this trick). After you roll your meatballs and arrange them on a large baking pan, you drizzle them with some mayonnaise and then sprinkle them with a combination of mozzarella and parmesan cheese, or whatever cheese you prefer.



They take about 15-20 minutes to bake, but you'll want to take them out of the oven sooner because they smell so incredibly amazing when they're in there, especially when the cheese starts to brown. And speaking of browned cheese, it is the highlight of these meatballs. Don't get me wrong, the meatballs themselves are so flavorful and tender and savory....but their crispy cheese topping? Mmm, good God is it wonderful to bite into!



The picky eaters in your family might be hesitant to try these, ahem cough cough my brothers cough cough, but once they do, they'll be fighting you over them. I know I use the word addicting a lot but these meatballs are seriously addicting. I even found myself eating them as my mid-afternoon snack, contrary to the sweets I usually opt for. And for someone with a sweet tooth as big as mine to ditch the dessert, it's a big deal.

Add these to your meal plans for this week and see for yourself! :)

Cheesy Chicken Meatballs

Yield: 25-30 meatballs
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Ingredients:

1 lb ground chicken
1 slice of bread (will make about 1 cup of breadcrumbs, you can also use store-bought breadcrumbs)
1/4 cup milk
1 small onion, minced or grated
1 tablespoon sour cream
1 egg
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1/4 cup mayonnaise
3/4 cup mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese


Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Toast the bread and then place it in a food processor and pulse until you make crumbs. Cover the crumbs in milk and allow to stand until all the milk is absorbed. Combine all the ingredients together, except the mayonnaise and cheeses. Form meatballs, using about 1 tablespoon of mixture for each meatball.

The mixture will be sort of wet/sticky, but if you moisten your hands with water and toss the mixture back and forth between your hands and gently squeeze it into shape between tosses, you'll be able to form rounded balls.

Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil, spray with cooking spray and place meatballs 1/2” apart on the sheet. 

Fill a Ziploc bag with mayonnaise and then cut a tiny hole in one corner of the bag. Drizzle a small amount of mayonnaise on each meatball. Combine the two cheeses together and then sprinkle about ½ tablespoon on each meatball. 

Bake uncovered for 15-20 min. You can also broil the meatballs for 2-5 minutes at the end for the cheese to crisp up.  Serve with pasta or rice.

Adapted from Olga's Flavor Factory

1 comment:

  1. It looks so nice. It’s a good snack like chicken nugget when watch soccer match. But this one is definitely a lot better and yummier. Probably add some coriander will be nice, I like the smell and flavor. :)

    ReplyDelete

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