Who wouldn’t love this fun and delicious adaptation of classic chicken parmesan? Amazing.
This recipe was adapted from Martha Stewart’s Everyday Food. I modified the proportions, used ground turkey, and served the meatballs over bucatini, our family favorite. I included the proportions for four as a footnote.
Yield: Serves 6 to 8 (makes 8 giant meatballs)
- 1 3/4 tsp coarse salt
- 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 1 pound bucatini or spaghetti
- 3/4 cup plus 2 T plain dried breadcrumbs, plus 1 cup for breading the meatballs
- 3/4 cup plus 2 T 2% or whole milk
- 1 3/4 pounds ground turkey or chicken
- 2 cups vegetable or canola oil
- 6 to 7 ounces fresh mozzarella, cut into 24 to 32 pieces
- 40 oz marinara, warmed (I used Victoria)
- chopped fresh basil or parsley, for serving
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, preferably on convection.
- In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook pasta according to package instructions; drain, reserving 1 cup of pasta water.
- Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine the (3/4 cup plus 2 T) breadcrumbs, milk, salt, and pepper.
- Add the ground turkey/chicken and stir until just combined (do not over mix).
- In a medium straight-sided skillet, heat oil over medium until it registers 350 degrees on a deep fry thermometer. The oil should be about 1/2-inch deep. (I used a 12-inch cast iron skillet.)
- Place 1 cup of breadcrumbs in a shallow dish.
- Divide turkey/chicken mixture into 8 portions (about 4.7 oz each) and flatten each into a disk.
- Place 3 to 4 mozzarella pieces in center of each, then form disk into a ball around the cheese.
- In two batches, coat the meatballs in breadcrumbs and fry until golden brown, 5 minutes, turning once.
- With a slotted spoon, transfer meatballs to a paper-towel lined rimmed baking sheet and let drain 1 to 2 minutes. (I used a double layer of paper towels.) Repeat the process with the second batch. Discard paper towels and transfer sheet to oven.
- Bake meatballs until chicken is cooked through, about 14-16 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees on an instant read thermometer.
- Place pasta in a serving dish and top with warm marinara. Top with meatballs and garnish with basil or parsley.
To Make Meatballs for 4 (with one pound of ground meat) use 3/4 cup breadcrumbs, 1/2 cup milk, 1 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp pepper. Fill with 3 oz cheese and serve with 24 oz marinara and 1/2 to 3/4 pound pasta.
Keep the reserved pasta water to reheat leftovers, if necessary.