Chicken Meatballs with Rosemary

These chicken meatballs are something I’ve been thinking about this one for a while, but have only recently gotten around to making it. I wanted to try something different with meatballs besides beef and veal. I haven’t tried it yet, but I would imagine this would go great with lamb in place of the chicken. I’m a big fan of the lamb and rosemary flavor profile. No matter which protein you use, you’re welcome to experiment with recipe, these meatballs will go great with a pasta dish!

This recipe is based off of my Chicken Florentine recipe, which in itself started life as a pork recipe. As I play around with different recipes, it is really incredible how many ingredients can be subbed for other ingredients.

The Recipe

For the Sauce:

  • 2 Garlic Cloves – Minced
  • 1 14.5 oz Can Diced Tomatoes
  • 1 Bunch of Spinach – Rough Chopped
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Pasta
  • Olive Oil
Sauté the garlic in olive oil over medium heat until light brown. This happens quick. Just make sure not to get the garlic to toasted or else it will become bitter. That’s a flavor you can’t get rid of.
Add in salt and pepper and tomatoes. Cook for a few minutes, ten to fifteen minutes, until the sauce reduces. Stir in the chopped spinach. Cook until the spinach is wilted, stirring occasionally.
Let’s take a minute to talk about mincing garlic. I have seen people take painstaking efforts to cut off both ends of the garlic clove and then labor over the task of removing the peel from the garlic. Stop doing that! Take the side of your knife, and hit it with the palm of your hand, and crush the garlic. The peel will come right off. If you’re not comfortable using the side of your knife, just use the palm of your hand to crush the garlic in the cutting board.
Next, we’ll make the chicken meatballs.
Chicken and Rosemary Meatballs with Sautéed Tomatoes and Spinach
Chicken and Rosemary Meatballs with Sautéed Tomatoes and Spinach

For The Chicken Meatballs:

  • 1 lb Ground Chicken
  • 1/2 Cup Grated Parmesan
  • 1/2 Cup Italian Breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 Tablespoon Fresh Rosemary – Chopped
  • 1 Teaspoon Water
  • 1 Egg
  • Salt & Pepper
Sure, just like beef, ground chicken is available at the grocery store. But, if you’re like me, cooking is all about the adventure and putting in the work to make everything happen. I am fortunate to have a meat grinder attachment for mixer. Running some breast and thigh meat through the grinder together will give these meatballs some great flavor. If not, sticking to the store bought ground chicken will be fine.
Combine all of the ingredients in a bowl. This is best done by hand. Roll the mixture in to balls a little bigger than a golf ball. If they are much bigger than, the outside will burn before the inside cooks. Arrange the meatballs on a sheet pan and place under the broiler. Cook until the top is brown. Remove the meatballs from the broiler and flip. The bottom will likely be brown already, but the middle still needs to cook a little more and you don’t want to burn the top. Place back under the broiler for a more minutes. I like my meatballs crispy, but not burnt. It’s a fine line that is easy to cross.
Serve the meatballs with the sauce over pasta. A little more rosemary sprinkled over the top for garnish is fine, just don’t go overboard. Rosemary is not the star of this dish and it can get overpowering when it is used too much. Just like any pasta dish, a little bit of Parmesan or Romano cheese added over the pasta is a nice touch and helps bind it all together.
Happy eating!

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