Friday, September 4, 2009
I love hot wings. There's a place my home that's got some pretty decent hot wings. I've been craving them recently, but I'm too lazy to go out in the heat. So I decided to make some at home. But then, I got the craving for meatballs. Who doesn't love meatballs? What do I choose? Hot wings or meatballs? Hot wings? Meatballs? Don't you just hate it when that happens. So, I sit and ponder the thought for moment on my semi-comfortable Ikea futon, when I heard that little voice inside my heard say, "Why not combine both?" My eyes widen. Genius!! "Thank you little voice inside my head," I replied back in a loud voice. Luckily, no one heard me or else they would think I'm crazy for talking to myself. Boy, that little voice of mine has sure come up with some clever ideas lately.
I reach into that big Costco bag of chicken breast, which by the way, I'm nearly done with it. Woohoo... I needed the mix-ins. Onion, check. Garlic, check. Panko crumbs, check. I thawed out the chicken and ground it in the food processor. If you can find ground chicken in the market, go right ahead. Saves you some time. Combined all the ingredients together and made 12 balls. They're slightly larger than a golf ball.
I baked these in a small cake pan that I covered the top with foil. It's like steaming and baking at the same time. Covering them helped the chicken stay tender and moist. It also helped absorb the hot sauce that I later coated them in. When you take that first bite, it's nice and juicy. Then, of course, I tossed them in a butter and hot sauce combination and served it with some dipping sauce. I'm not of a fan of blue cheese dressing. Don't get me wrong I like blue cheese, but not just the dressing form. I guess you can blame it on a bad blue cheese dressing experience a few years back. I made a yogurt dressing that would go really great with this. Helps balance the heat. I had gotten this simple dressing from a friend when I had dinner with her and her husband. But you can use any dressing you'd prefer.
Two cravings in one dish. You can even omit the hot sauce all together and just make them into regular meatballs for pasta dishes or sandwiches. Also you can add as much hot sauce as you'd like as well. Whatever your preference of heat is. Don't forget to add some carrot and celery sticks, too.
Makes 12 meatballs or however many you desire.
Baked Buffalo Chicken Meatballs
1/2 lb ground chicken
or 1 large chicken breast - ground in the food processor
1 small onion minced
1 garlic clove
1 c panko crumbs
1 Tbsp paprika
2 Tbsp melted butter
1-2 tsp hot sauce (add more or less - to your preference)
Preheat your oven to 400˚F
In a large mixing bowl, add the ground chicken, onion, garlic, panko crumbs, paprika and sprinkle of some salt and pepper. Mix together until thoroughly combined.
Divide the mixture into 12 individual balls and place on a lightly greased 2- to 3-inch deep baking or cake pan. Cover the top with foil and put into the oven.
Bake for 30 min.
While the chicken bakes, combine the melted butter and hot sauce in a new bowl.
After the 30 min bakig, remove the chicken from the oven and put them into the bowl of the hot sauce. Toss the chicken until all are coated and transfer to a serving plate.
Add some carrot slices and/or celery and some of the ranch, bleu cheese, or yogurt dip on the side and serve warm.
Yogurt Dipping Sauce
3 Tbsp plain Greek yogurt
2 Tbsp chopped parsley
1 tsp water
Combine all ingredients together in a small bowl and serve.