- 1 pound ground chicken
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan
- 1/3 cup panko breadcrumbs
- 2 eggs
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 teaspoon freshly cracked pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon dried parsley
- 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- Bocconcini mozzarella balls
- 1/2 cup flour
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1 jar marinara sauce
- Handful fresh basil leaves, torn
Hands down, this is my most favorite comfort meal. It feeds a crowd, the leftovers can be made into great paninis the next day and I'm fairly certain this dish is why my husband and I are married. So, in the time of quarantine, this is going to keep us all sane.
Technique Tip: Teach kids all about breading chicken and let them get in there and get their hands dirty!
Swap Option: You can use any kind of red pasta sauce from tomato basil, to vodka sauce, to marinara.
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. 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.3.
Dredge each meatball in the flour to lightly coat it and gently tap off any excess flour. Preheat the oven to 350ºF.4.
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 3 to 4 minutes, turning every so often to brown the outside.5.
Once the meatballs are browned, remove them from the oil and repeat the process with the remaining meatballs. Once all meatballs are browned, add the tomato sauce to the skillet and place the browned meatballs on top of the sauce.6.
Transfer the skillet, meatballs and all, into the oven and let the meatballs continue to bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until cooked through.7.
Remove the skillet from the oven and dust with salt, pepper, freshly chopped basil and extra bocconcini, if desired. Serve immediately.