Mini Buffalo Chicken Balls

A friend of ours used to bring pork meatballs he made from the New York Times Cook Book to big parties we had in Pittsburgh (we referred to them as Uncle Andy’s Delicious Balls). These are similarly delectable — you won’t have leftovers — but I like Sriracha in them. A shameless theft from Epicurious, who got it from The Meatball Shop Cookbook. I cut down a bit on the fat. If you don’t want to, go with all turkey thigh and double the butter amount.

Mini Buffalo Chicken Balls (makes about forty ¾ inch meatballs)

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) unsalted butter

1/3 cup Sriracha or any other favorite hot sauce

1 pound ground chicken (1/2 lb. thigh, ½ lb. breast)

1 large egg

1/2 celery stalk, minced

3/4 cup bread crumbs

1 teaspoon salt

Preheat the oven to 450°F. Drizzle the vegetable oil into a 9×13-inch baking dish and use your hand to evenly coat the entire surface. Set aside.

Combine the butter and hot sauce in a small saucepan, and cook over low heat, whisking until the butter is melted and fully incorporated. Remove from the heat and allow the mixture to cool for 10 minutes.

Combine the hot sauce mixture, ground chicken, egg, celery, bread crumbs, and salt in a large mixing bowl and mix by hand until thoroughly incorporated.

Roll the mixture into round, 3/4 -inch balls, making sure to pack the meat firmly. Place the balls in the prepared baking dish, being careful to line them up snugly and in even rows vertically and horizontally to form a grid. The meatballs should be touching one another.

Roast for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the meatballs are firm and cooked through. A meat thermometer inserted into the center of a meatball should read 165°F.

Allow the meatballs to cool for 5 minutes in the baking dish before serving.




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