Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Baked Chicken Parmesan Meatballs

Note:  I multiplied the below recipe by six and divided it into eight 8x8 pans (so each family got about a pound of ground chicken)

28 oz. can whole tomatoes, liquid reserved
1 tbsp. butter
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
1 1/2 tbsp. tomato paste
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes, to taste
salt and pepper, to taste
1/3 cup cream

1/2 cup dried panko
1/3 cup grated onion
1 tsp dried parsley
1 tsp. dried basil
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 large egg
1 1/2 lbs. ground chicken

4 oz. shredded mozzarella
2 tbsp. grated Parmesan

To make the sauce, add the tomatoes to a food processor and puree until smooth (add some reserved liquid if necessary to make smooth).  Melt the butter in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat.  Add the onion and cook until it begins to soften (about a minute).  Stir in the tomato paste, garlic and red pepper flakes and cook about 30 seconds, until fragrant.  Stir in the tomato mixture, lower the heat to a simmer, and cook about 5-8 minutes, until slightly thickened.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.  Remove from heat and stir in cream.  Let the sauce cool completely.

To make the meatballs, combine the panko, grated onion, parsley, basil, Parmesan cheese, salt, pepper, garlic and egg.
 Stir together until just blended.  Mix in the ground chicken and kneed together gently until evenly combined.  Form the mixture into meatballs about 1 1/2 inches in diameter and place into pan.

Pour the cooled tomato sauce on top and then top with the shredded mozzarella and Parmesan.

Cover with plastic wrap then aluminum foil and place in gallon sized zip loc bag.  Label and freeze. 

To bake, thaw in refrigerator.  Bake at 400 degrees until meatballs register 165 degrees in the middle (about 30-45 minutes depending on how cold your dish is when you put it in the oven).  Serve with crusty bread and a salad, over spaghetti, or on hoagie rolls. 

Slightly adapted from Annie's Eats.

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