I purchased some ground chicken recently with every intention of cooking it up into a dish of Thai Drunken Noodles. But lacking basil and motivation one evening, I did a Y-turn and though that spaghetti and meatballs would taste good, and why not make said meatballs out of chicken? Fried meat can be healthy, can’t it?
The pasta is the easy part. Open box of dried pasta. Boil big pot of water with some salt. Drop dried noodles into hot water. Cook until al dente, which I believe is Italian for “sticks against the refrigerator.”
But now to the meatballs!
In a large bowl place the ground chicken with the Parmesan cheese, bread crumbs, garlic, oregano, basil, salt, and pepper. crack in the egg and mix/knead it up until everything is evenly combined. In this case, I had fresh basil but no fresh oregano, so I mixed and matched fresh and dried.
After everything is squished together all proper-like, pinch enough meat to make a meatball the size of a golf ball. Stand around for a moment to admire their roundness. While you do that, heat up a pan with the oil and get ready to sauté.
Especially because this is chicken, cook it on medium to high heat to ensure that the meatballs are cooked through. Throw in about 8 at at time, depending on the size of your pan, and roll them around occasionally so that they can brown on all sides. Give them about 8 minutes per meatball over the heat.
Remove them from the pan and drop them into a bubbling pot of your favorite spaghetti sauce (I always like to add a little bit of sugar to my spaghetti sauces because they are often a little too tart for my taste–and the sugar cuts it a little bit without making a sugary marinara.)
Now here’s the official recipe:
- 1 lb ground chicken
- 1 egg
- 1/2 cup regular breadcrumbs (if you use italian, you might want to cut down on the herb usage)
- 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
- 3 cloves of minced garlic
- 2 tsps of fresh oregano (or the dried equivalent)
- 1 tsp of fresh basil (or dried equivalent)
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
- 2 tsp vegetable oil (olive is preferable)
- In a large bowl, place ground chicken, egg, parmesan cheese, bread crumbs, garlic, basil, oregano, salt, and pepper. Mix and knead together until ingredients are well combined.
- Form the meat mixture into balls the size of a golf ball.
- Heat a large pan on high and drizzle with oil.
- Place about 6-8 meatballs in the pan, depending on their size. Cook until all sides are brown and the meatball is cooked completely through.
- Remove from heat and drop them into our choice of spaghetti sauce, or, if you want them as a sort of appetizer, might I recommend placing them on a stick? A very elegant presentation, I am told.