Chicken Picatta Meatballs

Last fall I saw a version of these meatballs shared on Instagram by Little Spice Jar and I couldn’t get them out of my head. I loved the idea of playing with the classic flavors of a picatta and meatballs are one of my favorite strategies for getting dinner on the table fast. While pan-friend meatballs offer a ton of flavor, I always find the hands-on process to be a pain while I’m in the middle of the post-work dinner rush. Enter one of my favorite tools, the sheet pan. Baking the meatballs eliminates the messy stove top method but you can sometimes miss out on the delicious browning. To fix that, I crank up the heat in the oven and very generously oil the pan. The thick layer of oil gives the browning I love from the stovetop method with less fuss.

Be sure to serve these with something that can soak up the delicious sauce, such as mashed potatoes, egg noodles, or spaghetti. 

Chicken Picatta Meatballs in black cast iron skillet

 extra virgin olive oil
 1 lb ground chicken
 3 cloves garlic, 2 grated and 1 thinly sliced
 ½ cup panko breadcrumbs
 1 egg
 ¼ cup grated parmesan cheese (or nutritional yeast)
  cup loosely packed parsley, finely chopped
 1 lemon
 salt
 ground black pepper
 1 ½ cups chicken stock or broth
 2 tbsp cornstarch
 ¼ cup capers (and 2 teaspoons brine)

1

Preheat oven to 450. Oil a rimmed sheet pan very generously with oil - about 1/4 cup oil.

2

In a medium bowl, combine ground chicken, grated garlic, breadcrumbs, egg, parmesan, all but 2 tablespoons of the parsley, the zest of the lemon, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Roll mixture into 1-inch round balls and place on prepared sheet pan.

3

Bake meatballs until well-browned on the bottom and internal temperature is 160, about 10 minutes.

4

Meanwhile, prepare the sauce. In a large skillet over medium heat, heat 2 tablespoons oil until shimmering. Add sliced garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.

5

Add 1 cup of the chicken stock and bring to a simmer. In a liquid measuring cup, whisk the remaining 1/2 cup chicken stock with the cornstarch until well-combined. When the mixture in the skillet is simmering, add the cornstarch mixture. Cook over medium-low until it starts to thicken, about 5 minutes. A spoon should leave a trail in the sauce for a brief moment.

6

Add the capers, caper brine, and juice of the lemon and simmer until sauce thickens again, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat.

7

Add cooked meatballs to the sauce and toss to combine. Add 1/4 teaspoon black pepper and remaining parsley. Serve over something that will soak up the sauce, such as pasta, egg noodles, or mashed potatoes.

Ingredients

 extra virgin olive oil
 1 lb ground chicken
 3 cloves garlic, 2 grated and 1 thinly sliced
 ½ cup panko breadcrumbs
 1 egg
 ¼ cup grated parmesan cheese (or nutritional yeast)
  cup loosely packed parsley, finely chopped
 1 lemon
 salt
 ground black pepper
 1 ½ cups chicken stock or broth
 2 tbsp cornstarch
 ¼ cup capers (and 2 teaspoons brine)

Directions

1

Preheat oven to 450. Oil a rimmed sheet pan very generously with oil - about 1/4 cup oil.

2

In a medium bowl, combine ground chicken, grated garlic, breadcrumbs, egg, parmesan, all but 2 tablespoons of the parsley, the zest of the lemon, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Roll mixture into 1-inch round balls and place on prepared sheet pan.

3

Bake meatballs until well-browned on the bottom and internal temperature is 160, about 10 minutes.

4

Meanwhile, prepare the sauce. In a large skillet over medium heat, heat 2 tablespoons oil until shimmering. Add sliced garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.

5

Add 1 cup of the chicken stock and bring to a simmer. In a liquid measuring cup, whisk the remaining 1/2 cup chicken stock with the cornstarch until well-combined. When the mixture in the skillet is simmering, add the cornstarch mixture. Cook over medium-low until it starts to thicken, about 5 minutes. A spoon should leave a trail in the sauce for a brief moment.

6

Add the capers, caper brine, and juice of the lemon and simmer until sauce thickens again, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat.

7

Add cooked meatballs to the sauce and toss to combine. Add 1/4 teaspoon black pepper and remaining parsley. Serve over something that will soak up the sauce, such as pasta, egg noodles, or mashed potatoes.

Chicken Piccata Meatballs


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