Chicken Parmesan Meatballs

 There are some foods that pair so well it’s apparent to everyone who has tried them they were created specifically for one another.  The harmony is absolute.  The tastes swirl together until they beautifully dissolve into one.  Bacon, lettuce, and tomato.  Smoked salmon and cream cheese.  Yogurt and Fruit.  Breaded chicken, spaghetti sauce, and cheese.  That last one – chicken parmesan – has been a go-to dinner since I asked my mom to teach me how to make it in high school.  However, it’s also true that no matter how ideal the flavor combinations may be, if you make something enough it can get old.  Such was the fate of chicken parmesan dinner’s in our household.  That was until I saw a fresh take on the classic What’s Gabby Cooking.  Chicken parmesan meatballs!  I was intrigued and made them the very next week.  
 
Let me tell ya, dear reader.  It was amazing.  Better by far than the standard dish from which it was inspired.  Do yourself a favor and make this for dinner tomorrow night.  I promise you’ll not be disappointed!

Chicken Parmesan Meatballs
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Ingredients
  1. 1 pound ground chicken
  2. 1/2 cup grated parmesan
  3. 1/3 cup panko breadcrumbs
  4. 2 eggs
  5. 3/4 teaspoon salt
  6. 3/4 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
  7. 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  8. 1/2 teaspoon dried parsley
  9. 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  10. 1/2 cups flour
  11. bocconcini mozzarella balls (I get them in the olive bar section of Fred Meyer - just flavored mozzarella balls)
  12. 1/2 cup olive oil (I used the olive oil that the mozzarella balls were packaged in)
  13. 1 jar marinara sauce (Kirkland organic is the best!)
  14. handful of basil leaves, torn
Instructions
  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine the chicken, parmesan, breadcrumbs, eggs, salt, pepper, oregano, parsley and red pepper flakes. Carefully combine everything with your hands until the ingredients are evenly mixed.
  2. Form the ground chicken mixture into small meatballs, each the size of a golf ball.
  3. Insert a small bocconcini ball in the center of each meatball, taking care to reform the meatball around the cheese once it’s been inserted. The mozzarella should be completely hidden from sight.
  4. Dredge each meatball in the flour to lightly coat it and gently tap off any excess flour.
  5. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  6. Heat the olive oil in a large heavy bottom skillet over medium high heat. Once the oil is hot, add half of the meatballs and sauté for a 3-4 minutes, turning every so often to brown the outside.
  7. Once the meatballs are browned, remove them from the oil and repeat the process with the remaining meatballs.
  8. Once all meatballs are browned, add the tomato sauce to the skillet and place the browned meatballs on top of the sauce.
  9. Transfer the skillet, meatballs and all, into the oven and let the meatballs continue to bake for 15-20 minutes until cooked through.
  10. Remove the skillet from the oven and dusting with salt, pepper, freshly chopped basil and extra bocconcini if desired. Serve immediately.
Adapted from What's Gabby Cooking
Mr & Mrs Miller http://mrandmrsmiller.com/
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