Crispy Chicken-Nugget Meatballs
This is a mash-up of two kids’ menu standbys: chicken nuggets and meatballs. And the result is adult-appropriate, too. The combination is a streamlined mix of flavors and textures, since some of the ingredients added to ground meat for classic meatballs (bread crumbs, garlic, and Parmesan) are often used in the crispy coating on chicken nuggets. Cooking the panko and Parmesan-coated meatballs on the stovetop in a mixture of olive oil (for browning) and butter (for flavor) means no splatters — and meatballs that are tender on the inside and crispy on the outside. Eat with ketchup, ranch or honey mustard; pasta; or with a layer of tomato sauce and mozzarella like chicken Parmesan.
- Serves: 24 persons
- 1 ¾cups panko bread crumbs
- ½cup whole milk
- 1large egg
- 1teaspoon garlic powder
- Kosher salt (Diamond Crystal)
- 1pound ground chicken or turkey
- 1cup finely grated Parmesan
- 4tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2tablespoons olive oil
Step 1In a large bowl, combine 1 cup panko, the milk, egg, garlic powder and 1 teaspoon salt. Stir together and let sit for 5 minutes.
Step 2Add the chicken and 3/4 cup Parmesan. Stir with your hands until combined, avoiding overmixing. Roll into 24 balls about the size of a golf ball (about 2 tablespoons each) and place on a sheet pan or plate. In a medium bowl, stir together the remaining ¾ cup panko and ¼ cup Parmesan. Toss each meatball in the panko-cheese mixture, pressing gently to adhere. (To avoid a big mess, designate one “wet hand” for touching the meatballs and one “dry hand” for tossing in the panko.) Refrigerate for 5 minutes.
Step 3In a large (12-inch) skillet, heat 2 tablespoons butter and 1 tablespoon oil over medium. When foaming, add half the meatballs. Cook, turning often and reducing the heat if needed to prevent burning, until golden brown and cooked through, 7 to 10 minutes. Transfer to a plate.
Step 4Reduce the heat to medium-low and remove any dark oil or loose panko from the skillet with a spoon or paper towel. (The skillet will be hotter at this point, so reducing the heat ensures even cooking for both batches.) Add the remaining 2 tablespoons butter and 1 tablespoon oil. When foaming, add the remaining meatballs and cook, turning often, until golden brown and cooked through, 7 to 10 minutes. Transfer to the plate.