Chicken Francese Meatballs

Hi Everyone,

Hope all is well. Happy to say that my healing is complete with my eye surgery and I am back in business and can see clearly now to write my entry to the blog.

We had a little celebration here last night and it was our “Dating Anniversary”.

This year we celebrated the 37th year of our first date or as Bob likes to refer to it, our 13,513 days together!

My husband is the biggest romantic and very, very thoughtful and since we started dating, Bob has always celebrated and bought me a little gift for every anniversary of our first date, engagement date, and wedding date. The months have blossomed into years and he has never missed an anniversary.

Yesterday he bought flowers and an occasion cake (carrot cake, one of our favorites) and I made dinner at home this year and made Chicken Francese meatballs and served it over tri-color spaghetti.

This is the recipe I want to share with you today. So, let’s get started

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Chicken Francese Meatballs

Serves 4- approx. 6 meatballs a serving

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound ground chicken
  • 2- 3 cloves of garlic -minced
  • 1 large egg – lightly beaten
  • ½ cup breadcrumbs – seasoned or panko, your choice
  • ½ cup grated cheese – I use Locatelli
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
  • ½ tsp dried basil
  • ½ tsp dried oregano
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • ½ tsp Calabrian chili peppers in a jar OR crushed red pepper flakes
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Ingredients for Lemon Wine Sauce:

  • 1 shallot- diced small
  • 2 cloves of garlic- minced
  • Salt to taste
  • 4 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 2/3 cup white wine
  • 2 cups no-salt chicken broth
  • 1 large lemon cut into round slices
  • ½ lemon zested and juiced
  • 2 tbsp parsley

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone mat, set aside

Prepare a pot of water for boiling the pasta and follow the pasta package directions

In a medium-sized bowl add the ground chicken, garlic, egg, breadcrumbs, grated cheese, oregano, basil, parsley, garlic powder, crushed Calabrian chili peppers OR red pepper flakes, salt & pepper.

Mix well with your hands but DON’T OVERMIX, just combine

Shape the meatballs into balls no bigger than 1 inch – aim for 24 meatballs

Place the meatballs on the prepared baking sheet

READY FOR THE OVEN

Cook the meatballs for about 20 minutes or until the internal temperature is 165 degrees….. once cooked, remove from the oven and set aside

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Once the meatballs are in the oven, make the pan sauce

In a large 12-inch skillet, add butter, shallots, and garlic with a touch of salt

Cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the white wine

Let it simmer for 2 minutes. Add in the lemon zest, lemon juice, sliced lemons, and the chicken stock

Simmer until the mixture has cooked down slightly, 5 minutes

Add the cooked meatballs and additional parsley and mix to combine. Simmer for 5 minutes

Add the cooked pasta, mix well and simmer for 2-3 minutes to combine the flavors and reduce the sauce a bit.

The final dish…

Cooks Note: if you don’t want the meatballs over pasta, you could serve them in sandwiches, over rice, or over a vegetable.

Cooks Note: these are the crushed Calabrian Chili Peppers

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Until my next post, make every day a celebration!

Stay well,

Diane

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