Jerk Chicken Meatballs With Barbecue-Pineapple Glaze
This recipe takes the deep flavor of jerk chicken and turns it into easy meatballs. The jerk seasoning paste does double duty here, adding both spices and moisture, so don’t reach for dry jerk seasoning. Whether served alone as an appetizer, over rice, or even tucked in a sandwich, these meatballs are perfectly salty, sweet and spicy.
- Serves: 4 persons
- Neutral oil
- 1pound ground chicken or turkey
- 1small yellow or red onion, finely diced
- 1egg, beaten
- ¼cup bread crumbs
- 2tablespoons Jamaican jerk seasoning paste, such as Grace or Walkerswood
- 1tablespoon chopped fresh parsley or cilantro leaves
- 1teaspoon garlic powder
- ¼teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼teaspoon black pepper
- 1cup pineapple juice
- ½packed cup light or dark brown sugar
- ¼cup ketchup
- 2tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- 1small garlic clove, minced
- ½teaspoon onion powder
- Pinch of red-pepper flakes
- Pinch of kosher salt, plus more to taste
- 1tablespoon cornstarch
- White rice, for serving
Step 1Heat oven to 375 degrees. Line a sheet pan with aluminum foil and very lightly coat it with oil.
Step 2Prepare the meatballs: In a medium bowl, combine the chicken, onion, egg, bread crumbs, jerk seasoning paste, parsley, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Mix thoroughly to combine, being careful not to overwork the meat. Using lightly wet hands, form the mixture into 12 meatballs, each a bit larger than a golf ball, and space them out on the prepared pan. Bake until golden brown, about 15 minutes. (Alternatively, you can fry them in a nonstick pan coated in oil over medium heat for about 4 to 5 minutes per side.)
Step 3While the meatballs cook, prepare the glaze: Whisk the pineapple juice, brown sugar, ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, garlic, onion powder, red-pepper flakes and salt together in a medium pot over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer until it reduces enough to coat the back of a spoon, about 10 to 15 minutes.
Step 4In a small bowl, mix together the cornstarch with 1 tablespoon water. Slowly whisk into the sauce, increase the heat to medium and stir until you reach the desired consistency. (Sauce should look like a thicker gravy.) Taste and adjust seasoning as needed.
Step 5Add the meatballs to the sauce and stir until coated. Cook over medium-low heat for 2 minutes, until the meatballs are evenly glazed and deepen slightly in color. Serve hot on their own or over rice.