One of my favorite parts of being back home is cooking in a kitchen with more than marginal counter space, where I don’t need to balance cookie sheets on top of my coffee pot or put ingredients on top of my refrigerator just to get through even the simplest recipe. It’s such a luxury to be able to spread out and cook on one solid surface!! Last night I took the time to make chicken meatballs, and they turned out better than I thought they would. With the frigid weather we’ve been having that rivals Canada, something warm and cozy was just the thing to curl up and eat. They aren’t quite as gooey and deliciously greasy as beef meatballs, but I did feel a little better about myself eating them, like I could justify a
third second helping!! The only thing to keep in mind when you’re making them is, if you’re like me and like sampling the raw meet as you cook, you don’t want to do that with raw chicken, just to avoid the salmonella. Unfortunately I didn’t take strict measurements when I was cooking, so the recipe that follows is all of my ingredients, in guestimated amounts. Adjust to your liking. These would be great with some garlic and basil, or even rosemary. I’ll have to try that next time!! Add or subtract ingredients as you like and enjoy! Recipe to follow pictures.
Boneless, skinless, chicken breast – I used about a pound and a half.
1 jar tomato and basil tomato sauce.
2 cans fire-roasted tomatoes (1 big can and 1 small one)
Olive oil for the pan.
Panko breadcrumbs (I used a mix of white and whole wheat, about 2 cups in total).
Part-skim mozzarella cheese
Hard Italian cheese, Parmigiano Reggiano or Pecorino Romano
Pasta (I used whole wheat rigatoni).
Cut the chicken into 1 inch chunks and grind up, a bit at a time, in a food processor. You want to only process a bit at a time to keep some chicken from being overground and mushy while the rest isn’t even ground yet. Transfer ground chicken to a mixing bowl. Add eggs and breadcrumbs and mix – you may want to use your hands. Add milk as needed to moisten the breadcrumbs. Add more milk and breadcrumbs until you achieve the texture you want. Shape into balls with your hand. Heat olive oil in a skillet on medium heat. Add chicken balls and let brown. Flip the balls with tongs as they brown in order to brown all sides. When all sides are brown, add tomato sauce and fire roasted tomatoes. Let simmer until chicken balls are cooked through. Add cheese if desired. Serve with your favorite pasta.