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Chicken meatballs - please help me dress them

My family members are not tremendously picky, but they are each picky in a different way - can anyone relate? So the end result is that I'm at a loss with respect to how to serve some chicken meatballs I planned to cook tonight.

My basic recipe is ground white meat chicken, minced onion and garlic, s&p, egg. I have some bread crumbs I can throw in, some parsley, grated ginger possibly or parmesan (depending on which part of the world I'm heading into).

I need an idea for saucing them. One of my kids doesn't like tomato based sauces. He also has a nut allergy, so pesto is out. My dh is not a fan of dairy based sauces, so alfredo-esque and stroganoff are out.

I'm open to putting the meatballs in a soup or stew too. I think I did a honey/mustard/chicken broth reduction once that went over well. Sweet and sour might work. What is the gravy swedish meatballs are served in? Any other thoughts?

All ideas taking into account the above parameters (no tomato or cream based sauces, no nuts) are most welcome.

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  1. Sweet and sour might be good.

    I usually make my meatballs with a saffron sauce of onions, garlic, parsley, paprika, saffron and chicken broth. Poultry also works well with Königsberger Klopse which is seasoned with lemon, capers and anchovy.

    1. I'd opt for Mexican flavors i.e. add cumin to the meatballs and then make a tomatilo sauce.

      Or, get a recipe for traditional albondigas and serve as a chicken-stock based soup

      1. Swedish meatball gravy is kind of like a stroganoff with nutmeg. Doesn't sound like dh will like that. Could you just make a simple chicken gravy and then serve over noodles or pasta?

        1. What about a marsala sauce?

          1. What if you breaded the outside and baked them so they would be like round chicken nuggets? Then, serve with 2 or 3 dipping sauces: a honey mustard and a curry sauce, for example?

            1. I was thinking about this and what came to mind was the time I had a plain pork tenderloin that I wanted an unusual gravy for. So I mixed some jelly (not grape but don't remember what) with orange juice, some chicken stock, and added some herbs and seasonings. Cooked that down a bit, added some thickening, and a touch of butter at the very end. It was a gravy/pan sauce that was very tasty. You could experiment with what you have on hand.

              1. Last night I made a Japanese-type sauce for the Chicken meatballs from Costco. It is just soy sauce, about half that amount of chicken broth, a bit of lemon or lime juice to taste. Taste this mixture until it tastes good to you, not too salty, not too wimpy, not too sour. Just right. I heated the frozen meatballs in this until they were hot. My pan was crowded, so I took out the meatballs to stir intto the pan a mixture of about a tablespoon of cornstarch dissolved in a bit of the pan mixture that I had held back for this purpose. Stir and boil the sauce until thickened a bit. Put meatballs back in and serve. Of course you can add sliced green onion, grated ginger, or whatever else you want. Even just plain it is very tasty. If I don't have home made chicken stock on hand, I reduce the low sodium box chicken broth by half before using it.

                1. Thank you everyone - some very good ideas here for me to choose from.

                  1. If you leave out the ginger and parm, you'll have more options.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: southernitalian

                      No worries. Those are just pantry items that I could throw in depending on which direction the recipe went. I can't think of any occasion where I'd use ginger and parm at the same time.

                    2. There was a recipe right here on CH for chicken meatballs in lemon and cream sauce just recently. You could pull that up and see what you think.

                      1. Lidia has an incredible recipe for Turkey Meatballs. They are always a big hit. I make them a few times a year, and freeze. I am sure you could use Ground Chicken. My butcher will grind Dark Meat Chicken on request.

                        Here is a recipe I have on file, not Lidia's, but good.

                        Turkey Meatballs with Golden Raisins and Pine Nuts

                        DOUBLE OR TRIPLE THE RECIPE

                        ½ pound ground white-meat turkey
                        ½ pound ground dark-meat turkey
                        1 small yellow onion, minced
                        1 egg
                        ¼ cup finely chopped cilantro
                        ½ cup toasted pine nuts
                        ½ cup golden raisins (chopped if they’re large)
                        ½ cup fine bread crumbs
                        A few pinches ground cumin
                        ½ tsp salt
                        A few pinches freshly ground black pepper
                        Olive oil

                        Lemon-and-cumin yogurt sauce (Optional)

                        Mix all ingredients except olive oil and yogurt sauce together in a bowl, preferably using your hands. You don’t want to overwork the meat—that would make your final product tough—but you do want all ingredients to be evenly mixed. Form the mixture into balls of whatever size you like (mine were about 1 inch to 1 ½ inches). Heat a thin film of olive oil in a heavy skillet over moderate heat, and sauté the meatballs in batches, so as not to crowd them. As they begin to color, turn them regularly so that they are golden on all sides. They should be done when they are evenly browned and feel medium firm—but not hard—to the touch. Place on a paper towel to catch excess oil. Serve hot, warm, or cold with yogurt sauce.

                        Lemon-and-Cumin Yogurt Sauce

                        Nonfat plain yogurt
                        1 lemon, juiced
                        Garlic, finely chopped
                        Ground cumin
                        Ground chili

                        Mix ingredients to taste in a bowl, and keep chilled until serving.