Game Day Bites – Mozzarella Stuffed Buffalo Chicken Meatballs
I don’t normally do “Chicken Wings” and the likes on Game Day. In fact, call me strange, but my grub of choice for the Big Event has always been Chili. Don’t ask me why, that’s just the way it is. Every year, come Super Bowl, I would whip up a big batch of Piping Hot, Soul Warming Chili.
But for some reason this year, seeing all the Buffalo wings and other Buffalo this and thats all over the Internet gave me needs. Needs that I just HAD to satisfy.
Those needs became even more pressing after my good friend Mike, over at The Iron You (excellent blog, by the way, if you’re not following Mike yet, you really ought to!) posted a recipe for his insanely delicious looking Cheese Stuffed Buffalo Quinoa Bites.
That was the end of me.
From that point on, all I could think about were Cheese Stuffed Buffalo Chicken Wings. But let’s face it, stuffing Chicken Wings with cheese is probably a darn near impossible thing to do.
So I was left with 2 choices. Wings with no cheese, or cheese with no wings.
That’s when I thought HEY! Cheese with no wings doesn’t have to equal cheese with no chicken! Why not make chicken MEATBALLS and stuff them with cheese, and THEN cover them in some Crazy Picante Buffalo Sauce? Ooooooh, be still my heart!
After I had this strike of genius, it was only a matter of
hours okay, days before these Mozzarella Stuffed Buffalo Chicken Meatballs were born.
And what an outstanding thing to have seen the light of day, too! I swear to God, you make these on Game Day and you will be the STAR of the show. The entire neighborhood will want to come watch the Super Bowl at your place, regardless of the size of your TV screen.
Heck, I think they wouldn’t even mind watching the game on your mobile phone, so long as you keep them meatballs coming!
Quick, let’s get started on ’em, before the game comes on!
Place your chicken, green onions, garlic, Dijon mustard, coconut flour, ancho chili powder, salt and pepper in the bowl of your food processor.
I used boneless chicken breasts that I cut into chunks, but I suppose you could also use ground chicken, or even boneless chicken thighs.
Process all these ingredients on pulse until your mixture is almost paste-like in consistency.
Scoop about a tablespoon of the meat mixture and place it directly in the palm of your hand.
A spring loaded ice cream scoop is my tool of choice when making meatballs. If you happen to have one, by all means, take it out! If you don’t have one, it’s an investment I say is really worth making.
Stick a piece of cheese directly in the center of your meat.
With your fingers, delicately wrap the meat around the cheese until it gets perfectly sealed in. Don’t try and form a perfect ball at this point for the meat mixture is kind of sticky and won’t really cooperate with you. Just make sure you close the gap completely and entirely.
Oh, and don’t be afraid to get your hands dirty. There’s simply no way around it, unfortunately!
Dump your imperfect meatball right into the bowl containing the ground almonds and toss it around until it’s completely covered.
Now form it into a perfect little ball by gently rolling it between your hands.
Reserve to a plate and repeat this process with the rest of the meat mixture; you should be able to make from 30 to 36 meatballs total.
Add 2 to 3 cups of lard or coconut oil to a large wok or saucepan and heat over high heat until the oil reaches 350F.
Fry the meatballs, 10 to 12 at a time, until they’re golden brown all around, about 3 to 4 minutes total.
Once the meatballs are done cooking, transfer them to a large bowl, pour the sauce right over the meatballs. Toss until the meatballs are evenly coated.
To make the sauce, simply add all the ingredients to a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat, whisking occasionally.
Serve the meatballs immediately, while they are still warm, with a colorful assortment of crudités.
But honestly, those meatballs are so delicious on their own, you probably won’t need to serve them with much of anything else.
Maybe just a couple of toothpicks, and one or two napkins…
Game Day Mozzarella Stuffed Buffalo Chicken Meatballs
- 1.65 lb chicken breast meat, cut into large chunks
- 1/4 cup coconut flour
- 3 green onions, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 tbsp Dijon mustard
- 1 whole egg
- 1 tsp ancho chili powder
- 1/2 tsp Himalayan salt
- 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 4.5 oz mozzarella cheese, cut into 1/2" cubes
- 1 cup ground almonds
- Lard or coconut oil, for frying
SPICY BUFFALO SAUCE
- 1/4 cup ghee
- 1/3 cup Frank's Red Hot Extra Hot Sauce
- 2 tbsp sriracha sauce, optional, leave out if you want less heat
- Place the chicken, green onions, garlic, egg, Dijon mustard, coconut flour, ancho chili powder, salt and pepper in the bowl of your food processor and process on pulse until almost paste-like in consistency.
- Cut the mozzarella cheese into 36 half-inch cubes
- Put the ground almonds in a small mixing bowl.
- Scoop about a tablespoon of the meat mixture and place it in the palm of your hand. Press a piece of cheese right into it and, with your fingers, delicately wrap the meat around it until the cheese is perfectly sealed in. Don’t try and form a perfect ball at this point for the meat mixture is kind of sticky and won’t really cooperate with you. Dump your imperfect meatball into the bowl containing the ground almond and toss it around until it’s completely coated. Now form it into a ball by rolling it between your hands and reserve to a plate. Repeat this process with the rest of the meat mixture; you should be able to make from 30 to 36 meatballs total.
- Fry the meatballs, 10 to 12 at a time, until they're golden brown all around, about 3 to 4 minutes total. Transfer the cooked meatballs to a plate lined with paper towels to drain excess fat and keep warm in the oven while you cook the remaining meatballs.
- Alternatively, you could bake the meatballs on a parchment paper lined baking sheet, starting with 10 minutes at 425°F, then lower the temperature to 350°F and continue cooking for about 20 minutes, until the meatballs are cooked through and crispy and golden brown all around.
- To make the sauce, add all the ingredients to a small sauce pan and bring to a boil over medium heat, whisking occasionally.
- Once the meatballs are done cooking, transfer them to a large bowl, give the sauce a final stir to make sure it’s all homogeneous and silky smooth, and then pour it right over the meatballs. Toss until the meatballs are evenly coated and serve immediately.