Mmmm comfort food. It just seems to make everything better. Well maybe not everything, but it definitely takes an edge off. The past few days in Chicago have been pretty gloomy. (Three to be exact, but felt like forever). We went from a solid two beautiful weeks of a perfect Fall scene to some serious doom and gloom. But that’s ok. It sure makes the sunshine feel pretty darn special when it chooses to come out again.
In the meantime, these mozzarella stuffed chicken parmesan meatballs did the trick. I whipped them up during the day for a little lunch and had plenty to rewarm in the oven for dinner. Love recipes that stretch like that and are easy to reheat. I ended up keeping the whole pot in the oven for everyones various dining times. Worked like a charm and we had zero leftovers because, again, these are MEATBALLS STUFFED WITH MOZZARELLA.
CHICKEN PARMESAN MEATBALLS (stuffed with mozzarella!)
Recipe from What’s Gaby Cooking
1 pound ground chicken
1/2 cup grated parmesan
1/3 cup panko breadcrumbs
3/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
1 tsp italian seasoning
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2 cups flour
bocconcini mozzarella balls (or any small mozzarella, you can even tear up some)
1/2 cup olive oil
1 jar marinara sauce (I used Rao’s yummm)
handful of basil leaves, torn
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.
Form the ground chicken mixture into small meatballs, each the size of a golf ball.
Insert a small piece of mozzarella in the center of each meatball, taking care to reform the meatball around the cheese once it’s been inserted. You don’t want any of the cheese to show.
Dredge each meatball in the flour to lightly coat it and gently tap off any excess flour.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
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 a 3-4 minutes, turning every so often to brown the outside. Remove, and then repeat 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.
Transfer the skillet, meatballs and all, into the oven and let the meatballs continue to bake for 15-20 minutes until cooked through.
Remove the skillet from the oven and dusting with salt, pepper, freshly chopped basil and extra parm if desired. Serve immediately. (Or, serve over the course of the day like I did).