baked chicken meatballs

since this is a blog of all of my favorite foods, i couldn’t believe it when i realized that i had never posted these chicken meatballs. i can’t get enough of these, and i’m not surprised, considering the recipe came from Smitten Kitchen. these are the perfect “i don’t know what to make for dinner” or “i want to impress my dinner guests with minimal effort” meal. if i haven’t convinced you yet, i’m going to stop trying, but please for the love of g-d, just make these, okay?!

Beauty, right?

Beauty, right?

baked chicken meatballs

while you could certainly serve these with pasta, as is tradition, i prefer a simple side of sautéed spinach or a big salad.

Serves 4

3 slices Italian bread, torn into small bits (1 cup)
1/3 cup milk
3 ounces sliced pancetta, finely chopped (you can swap in Canadian Bacon if you can’t find pancetta, which i have done many times, or leave the extra meat out altogether)
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 small garlic clove, minced
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1 large egg
1 pound ground chicken
2 tablespoons tomato paste, divided (i like tomato paste so i usually use more)
3 tablespoons finely chopped flat-leaf parsley

Preheat oven to 400°F with a rack in the upper third of the oven. Soak bread in milk in a small bowl until softened, about four minutes.

Cook pancetta, onion, and garlic in one tablespoon oil with 1/2 teaspoon each of salt and pepper in a large skillet over medium heat until onion is softened, about 6 minutes. Let it cool for a few minutes.

Squeeze bread to remove excess milk, then discard milk. Lightly beat egg in a large bowl, then combine with chicken, 1 tablespoon tomato paste, pancetta mixture, bread, and parsley.

ready to be mixed

ready to be mixed

Form 12 meatballs and arrange in a 4-sided sheet pan or roasting dish. Stir together remaining tablespoon or two of tomato paste and oil (i usually use less than a tablespoon) and brush over meatballs (i usually just spoon a drop over each and smoosh it down).

oven ready

pre oven

Finally, bake in upper third of oven until meatballs are just cooked through, 15 to 20 minutes (though mine took a good 5-10 minutes longer).

Beauty, right?

fin.

i know what i’m having for dinner tonight.

bon appetit,
e

Let me know how the recipe turned out for you!