Saturday, June 11, 2016

Chicken Parmesan Meatballs

These meatballs make me all heart eyes emoji...

Are you sick of me stuffing things with cheese? If the answer is no, then I love you, and also pull up a chair because this recipe is the

When I first started dreaming up these Chicken Parmesan Meatballs, I knew there were a few essential elements that would make them truly reminiscent of chicken parm, a true comfort food classic. First, a crispy, buttery golden brown crust. That means we are pan frying these meatballs and we aren't sorry. Second, we needed mozzarella cheese, melted and gooey...but rather than on top of the dish, I'm putting it right in the center of each delicious meatball.

These meatballs aren't much different than most classic meatballs you've probably made a million times before...I am just amping them up a bit. The base will be lean ground chicken, in keeping with the theme of course. But I find ground chicken takes a little more TLC in order to really bind the meatballs, so I'm upping my usual breadcrumb to meat ratio to ensure they don't fall apart. For extra Italian flavor, the recipe is heavy-handed with grated parmesan cheese (duh) as well as fresh parsley and basil! I love fresh herbs this time of year - the flavor is unmatched!

For cooking, make sure you have either a dutch oven, cast iron skillet, or heavy-bottomed oven safe skillet - you essentially want something that is both burner and oven safe!

You are really going to love these meatballs! I served them for dinner with some whole wheat spaghetti and my favorite jarred marinara sauce (it's ok sometimes!!). You can also enjoy these as an appetizer with marinara on the side for dipping. No matter how you serve 'em, they are sure to be a crowd pleaser!

Here's what you need for Chicken Parmesan Meatballs* (Print Recipe!)

1 pound ground chicken
1 egg
3/4 cup whole wheat seasoned breadcrumbs
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped fine
1 tablespoon fresh basil, chopped fine
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
salt and pepper to taste
2 ounces fresh mozzarella, diced into 1/2 inch cubes
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
marinara sauce, for serving

Here's what you do

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a large bowl, combine the chicken, egg, breadcrumbs, parmesan, parsley, basil, red pepper, salt and pepper gently with your hands. Be careful not to overwork the meat.

Line a baking sheet with parchment or wax paper (you won't be cooking anything on the baking sheet). Roll the meat into large meatballs using a medium cokie scoop, about an inch and a half each. Use your finger to create an indentation in the middle of the meatball. Place a piece of the mozzarella in the center of the meatball, seal the indentation and re-shape the meatball as necessary. Place stuffed meatballs on the baking sheet and pop in the freezer for 15 minutes.

After about 10 minutes, add the olive oil and butter to a large dutch oven. Warm over medium heat. Once the butter is melted, add the meatballs and cook for about 2 minutes, then flip to brown on the other side. If the meatballs feel like they are going to stick, use a thin metal spatula to keep the crispy crust intact! Transfer the pot to the oven to finish cooking, about 10 minutes.

Serve immediately as desired with marinara for dipping and extra herbs for garnish.

*Gas Stove Girl Original Recipe

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