Chicken Meatballs with Fried Garlic and Oil Cured Tomato
paired with 2018 Hedges Family Estate Red Blend
Serves 4-6 as a main course
½ lb boneless chicken thigh, cut into cubes (or 1 lb ground chicken)
½ c white onion, finely diced, rinsed and squeezed dry
⅛ c panko bread crumbs
½ t salt
½ t freshly ground black pepper
8 small shallots, rough chopped
10 garlic cloves, rough chopped
16 oz oil cured or semi dried tomatoes, minced
16 oz roasted red bell peppers, minced
½ T smoked paprika
2 T calabrian chili, minced (can substitute chili flakes)
¾ c olive oil
2 T red wine vinegar
Salt & pepper to taste
If you are grinding your own meat, place the cut chicken on a small sheet tray and freeze for 25 to 30 minutes along with your grinder pieces. Grind the meat at medium speed and then immediately grind a second time.
Combine ground meat, onions, panko, salt and pepper in a bowl and mix vigorously by hand until it becomes very tacky. Be careful to work fast so it doesn’t warm up, or place the bowl over a larger bowl full of ice. Refrigerate mixture for at least 30 minutes.
Using a scoop or large spoon divide the meat into meatballs. Shape each into a round ball with your hands before returning to the refrigerator.
When ready to cook, heat oven to 450℉. Line a sheet tray with parchment paper, place a rack on top, and oil the rack with canola oil. Place meatballs on the rack leaving at least a centimeter between them. Cook for 12 minutes, turning the tray once halfway through. When meatballs measure an internal temperature of 145℉, turn on the broiler and continue to cook for another 5-10 minutes until browned on top and internal temperature reaches 160℉. Let rest 5 minutes before serving.
Add olive oil to a saute pan or cast iron and heat on medium. Once oil is hot add your garlic and stir consistently until it is light golden brown. Strain the garlic from the pan and place on a paper towel-lined plate. Repeat the process with your shallots. Remove the pan from the heat and add your Calabrian chili and smoked paprika to the oil while it is still warm. Allow garlic, shallot, and oil to cool completely before the next step.
Add all ingredients to the food processor and pulse until well combined and no large chunks remain. This sauce is best made ahead and allowed to sit at least overnight so that all of the flavors bloom.
Spoon a generous portion of sauce into a small pan and warm on low stirring constantly. Spoon your sauce on the plate and place the desired number of meatballs on top. Garnish with fresh herbs and/or bread crumbs and enjoy with your 2018 Red Mountain blend.