Grind Your Own Meat! Then Make These Baked Chicken Meatballs.

This NYTimes article got me thinking a while back, and since I have stopped buying ground meat. Honestly it wasn’t that frequent, and usually ground chicken. Visits to a favorite burger joint of ours, Pecos Bill’s, has declined dramatically I’m sad to say.  Apparently one burger may contain parts of 12 different cows from 5 different countries increasing the risk of e. coli and salmonella, bacteria which have shattered this woman’s life. Since then all our hamburgers have been from black beans or chickpeas. There has been no meatloaf, and certainly no meatballs. I love meatballs. and hamburgers, and meatloaf. But I don’t have a grinder. I thought to myself…why can’t I just use my food processor? I searched for people who had done something similar, but couldn’t find any responses…just people encouraging against it because it will be a gloppy mess. Well…isn’t ground meat a gloppy mess?So I tried it.

First I started with one chicken breast which I cut up with kitchen shears into small pieces. Then, with the sharp side of the place, pulsed it in the processor until it looked good. It formed a ball. My processor is small so I did one breast at a time. Then from there I followed this recipe for meatballs, more or less. At the end I tossed them with 1/3 cup of BBQ sauce. This is a healthy and relatively simple reicpe. Including the grinding and baking, it took about 30 minutes.

Please, if you have an explanation to why the meat has to be a particular “round” grind, let me know.

Baked Chicken Meatballs
adapted from: smitten kitchen

Ingredients:
3 breast worth of chicken chopped into chunks, aprox. 1.25lbs, (or already ground meat if you prefer)
1 large onion finely diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 egg beaten
1 large chunk of bread, soaked in milk, excess squeezed out
1-2 t dried basil
2/3 t salt
1 T tomato paste
1/3 cup BBQ sauce for tossing (or any other desired).

Directions:
1) Preheat oven to 400ºF.

2) Pulse chicken in food processor.

3) In a pan, cook the onion and garlic on medium heat until translucent.

4) With a fork mix it all together: chicken, egg, milky bread, tomato paste, onion and garlic, basil, and salt. Form into golfball size and place on a nonstick or lightly greased baking sheet.

5) Bake for 15-22 minutes until cooked through.

6) Toss with 1/3 cup of BBQ sauce if desired.

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