This past week has been so hot! Like swampy hot. So, of course we need to talk about Chicken Parmesans Meatballs, right?
We’ll get there, I promise.
The heat is tolerable. But the humidity is simply hellish. You never feel clean. There’s always a bead of sweat dripping down my back that feels like a little spider crawling down my shirt. And even that I can kinda handle. But I cannot handle the bad hair days!
Think Monica Gellar in Barbados.
So, Breaking News! Sofia Vergara Got Bangs!
Oh-Mah-Gahd! Fortunately there was nothing major going on in the world to keep us all from this breaking news story.
I figured, if she can do it, then it must be in style and so can I. I haven’t had bangs for a while, I could use a change. How bad could it be?
So I went to my hairdresser, whom I have been friends with and a client of for twenty-something years and told her to cut me some bangs.
“Did you see Sofia Vergara’s new bangs?” she said.
She gets me.
As she has been doing my hair for so long, she also knows that my hair curls up drastically and those new bangs better be cut on the long side or they will shrivel up and I’ll look like one of those weird kids that tried to cut their own hair or that their mom had to cut out the gum.
Well, once cut, they looked pretty cute actually. I really liked them. Sofia and I could have been twins! I guess in the same sense that Bart and Hugo Simpson are twins. But anyway, I was happy with the result.
Until the humidity crept in.
I curled, straightened, brushed, flattened, rolled…you name it. Nothing helped! No amount of product was helping keep these frizzy, little bangs from spiraling (literally) out of control.
I bitched and complained for at least a week about what a terrible mistake I made and how Sofia and I were no longer friends. By the way, I’m pretty sure her’s were clip ons, which is the route I should have taken. Note to self for next time I get a brilliant idea to cut bangs.
But I digress. Sorry I do that.
So, last night after a bit of thunder and a torrential downpour, the humidity broke. I woke up to a fresh, crisp, Fall-like breeze. It was heaven! The air conditioners went off and the windows were all tossed open immediately. It was a gorgeous day and it made me not want to cook outside for the first time in weeks.
Enter the Chicken Parmesan Meatball.
If you like the popability of a meatball but the deliciousness of chicken parm, then these are totally for you my friend.
Ground chicken instead of beef lightens them up a bit and the meat is seasoned with parmesan cheese and herbs then rolled in panko for a delicious crust. First fried in a cast iron skillet (or oven safe pan if you don’t have cast iron) to get that beautiful color then simply pour your favorite marinara over them, toss on a boatload of mozzarella and bake until bubbly.
Served with some crusty bread and salad for a crazy, delicious meal perfect for a hearty dinner that will satisfy.
Chicken Parmesan Meatballs
Meatballs made from chicken and parmesan cheese for a twist on a classic dish
- 3 oz panko crumbs , divided
- 4 oz Parmesan cheese , grated, divided
- 1 1/2 lbs ground chicken
- 1 large egg , lightly beaten
- 1/2 tsp red pepper flake
- 1 Tbls dried basil
- 2 tsp garlic powder
- 2 tsp dried parsley
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 2 1/2 c marinara sauce
- 1 c part skim mozzarella cheese , shredded
- 3 oz extra-virgin olive oil
Heat the oven to 425 degrees F.
Mix together 1/2 oz. of the panko with 1 oz. of the Parmesan in a small bowl and set aside.
Combine the chicken, egg, 1 Tbls olive oil, the remaining 2.5 oz. panko, the remaining 3 oz. Parmesan, basil, garlic powder, parsley, oregano and salt in a large bowl. Gently combine using your hands until just incorporated, don't over work the meat.
*Divide the meatball mixture into approximately 28 golf ball sized rounds (1 ounce each) and **roll them in the panko mixture. I used a medium sized ice cream scoop for perfectly sized and uniform meatballs
Heat 2 Tbls olive oil over medium heat in a 12-inch cast iron or oven safe skillet. Brown the meatballs about 30 seconds on each side, working in batches if needed to avoid crowding the pan. You just want color, you don't want them completely cooked through.
Add all the meatballs back to the pan, cover with marinara and shredded mozzarella and bake until the meatballs are cooked through, about 10-12 minutes or until the cheese is bubbly and calling your name. Serve with crusty bread and salad or over cooked pasta.
* I like to make them small, but feel free to increase the size if you like big balls. Sorry, I couldn’t help myself there.
**If you want to skip rolling them in panko, it doesn’t affect the taste, but you wont get that same crust. Sometimes I skip it and they are still delish.