kewl mini chicken parm meatball skewers
what you need:
• 1 lb lean ground chicken meat
• ¾ cup + 2 tablespoons whole-wheat panko bread crumbs, separated into 2 portions (One ½ cup portion for mixing into meatballs; remaining ¼ cup + 2 tablespoons to be reserved for gratin-style topping for meatballs)
• ½ cup + 2 tablespoons grated fresh parmesan cheese, separated into 2 portions (One ¼ cup portion for mixing into meatballs; remaining ¼ cup + 2 tablespoons to be reserved for gratin-style topping for meatballs)
• ½ cup finely grated carrot
• ½ cup diced sweet yellow or white onion
• 1 garlic clove, minced
• 2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
• 2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf Italian parsley
• ½ cup of minced white mushrooms
• ¾ teaspoon sea salt
• ½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
• olive oil spray
• 13 (6-inch) wooden, bamboo, or metal miniature skewers, for serving (Other heatproof materials also work well for the skewers!)
• marinara sauce, for serving and dipping
what to do:
1. Preheat oven to 400?F. Lightly coat a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil with olive oil spray. Set aside.
2. In a large mixing bowl, combine ½ cup of the breadcrumbs, ¼ cup of the cheese, the carrot, onion, garlic, thyme, parsley, mushrooms, salt, and pepper. Stir to completely combine all ingredients.
3. Add the chicken to the mixture of vegetables, herbs, and seasonings in the large mixing bowl. With hands, combine the meat with the flavorings until all ingredients are distributed. The resulting mixture should be supple. (KewlTip: Don’t over-mix the chicken meat! This could break down the meat too much. Once all ingredients are just evenly mixed, you’re good to go!)
4. Evenly divide the meat so that 40 miniature, individual-sized, 1-inch meatballs can be formed. Do this by removing a small amount of meat from the mixture, rolling it into a sphere in the palms of your hands, and placing it on the prepared baking sheet. Repeat the process 39 additional times, spacing the approximately 2 inches apart.
5. Place the baking sheet with the meatballs on it into the oven, for roughly 12 minutes, or until the tops of the meatballs are golden-brown, and the chicken is cooked through or almost completely cooked through.
6. While the meatballs are baking, combine the remaining ¼ + 2 tablespoons each of the breadcrumbs and cheese in a bowl. Set aside.
7. After about 12 minutes, remove the baking sheet with the meatballs on it from the oven. Place on a heatproof surface. Thoroughly sprinkle the tops of the chicken meatballs with the breadcrumb-cheese mixture made in Step 5 (see above) on the tops of each one. Evenly divide this gratin-style breadcrumb-cheese mixture among the tops of all of the meatballs.
8. While sprinkling the meatballs with the breadcrumb-cheese mixture, raise the oven to the “Broil” setting.
9. When the oven has increased heat to the “Broil” setting and all meatballs have been topped by the breadcrumb-cheese mixture, return the baking sheet with the meatballs on it to the oven. Broil for 2-3 minutes, or until the breadcrumb-cheese mixture has been well-browned (but has not been blackened), the cheese is melted, and the topping is crispy.
10. Remove the baking sheet with the chicken meatballs on it, set aside, and allow to cool slightly, about 5 minutes.
11. Place the meatballs on the skewers. Join 3 meatballs on a single skewer. Twelve skewers will contain 3 meatballs each; one will contain 4 (one extra meatball).
12. Serve with marinara sauce on the side so that each guest may dip their meatballs into the sauce, if desired. Enjoy!
Makes 40 Turkey Meatballs – 12 mini skewers of 3 meatballs each; 1 skewer of 4 (13 skewers total).