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Friday, June 03, 2011

Scrumptious Sweet and Sour Chicken Balls

Scrumptious Sweet and Sour Chicken Balls

There's nothing that says "I love you" like a meatball.  Okay, admittedly that's not going to make it on the inside of a hallmark card anytime soon, but if like me, you are married to a man, you know what I'm talking about.  The aroma of these meatballs will have your man grinning from ear to ear, asking when dinner will be ready. Even my little man loved these meatballs!
Ground chicken makes perfect meatballs in my opinion. They are juicy, moist and tender and never greasy.  You will want to make rice to soak up all the delicious sauce.  I too, loved these meatballs, but I could have just as easily had a dinner of rice and sauce, the sauce is that good. 
This dish is lick the plate delicious!

Sweet and Sour Sauce

3/4 of a medium onion, finely chopped (save the other 1/4 for the balls)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp vegetable oil
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 cup ketchup
2 tbsp seasoned rice vinegar
1 can 14oz/398ml. pineapple tidbits (juice and fruit)
3 tbsp brown sugar
2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce

In a very large skillet or pot heat vegetable oil over medium heat.  Add onions and garlic, saute until translucent.  Add all remaining ingredients, except the pineapple pieces.  Bring to a boil, stirring, then reduce to low  cover and simmer for 30 min.  While simmering prepare your meatballs.

Chicken Balls

3/4 lb extra lean ground chicken
3 tbsp crushed goldfish crackers (I'm pretty sure I said: "prepare to meet your maker fishies..mwahahaha!" as I crushed the goldfish)
1 egg
1/4 onion, minced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350°.  Mix all ingredients well.  If you want to go old school, roll into balls.  Me, I prefer to avoid getting my hands in the raw meat, and I'm lazy.  I always, always use my mini muffin tins for meatballs.  They are the perfect size, they come out roughly ball shaped and it saves me a lot of time.  I only ever use chicken for meatballs so I don't have to worry about grease, in fact the tins help keep the balls nice and moist.  So trust me on this and use your tins. Just give the muffin tins a quick spray with non-stick cooking spray and spoon the meat mixture evenly in each tin.  Makes 24 balls.

Just spoon in, so easy!

Bake for 10-12 min.  When cooking chicken always check to make sure the internal temperature reaches 165°F.

cooked balls: see, not messy!

The chicken meatballs will just slide right out of the muffin tins when they are cooked.  The tins do not get very messy or greasy, in fact I just throw mine in the dishwasher, no problem.

Once your chicken balls are cooked put them in the pan with the sauce, add in pineapple tidbits, mix gently and allow them to simmer together for 20-30 min more. 

Serve over rice, with fresh green beans on the side or a nice green salad.  These would also be delicious for an appetizer in a chafing dish with toothpicks, or in a crock pot for a potluck.
This recipe will definitely make it into our dinner rotation.

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