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Chicken Meatballs in Smoky Tomato Sauce

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Chicken Meatballs in Smoky Tomato Sauce

Active Time: 45 minutes   |   Total Time: 45 minutes   |   Serves 4  |  Gluten Free

  • For the sauce:
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1½ teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 28-ounce can whole tomatoes
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • ¼ to ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • -
  • For the meatballs:
  • 1½ pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 medium yellow onion
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 large egg
  • ½ cup fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

To make the sauce, finely chop the garlic. In a large pot, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, for about 30 seconds, or until fragrant. Add the tomato paste and paprika and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the tomatoes, salt, black pepper, and red pepper flakes. Simmer, stirring occasionally and breaking up the tomatoes as you go, for about 15 minutes, or until slightly thickened.

To make the meatballs, first cut the chicken into 1-inch pieces and put into the freezer to partially freeze.

In a medium skillet, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion and ¼ teaspoon of the salt and cook, stirring often, for about 8 minutes, or until very tender and beginning to caramelize. Let cool.

Put the chicken, onion, egg, parsley, lemon zest, oregano, pepper, and the remaining ½ teaspoon salt in a food processor. Pulse several times until the chicken is finely chopped but not smooth. Stir to make sure it’s evenly chopped.

Heat the broiler to high. Line a sheet pan with aluminum foil.

Shape the mixture (using wet hands makes it easier) into 1½-inch balls (you should get about 24) and place on the prepared pan.

Broil for 4 to 6 minutes, flipping them once the tops are browned, and continue to broil for 4 to 6 minutes, until cooked through. Turn them as necessary.

Add the meatballs to the sauce and stir to coat. Serve hot.

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