Monday, April 11, 2022

Chicken Meatballs with Parmigiano Reggiano

I'm still here!  We took our first group vacation since 2020 with good friends and, since then, it's been a mixture of various commitments, a little procrastination and lack of inspiration.  However, after enjoying a delicious appetizer of chicken meatballs served in a wonderful savory sauce at a local restaurant we enjoy, I was determined to try and replicate the recipe at home.  Inspiration found! 

I adapted this recipe slightly from one I found on Skinny Taste.  It's basically a riff on Chicken Romano and Chicken Piccata and it's wonderful!  I wanted to use chicken thigh meat but couldn't find any already ground. So, I used my Kitchen Aid meat grinder attachment and ground my own.  Any ground chicken will do, so don't feel you have to grind your own or ask your meat department to grind it for you. 😉

The meatballs have all the standard meatball ingredients of bread crumbs and egg, along with Parmigiano Reggiano, herbs, seasonings and garlic.  I have a large container of Parmiginao Reggiano from Costco which makes putting these together easy. 

After browning the meatballs in batches (don't crowd them), they are set aside while you make the sauce, which is a delicious combination of shallots, garlic, chicken broth, white wine and lemon. It's amazing! Feel free to add capers if you like them. 

This recipe is light, delicious and perfect for spring (which has been slow to arrive this year!)  Serve with rice, pasta, a salad or simple vegetable and enjoy!

Tip: When you harvest your herbs this season, be sure to freeze plenty.  I used frozen chopped parsley from my freezer for this recipe and all my frozen herbs throughout the winter. I harvest parsley (both Italian and curly), oregano, chives, thyme (I freeze the whole stems), and rosemary. Use your salad spinner to clean, then either chop them or put whole into freezer bags.   You'll be glad you did next winter!  

Chicken Meatballs with Parmigiano Reggiano

1 pound ground chicken (chicken thighs preferred)
1 large egg, stirred with a fork gently
½ cup bread crumbs
⅓ cup Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/2 teaspoon fresh or dried basil
½ teaspoon fresh or dried oregano
½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
2 large cloves of garlic, minced
3/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon pepper

1 small shallot, diced (about 1 tablespoon
2 large garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup dry white wine, like chardonnay
2 cups chicken broth
1 lemon, preferably organic, sliced
1 tablespoon capers, chopped (optional)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

In a large bowl, combine the ground chicken with the egg, bread crumbs, cheese, parsley, dried basil, oregano, pepper flakes, garlic, salt and pepper. Mix until just combined - don't overmix. Shape the mixture into golf ball sized meatballs and return to the bowl.  Refrigerate for 1 hour. 
Heat an oven-safe skillet over medium heat and add 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Add the meatballs in a single layer without crowding, browning on all sides, cooking about 5 to 6 minutes in total. You can do this in batches if you have a small skillet.  Just brown them and remove - they will finish cooking in the oven.  Transfer all browned meatballs to a large plate. 

In the same skillet over medium heat, add the shallots and garlic and cook, stirring until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the white wine, scraping any brown bits from the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon.  Add the chicken stock and lemons and simmer gently for about 5-10 minutes until slightly reduced.  Add the meatballs to the sauce in the pan.  

Bake for 15 minutes, or until the meatballs cooked through.  Serve with pasta, rice or a vegetable.