Chicken Meatballs

This recipe for delicious chicken meatballs can be found in Nate Appleman's "A16 Food + Wine" and is part of his recipe for Minestra Maritata.

  • Servings: 6

Source: The Martha Stewart Show, January Winter 2009


  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons fennel seeds
  • 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
  • 1 tablespoon coarse salt
  • 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1/2-inch cubes, sinew removed and discarded, or 2 pounds ground chicken thighs
  • 6 ounces fatback, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 6 ounces day-old country bread, torn into chunks
  • 1 cup loosely packed fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves, coarsely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, very finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons dry white wine
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Coat 2 rimmed baking sheets with olive oil. Place a meat grinder and a large bowl in the freezer to chill.

  2. In a spice grinder or using a mortar and pestle, grind together fennel seeds and peppercorns. Transfer to a medium bowl and stir in salt; set spice mixture aside.

  3. If grinding your own meat, pass chicken through a grinder fitted with a coarse plate directly into chilled bowl; if your meat is already ground, place chicken in chilled bowl. Place, fatback, bread, parsley, and garlic in bowl with spice mixture; pass through grinder into bowl with chicken. Add wine and eggs; using your hands, gently mix until well incorporated.

  4. Heat a small skillet over medium heat. Flatten a pinch of chicken mixture into a small disk and cook in skillet, for tasting. Season chicken mixture with salt, if desired.

  5. Form chicken mixture into 1-inch balls and place on prepared baking sheets. Transfer baking sheets to oven and roast, turning baking sheets halfway through, until meatballs are lightly browned and cooked through, 18 to 20 minutes.

  6. Drizzle meatballs with olive oil and serve immediately.


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