Tomato Orange Chicken Meatballs

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Chicken Meatballs

Everyone will love this meal. Perfect for Chol Hamoed, or dressed up with garnishes for the Seder, chicken meatballs are a delicious and easy make-ahead meal.

The fragrant tomato sauce is your new go-to sauce for meatballs. The sauce brings a lot more to the party than just tomato. Sweet onions, carrots, and fragrant orange zest make this sauce mouthwatering and the perfect foil to meatballs.

Chicken meatballs and sauce can be made in advance and stored, covered, in the refrigerator for up to 2 days or freezer for up to 2 months and thawed in the refrigerator.

  • Duration
  • Cook Time
  • Prep Time
  • 6Servings

Ingredients

Meatballs

  • 3 pounds ground chicken
  • ¼ cup fresh chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 4 garlic cloves, grated on a microplane, or 2 frozen cubes
  • 1 large red onion, diced small
  • Pinch of crushed red pepper
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil, such as Colavita extra virgin olive oil, plus more for browning
  • ¼ cup dry white wine
  • 3 egg yolks
  • ½ cup matzo meal
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Sicilian Orange Scented Tomato Sauce

  • Extra virgin olive oil, such as Colavita extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 Spanish onion, diced
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon dried thyme
  • Zest of 1 orange, grated
  • ½ cup red wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 4 cups tomato puree or crushed tomatoes with their juices
  • Kosher salt

Preparation

Chicken Meatballs:

1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

2. In a large bowl, gently stir together (I prefer to get in there with my hands) chicken, parsley, garlic, red onion, and red pepper. Set aside.

3. In a small bowl, whisk together evoo, white wine, egg yolks, and matzo meal. Add evoo mixture into chicken mixture and gently mix together. Do not compress the mix or meatballs will be tough. Season with salt and pepper. I recommend testing the seasoning by cooking a small piece of meat and tasting it.

4. Using moist hands or an ice cream scoop, scoop about 2 tablespoons of mixture and roll into a ball before placing onto prepared pan. Repeat with the rest of meat to make about 20 meatballs.

5. Heat another large baking sheet in preheated oven until very hot. Add several tablespoons of evoo to hot pan and transfer meatballs. Sear meatballs in oven, occasionally shaking the pan to rotate the meatballs (if need okay to flip with a spatula), until browned, about 10 minutes.

Sicilian Orange Scented Tomato Sauce:

1. Heat several tablespoons of evoo in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add black pepper and toast in oil for 30 seconds until fragrant.

2. Add onions and carrots and sweat until translucent. Add garlic, oregano, thyme, orange zest, vinegar, and sugar and stir to combine. Continue cooking for several minutes until very fragrant and vinegar has cooked off. 

3. Add tomato puree and season to taste with salt and pepper. 

4. Add meatballs and simmer for 15 minutes.