Rule #53: A little spice is nice.
Okay, so, this may be my most favorite thing I’ve ever made. Ever. How could you go wrong with BUFFALO sauce PLUS chicken MEATBALLS?! These little balls of spice and delight are SO easy to make, light on the calories, and holy bananas are they delicious. I was sad I only made one batch this time because half of them didn’t even make it until dinnertime. Jon Boy and I just couldn’t keep our mitts off of ’em.
Ay-yai-yai. Mama likey. I’m definitely doubling the recipe for next time!
First, we make our meatball mixture. In a large bowl, mix together 3 tbs. flour, 1 egg, 1 tsp. onion powder, 1/2 tsp. smoked paprika, 1/2 tsp. garlic powder, 1/2 tsp. Kosher salt, and 1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper.
Add in 1 1/4 (ish) lbs. of ground chicken (we use lean ground chicken) and mix it together with the best kitchen tool you’ve got: your hands. Using an ice cream (or cookie, whatever you wanna call it) scoop, grab equal amounts of the chicken mixture and roll into balls. You should have about 14 meatballs when you’re finished.
Heat some olive oil over medium-high heat until shimmering. It should sizzle when you drop a meatball in it it. Brown the meatballs in batches, being careful not to overcrowd the pan.
A great tip for meatballs: freeze them beforehand for about 20 minutes so they firm up. I just froze the other half of the meatballs while the other half browned in the pan. It makes them way easier to handle.
You want the meatballs to browned on all sides which usually takes about 2 minutes per side. I flip them twice so I get them browned on top, bottom, and the side. Once they’re browned, move them to a plate and set aside.
While the last batch of meatballs are browning, heat some butter and your favorite buffalo sauce over medium heat.
We live and die by Frank’s Red Hot Buffalo Wings Sauce. I ain’t gettin’ paid to say that neither. It’s got the right balance of vinegar and heat. If you’re not into lots of spice, you could use a milder buffalo sauce or add some chicken stock to the pan with the butter and sauce.
Once all the meatballs are browned and the butter melts into the buffalo sauce, nestle in all of the delicious chicken meatballs into the sauce, turning to coat. Cover and cook over medium-low heat until the meatballs are cooked through. You can even transfer them to a slow cooker or cook them over low heat to keep them warm until ready to eat.
Drizzle with your favorite ranch or blue cheese dressing and garnish with chopped chives. Welcome to Buffalo Chicken Meatball Heaven.
Buffalo Chicken Meatballs
3 tbs. all-purpose flour
1 tsp. onion powder
½ tsp. smoked paprika
½ tsp. garlic powder
½ tsp. Kosher salt
¼ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1¼ lbs. lean ground chicken
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
3 tbs. unsalted butter
1 cup Buffalo sauce (we love Frank’s Buffalo Sauce) OR Sub BBQ Sauce
Ranch or blue cheese dressing, to drizzle
Chopped chives, for garnish
In a large bowl, whisk together flour, egg, onion powder, smoked paprika, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Add in ground chicken and use your hands to combine. Using a tablespoon scoop, measure out even chunks of meat and roll into a ball using your hands.
Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering (it should sizzle when you place a meatball inside). Working in batches, brown the meatballs on all sides (about 2 minutes each). Set aside when browned.
Meanwhile, heat the butter and Buffalo sauce over medium heat until the butter melts*.
Once all the meatballs are browned, place in the buffalo sauce, turning to coat all sides of the meatballs. Cover and cook on medium low until the meatballs are cooked through (about 20 minutes)**.
Drizzle with either ranch or blue cheese dressing and garnish with chopped chives.
*If you want less spice, add about ½ cup chicken stock to the sauce. It won’t be as thick, but it also won’t be as spicy.
**You can turn the heat to low and keep the meatballs warm until ready to eat or move them to a slow cooker on warm/low until ready to serve.