BUFFALO CHICKEN MEATBALLS, FOR GAME DAY AND BEYOND

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Alrighty then my cooking friends and family, here’s a new one for me that I came up with for the upcoming SUPER BOWL 2015.  What’s more Super Bowl Party than Chicken Wings, especially Buffalo style Chicken Wings…the answer is…BUFFALO CHICKEN MEATBALLS.  How does that sound?  Sounds pretty damn good to me.  Did I invent this dish?  Am I the first to turn the wing from Buffalo into a meatball?  Not even close since there are already about 1000 versions of this out there on that there interwebs.  With all things food I do quite a bit of research just to see what’s out there and as said there are many existing recipes for this dish but none of them moved me.  So I developed my own that in a little ball form gives you the pleasure of those wings without the bones, skin , dipping sauce mess, etc. Truthfully, I don’t see why you wouldn’t make BOTH!  I love the wings. So no contesting here, just a great recipe for a party or game watching.  When reading some of the existing recipes it occurred to me that they all were missing something. I thought and thought about it because the last thing I wanted to end up with was a meatball that bears no resemblance to the flavors in a Buffalo Chicken Wing.  Ground chicken meat is bland, there..i’ve said it. To bring up the flavor in this ball I added a little fresh grated nutmeg, diced onions and pecorino cheese.  My style and mark is all over this ball so let’s have some fun and get  into the kitchen and cook.

MAKES: about 36 meatballs                             TIME: 1 hour 15 minutes or so

1 1/2 lbs GROUND CHICKEN MEAT

1 SMALL ONION FINELY DICED

1 EGG, BEATEN

1/8 CUP GRATED PECORINO CHEESE

1/8 CUP BLEU CHEESE CRUMBLES

3 TBS FRANK’S HOT SAUCE  (so I feel compelled to say, use whatever hot sauce you like, but I’m not going to say that.  Teresa Bellissimo in the early 60’s created this dish and the sauce is made from FRANK’S HOT SAUCE and butter. so , Frank’s it is)bufchixballs 002

1/8 CUP FINELY DICED CELERY LEAVES

1/8 CUP PLAIN ITALIAN BREADCRUMBS

1/2 TSP FRESHLY GRATED NUTMEG

1  FINELY MINCED CLOVE OF GARLIC

OLIVE OIL, BUTTER

for Sauce:

1 STICK OF UNSALTED BUTTER (why unsalted?  because there’s plenty of saltiness in Frank’s Hot Sauce, no need to add more)

3/4 of BOTTLE OF FRANK’S HOT SAUCE (the 12 oz size)

2 TBS FINELY DICED CELERY STEMS AND LEAVES

1/8 CUP BLEU CHEESE CRUMBLES

In a large bowl combine all the meatball ingredients.bufchixballs 003and blend well so that each bite of that meatball will consistently have the same flavor.  No quick short cutting. When that’s well blended cover and chill in a freezer for 10 minutes.  DON’T FORGET IT!  Form into about 36 no bigger than a golf ball sized meatball.  Ground chicken has a very odd feel to it and it soft (that’s why we chilled it before rolling the balls).  TIP: Keep your hands wet slightly while rolling them, it will make it easier.  In a large non-stick skillet, add 1 1/2 tbs olive oil and 1 tsp of butter.  Let this heat up and begin to fry the meatballs on all sides, till they are lightly browned.bufchixballs 004  This should take about 12 minutes, about 4 minutes on each side, definitely don’t move them for at least 3-4 minutes.  You want that crust to form. Remove all the meatballs to a platter and keep covered.  In the same pan, now that it’s empty, add the 3/4 of the bottle of Frank’s Hot Sauce with the flame on medium.. Do not let this boil.  Then add the stick of butter stirring slowly on it melts in.bufchixballs 005  If you let it boil the whole thing will separate and be..not so nice.  Be gentle! When the butter has completely melted and you’ve blended it in nicely, add the meatballs back in and make sure they are well coated all around with the sauce. Let this cook together on low for 10 minutes.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA  Then, turn off the flame and let them rest for another 10 minutes.  At this point you can serve them OR let them cool down and store overnight.  My choice?  Overnight.  The flavors bloom, pop, explode, they wake up overnight.

When serving, Add more Frank’s if necessary and top with the garnishes of the chopped celery and the bleu cheese crumbles.  10509749_408482592653380_812769741123730275_nAren’t you ready for your GAME DAY Party now??  If not, don’t worry, make them for yourself or for Party food.  If you love Buffalo chicken, these balls have it all…

 

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