food · Recipes

Recipe: Stuffed chicken meatballs

What can possibly make the humble meatball any more comforting than it already is? Well I was keen to find out and to attempt to up my meatball game in the process. I decided to make chicken meatballs in a kind of cordon bleu style. I served them with spaghetti and a tomato sauce, but there’s no reason why they shouldn’t work with gravy and mashed potatoes, or rice and maybe something like tzatziki. The world is your oyster, or indeed, your meatball.

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Cordon bleu chicken meatballs

Ingredients:

For the meatballs

  • 500 g chicken mince
  • 50 g fresh bread crumbs
  • 1 medium egg
  • salt and pepper
  • 100 g mozzarella
  • 4 thin slices of ham of your choice
  • salt and pepper

For the tomato sauce

  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 small carrot, finely chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, roughly chopped
  • 1 tsp basil
  • 2 400g cans of tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp tomato purée
  • salt and pepper

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Method

Meatballs

  1. Combine the chicken mince, breadcrumbs and egg with salt and pepper. Mix this well and then allow to chill for ~1 hour
  2. Meanwhile, chop your mozzarella into small pieces – remember these have to fit inside your meatballs, so don’t make them too huge. Wrap these pieces in small pieces of the ham. It doesn’t have to be perfect, once it’s cooked no one will notice if one side of the mozzarella has no ham on it or that a piece has become unwrapped.
  3. Roll meatball sized pieces of the chicken mixture into balls and push the ham-wrapped mozzarella pieces into these. Make sure to carefully seal them closed.
  4. I prefer to roast meatballs, rather than frying them, because I tend to find that moving them around when frying breaks them up too much. I roasted these at 200 C for 10 minutes, then I turned them and roasted them for another 10 minutes.

Tomato sauce

  1. Heat the oil in a heavy based pan. When it’s hot add the onion, garlic, carrot and pepper. Fry until these start to soften.
  2. Add the basil and any salt or pepper you want to use, fry for another 2 minutes.
  3. Add the tomatoes and tomato purée. Lower the heat and allow to simmer for as long as you can, topping up with a little water if it starts to get dry. I’ve found that nothing improves a tomato sauce as noticeably as letting it cook long and slow.

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Serve the meatballs in the tomato sauce with cooked spaghetti or the pasta of your choice.

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Enjoy!

 

 

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