These glazed chicken meatballs can be finished on the stovetop or in the slow cooker. The spicy Asian sauce is a snap to put together, but if you have a tight schedule, go ahead and use a purchased sweet and sour sauce or an Asian-style simmering sauce.
Boneless chicken thighs make the meatballs juicier and more full-flavored than chicken breasts, but feel free to replace about one-third to one-half of the chicken thighs with chicken breasts.
Serve the meatballs as an appetizer or as a main dish with rice or noodles. Garnish them with toasted sesame seeds or sliced green onion tops if you like.
- 2 tablespoons onion (finely chopped)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 pound chicken thighs (boneless and without skin)
- 1 slice bread (torn into pieces)
- 2 tablespoons milk
- 1 egg white
- 1 tablespoon fresh parsley (chopped)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon black pepper (freshly ground)
- For the Sauce:
- 1/2 cup hoisin sauce
- 2 tablespoons apricot preserves (or pineapple preserves, or sweet orange marmalade)
- 2 green onions (sliced)
- 3 tablespoons rice vinegar
- 2 medium cloves garlic (pressed or finely minced)
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce (low sodium)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
- 1 teaspoon ginger paste or ground ginger
- Optional: 1/2 teaspoon garlic chili paste
- Heat the oven to 350 F. Line a shallow baking pan or jelly roll pan with nonstick foil.
- Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium-low heat. Saute the finely chopped onion until it is translucent, stirring constantly. Set aside.
- Cut the chicken thighs into small chunks, trimming away visible fat as needed. Put the chicken chunks in the food processor and pulse until coarsely minced.
- Add the sauteed onion, bread pieces, milk, egg white, parsley, salt, and pepper to the chicken in the food processor. Pulse the mixture until the mixture resembles ground meat.
- Shape the chicken mixture into 1-inch meatballs, moistening your hands with water as you work.
- Place the meatballs in the prepared baking pan. Bake for about 15 minutes.
- The minimum safe temperature for ground chicken -- or any ground poultry -- is 165 F.
- Combine the sauce ingredients in a bowl.
- Put the cooked meatballs and sauce in a slow cooker. Cover and cook on low for about 2 hours, or until nicely glazed.
- To cook on the stovetop, combine the meatballs and glaze in a saucepan. Cover and cook over low heat until they are hot and glazed, frequently stirring to keep them from scorching.
- The chicken meatballs make a great pasta topping as well. Skip the Asian-style sauce mixture and simmer the meatballs in your favorite tomato pasta sauce or marinara. For more Italian flavor, add some basil or oregano and a few teaspoons of grated Parmesan cheese to the meatball mixture.
|Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)|
|Total Fat||4 g|
|Saturated Fat||1 g|
|Unsaturated Fat||2 g|
|Dietary Fiber||0 g|