Buffalo Chicken Mini-Meatballs

>> Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Buffalo Chicken Mini-Meatballs

There's a restaurant chain in New York City called The Meatball Shop and they specialize in -- you guessed it -- meatballs. They grind their own meat and they can even name the farms that sourced each of their ingredients. And yes, they have all the fun they can have on this side of tasteful with the word "balls". 

One of their best-sellers is Buffalo Chicken Meatballs, which was a revelation to both of us. Just when we thought the Buffalo Wings phenomenon had gone as far as it could, here is something new. Bonus: it's a lot healthier than wings fried with their skin on. 

These nuggets make great party appetizers or a mid-week dinner, like the one Joe and I enjoyed last week after we found a great sale on ground chicken. 

Adjust the amount of hot sauce to your own temperament - and you can always add cayenne pepper if you need an extra kick. This version of the recipe is a compromise between Angela's wimpiness and Joe's immunity to spicy foods.


Hungry Lovers Hot Wing Sauce

1/3 cup butter 
3 cloves garlic – crushed 
1 tsp cornstarch in 1 tsp cold water
1 cup Louisiana hot pepper sauce 
1/2 tsp sugar 
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce 
½ tsp fresh ground black pepper 


Heat a medium sauce pan on medium low heat, and then add in the butter melting it until bubbling stops. Add the crushed garlic and sauté for about a minute. Whisk in the cornstarch mixed with cold water until it is smooth.

Pour the Louisiana hot sauce into the pan, and mix well. Stir in the remaining ingredients. Bring to a slight boil and then reduce the heat to a simmer for about 10 – 15 minutes to blend all the flavors and thicken the sauce.

If making hot wings or chicken tenders, drizzle enough sauce onto the meat to coat, then toss and serve. Otherwise let the sauce cool and store in a jar in the refrigerator. You can also can the sauce. Canning instructions can be found at Hungry Lovers Canning Basics.

For the meatballs

2/3 cup Hungry Lovers Hot Wing Sauce, divided
1 lb ground chicken
1 large egg
1/4 cup onion, minced
1/4 cup celery, minced
3/4 cup bread crumbs
1 teaspoon salt


Preheat the oven to 450°F. Spray a cookie sheet or baking dish with oil.

Stir together half of the hot sauce and all other ingredients until well mixed. With your hands, scoop up enough meat mixture to make a 1" meatball (about the size of a walnut). Roll into a firm ball. Place the meatballs on the baking pan in rows, keeping the meatballs close together.

Bake the meatballs for 20 minutes, or until they are browned and cooked through. Toss them with the remaining hot sauce before serving. We like these with a variety of fresh crisp vegetables and blue cheese or Green Goddess dressing for dipping.

Makes 30-40 1" meatballs.


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