~ Sweet-&-Savory-Glazed Buffalo-Chicken Meatballs ~
Everybody loves meatballs, and, rule of thumb: one can never make too many meatballs. When looking for a hot appetizer that is kid- and adult-friendly, relatively easy-to-make, can be made in advance, and, is perfect for a holiday party, a tailgate party, or any party any time of year, meatballs meet all the criteria. Sweet, savory and slightly-spicy, buffalo chicken meatballs, glazed in wing sauce, are a fun way to enjoy the flavor of chicken wings with more decorum and dignity than licking ones fingertips in public and disposing of a plate full of unsightly wing bones.
Cocktail-size meatballs are perfect to serve for the holidays.
What we all know started out as late-night pub grub at the Anchor Bar in Buffalo, NY, Deep-Fried Chicken Wingscan now be found in many forms. In my family alone, Nacho Mama's Buffalo Chicken Sheet-Pan Nanchos, Buffalo-Style Shredded Chicken 'n Slaw Sliders, Spicy Blue-Cheesy Buffalo-Style Chicken Dip, Spicy Blue-Cheesy Buffalo-Chicken Quesadillas, Batter-Dipped Buffalo Chicken & Blue Cheese Subs, are, a few of our favorite creative wing-night options. Today I've decided to add Buffalo-Chicken cocktail meatballs to my repertoire.
Cocktail-size Buffalo-chicken meatballs arefestive to look at...
2 ounces 1/4" diced carrot (about 6 tablespoons)
2 ounces 1/4" diced celery (about 6 tablespoons)
2 ounces 1/4"-thick sliced green onion, white and light-green part only (about 6 tablespoons), reserve green tops for garnish
1 extra-large egg, lightly beaten
2 teaspoons each: Frank's buffalo chicken seasoning, garlic powder, onion powder & sea salt
1/4-1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional, for additional heat)
1 1/2 pounds chicken tenderloins, sliced into 1/2" pieces (14-15 tenderloins)
1 cup Frank'sBuffalo Wing Sauce heated and whisked together in a small saucepan over medium heat on the stovetop with 4 tablespoons salted butter and 6 tablespoons honey, for the sweet and savory meatball glaze/dip
1/4-1/2 cup minced scallion tops, for garnishing glazed meatballs
1 cup blue cheese or Ranch dressing, homemade or store-bought, for dipping or drizzling
carrot and celery sticks, for accopaniment
~Step 1. Dice carrot, celery and green onion as directed, placing them in the work bowl of food processor fitted with steel blade. Using a series of 18-20 rapid on-off pulses, process until minced. Do not over-process.
~Step 2. Transfer veggies to an 8" nonstick skillet containing 2 tablespoons vegetable oil that has been placed over medium- medium-high heat. Saut, stirring constantly with a large spoon, until veggies are softened, 2 1/2-3 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside to cool, 5-10 minutes.
~Step 4. While breadcrumbs are softening, slice the chicken tenders as directed, adding them to the food processor as you work. Toss in the dry spices: the Frank's buffalo chicken seasoning, garlic powder, onion powder, salt and optional cayenne pepper. Using a series of 20-22 rapid on-off-pulses, coarsely-grind the chicken. Add the vegetable saut and pulse, 10-12 times, to combine. Add the softened panko and pulse again, 10-12 more times, to combine.
~Step 5. Line a 17 1/2" x 12 1/2" baking pan with parchment paper. Using a 1" ice-cream scoop as a measure in connection with the palms of your hands, form and drop rounded balls of chicken mixture onto prepared pan. You will have approximately 6 dozen meatballs. Bake meatballs on center rack of preheated 360-375 oven until light golden and just cooked through, about 8-9 minutes. Remove from oven. Skewer two meatballs on each of 3 dozentoothpicks and dip meatballs in a small bowl containing Franks buffalo wing sauce, placing meatballs on a serving platter or individual plates as you work.
Serve w/blue cheese or Ranch dip + celery & carrot sticks:
Special Equipment List: cutting board; chef's knife; kitchen scale (optional but recommended); food processor; 8" nonstick skillet; large spoon or spatula; fork; 17 1/2" x 12 1/2" baking pan; parchment paper; 1" ice-cream scoop; 3 dozen toothpicks (2 meatballs per toothpick)
Cook's Note: Wander into a bar -- any bar, anywhere in America. Buffalo wings are on the pub grub menu. No description is necessary. You know you're getting unbreaded, deep-fried wingettes and drumettes coated in a vivid-red vinegar-based cayenne pepper and melted butter sauce. They'll most likely arrive with celery and carrot sticks, and either blue cheese or Ranch dressing for dipping or drizzling. When you order your wings, you will typically be asked to specify if you want your wingscoated in amild, medium or hot version of the sauce. Buffalo wing sauce is aclassic concoction. Click on this link to get my copycat recipe for ~ Frank's-Style Buffalo-Style Chicken Wing Sauce ~.
"We are all in this food world together." ~ Melanie Preschutti
(Recipe, Commentary and Photos courtesy of Melanie's Kitchen/Copyright 2019)