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Chicken Meatballs with Pepperonata

September 16, 2009

I’m back after a bit of a break last week…it was a busy week after vacation and I was out of town last weekend, so there wasn’t a lot of

chicken meatballs with pepperonata

chicken meatballs with pepperonata

post-worthy cooking going on.  Last night after track I made this recipe from Gourmet (changed a lot, though) that I had earmarked for a while and am happy to report it took about 40 minutes from beginning to end (including some inactive baking time), so a pretty quick meal.  The original recipe calls for plain old ground chicken, flavored with onion and pancetta.  The farmer’s market was sold out of ground chicken last night, so I used half bulk sweet Italian chicken sausage and half leftover ground turkey I had, and they turned out delicious.  I also threw in some eggplant to roast with the red peppers and served this with a side salad.  I highly recommend this meal for a quick weeknight dish and something that’s pretty South Beach.  I think these meatballs would also be great over pasta.  Serves 4.

Ingredients:

Pepperonata:

2 red bell peppers, cut into 4″ x 1/2″ strips

1 medium eggplant, cut into 4″ x 1/2″ strips

2 T red wine vinegar

1-2 T olive oil

1/2 t red pepper flakes

1 T capers, drained

Meatballs:

3/4 lb ground sweet Italian chicken sausage, either bulk or removed from casings

1/2 lb ground chicken or turkey

1 small clove garlic, minced

1 c fresh breadcrumbs from Italian bread or a baguette

1/3 c milk

3 T fresh Italian parsley, minced

1 T tomato paste mixed with 1/2 T olive oil (don’t skip this, it’s great!)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Toss all pepperonata ingredients together and spread on a baking sheet.  Bake for 35 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Meanwhile, soak breadcrumbs in milk for 4 minutes.  After four minutes, squeeze excess milk from the breadcrumbs.  In a medium bowl, stir together sausage and ground chicken or turkey, breadcrumbs, garlic and parsley.  Shape meat mixture into 12 meatballs- about the size of a golf ball and place on a greased baking sheet with four sides.  Brush tomato paste and oil mixture over the tops and sides of the meatballs.  Place meatballs in oven (the pepperonata will still be in there) and bake for 15-20 minutes, or until cooked through.  Serve with pepperonata on the side.

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