In today’s Cooking For Real, Sunny makes healthy & guilt-free meatballs.
Your Nonna might grumble a bit at first, but one taste of these chicken meatballs might have her changing her mind.
Meatballs can range in size and flavor and healthiness—it really all depends on who’s making them. But today, Sunny shows us a simple recipe that makes them healthy, delicious, and bite-size.
First, Sunny uses ground chicken instead of the typical ground beef or beef, pork, or veal combination. By using a lean, low-fat meat it cuts down on the calories and the guilt.
For the punch of flavor, Sunny makes a great combination of lemon zest, herbs, and spices that not only bind together the meat but also keep the chicken moist while cooking. Some special touches in her meatball recipe include using brown sugar for an extra sweetness and hot paprika for a touch of heat.
Also, Sunny reverses the meatball-making process to ensure the chicken meat stays tender and moist. Instead of adding everything to the ground meat and mixing to incorporate everything, Sunny makes the mixture first to thoroughly blend all the flavor elements together. Then she adds the chicken and mixes it lightly to keep the little fat it has together.
After forming the meatballs, fry them up in a pan with a small bit of olive oil and butter. Make sure to form the meatballs in smaller sizes so that it can cook evenly throughout. Alternately, you can form these into patties and use them for yummy chicken burgers!
Zesty Chicken Meatballs Ingredients:
- 1 pound ground chicken
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 egg, whisked
- 3 tablespoons unseasoned whole-wheat bread crumbs
- 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- 1 teaspoon Hungarian or hot paprika
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon chopped fresh oregano leaves, about 1 small sprig
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme leaves, about 5 sprigs
- 1 teaspoons brown sugar
- 1 lemon, zested
- Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil