Chicken Parmesan & Mozzarella Balls

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There is no question that this recipe take a little work, especially with the deep frying.  Once you overcome your fear of frying then this is a rather simple treat to put together and people truly appreciate the effort.  The “balls” are an amazing dinner (served over pasta), an appetizer (served over tomato sauce), or hors d’oeuvre (made bite size).

Serves 6 for larger meal or appetizer portions and 12 if hors d’oeuvre sized

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You can also serve to seated guests with mini baking dishes, one or two each. Serve with a passed bowl of parmesan cheese. This is a great start to a hearty dinner.

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds ground chicken
  • 1/2 cup of freshly ground parmesan cheese
  • 1/3 cup panko breadcrumbs, and more for rolling the meat into
  • 1 tablespoon of chimichurri mix 
  • 1 1/2tablespoon minced garlic
  • 2 tablespoons red onion, finely grated
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon of freshly and finely chopped oregano
  • 1/2 tablespoon red pepper flakes
  • 1  teaspoon of kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon of freshly ground pepper
  • 2 eggs,  beaten
  • Canola oil for deep frying
  • 1/2 inch mozzarella balls, for the center
  • Sliced mozzarella cheese for the top

Making It

  • Mix the ground chicken, parmesan, breadcrumbs, chimichurri, garlic, onion, oregano, red pepper flakes, salt, pepper and egg in a bowl with a fork
  • Create a ball formed around a 1/2 inch hunk of  mozzarella cheese, smaller for the hors d’oeuvres.  It should be, for the larger, 2 1/2 oz of meat and half for the smaller
  • Roll in panko breadcrumbs and refrigerate for an hour

Time to Cook

  • Turn oven to 400 degrees
  • Make an easy and spicy tomato sauce:  Heat a sauce pan over medium heat by adding a tablespoon of olive oil and a teaspoon of red pepper flakes.  Let simmer for 3 minutes and add the 4 cups of the sauce Rao’s Marinara Sauce.  Let cook for 15 minutes).
  • Fill a medium Staub dutch oven 1/2 have full with canola oil, attach the candy thermometer and bring the oil to 340 degrees
  • Gently place the chicken balls in the hot oil and cook for 4 minutes for larger, 3 minutes for smaller
  • Remove the chicken balls and place a baking sheet and put a small  slice of mozzarella on top, then bake for 4 minutes
    • For the appetizer portion, put the heated sauce in a small baking dish and put the chicken balls on and serve
    • For the dinner portion, serve with on top of fettuccini tossed with the heated Rao’s marinara sauce.  Accompany the pasta with a bowl of freshly ground parmesan cheese
    • For the hors d’oeuvre sized portion, put the same sauce on a serving platter.  Sprinkle parmesan cheese over the sauce and place the chicken balls with a bamboo toothpick

 

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