**Disclaimer: I absolutely LOVE chicken. I could eat it everyday, and just about do! You will be seeing a ton of chicken recipes from me.**
Last night I made one of my other favorite, go-to recipes: Chicken Balls. I first had it when my sister made it, and I thought it was the best thing since sliced bread! They are baked chicken balls stuffed with cheese and rolled in bread crumbs… who doesn’t love chicken and cheese?!? (if you don’t, well…. like the buffalo haters I have recently discovered exist *gasp*, bless your heart too!).
The originals my sister made (and I have no idea where she got the idea or recipe from), was just chicken rolled in bread crumbs… after making it a few times, I decided to step it up a bit and add some more flavor. Mine are BBQ Chicken Balls. And they are darn good!
So, here goes!
First off, you’ll need the following ingredients (full recipe at the end of the post):
2 lbs of ground chicken meat (can be found at H-E-B or Wal-Mart)
Either cheese cubes (your favorite flavors) or Fat-Free Mozzarella Sticks (sliced into fourths)
Panko Italian Breadcrumbs (they have more flavor)
BBQ Sauce (I use Stubbs) (you can also roll it in Buffalo Sauce also!)
Seasonings (Garlic, onion, chicken seasoning, salt, pepper… to taste)
Disposable Gloves (because it feels GROSS) (optional of course)
Put the BBQ sauce and Panko breadcrumbs in 2 separate small bowls. You can use regular breadcrumbs that you get from the grocery store, but I find that the Panko Japanese Style Bread Crumbs are more coarse and gives it a better crunch and texture (basically like it’s fried).
Put the chicken in a bigger bowl, and add the seasoning… I go all Food Network Chef Star in this aspect, I just add some and don’t tell you the exact amounts… because I literally don’t know. You can’t really screw it up too much.
THEN, set it all up, assembly line style. It will make it way easier and less messy, trust me. Remember to set out the cheese cubes BEFORE you start messing with the chicken… I always seem to forget those and have to take off the gloves and grab it out of the fridge. I use gloves because I ain’t about that salmonella life!
Then, the fun part. Mix the chicken and the seasoning up good. Grab a little bit of chicken meat and put some cheese (1-2… heck, 3 if you’re feeling feisty) in it.
Then grab some more chicken meat and pat it into a ball (should fit in the palm of your hand, or smaller).
After making it into a ball, roll it in the BBQ sauce. As much as you want (this step is optional of course, you can leave it without rolling it in a sauce). Then roll that in the bread crumbs until it is covered. Put the chicken ball on a baking sheet with parchment paper (or a greased baking sheet).
Then bake it for 25 minutes at 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
After they are done, and a nice golden brown, cut into a big one to make sure they are, in fact, done. If not, put them back in for a few minutes.
Enjoy these delicious chicken balls. I usually make them early in the week and bring them to work in my lunch throughout the week. Josh loves them, and Kingston (the pup) loves when I “accidentally” drop cheese cubes on the floor while making them. 😉
BAKED CHICKEN BALLS
425°F for 20-25 minutes | 5 WW SmartPoints for each chicken ball
2 lbs ground chicken meat
4-6 sticks of Mozzarella string cheese (or cheese cubes)
1-2 c. Panko bread crumbs
BBQ sauce (or buffalo, or anything your little heart desires)
salt/pepper, to taste
garlic/onion powder, to taste
- Heat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
- In a bowl, combine ground chicken meat and seasonings.
- In 2 small bowls, put bread crumbs in one, and BBQ sauce in another.
- Grab a small handful of chicken meat, put a piece(s) of cheese in the middle, then grab another small handful of meat and form into a ball.
- Roll in BBQ sauce, then roll in bread crumbs and place on a baking sheet with parchment paper (or greased baking sheet).
- Bake at 425 degrees for 20-25 minutes (I cook more towards 25 minutes to ensure that they are done).
And that’s it. Simple, painless, and delicious. This makes about 7-8 balls, you can maybe get 9 or 10 if you make them smaller. When looking for the ground chicken in the grocery store, check out near the ground beef and pork section, I usually find it there. ALSO, it wouldn’t be a recipe from me without some WeightWatchers points: these are about 5 WW SmartPoints for each chicken ball (this all depends on what types of cheeses you use, I use the fat-free/skim milk mozzarella string cheese). Not bad!