Tender, sticky, sweet, spicy cocktail chicken meatballs are a perfect appetizer or weeknight meal over fluffy rice. Impressive, but so quick and easy.
Seriously, this whole recipe takes about 25 minutes, it can be made ahead for a party or potluck and, most of all, it’s very tasty (so said my tester husband last night). It’s actually a twist on our Bourbon Chicken (copycat-ish) recipe, using chicken meatballs instead of chicken pieces – and the same sauce.
There are several serving options. For example, it’s a nice main dish with rice or rice noodles. Or it makes a good appetizer right out of the pan, in a serving bowl or or on serving spoons or mini plates.
The meatballs are well seasoned and have a nice soft texture. Kids would love them. And, of course, they could be used in other dishes like spaghetti and meatballs as well. They don’t come out perfectly round as the mixture is on the wetter side. If you add some breadcrumbs, however, you can probably get them to stay round while cooking if you prefer them that way. Personally, I think the slightly odd shape gives them charm and makes them look homemade, but hey, do what you have to do.
The sauce has bold flavours and can be made as spicy as you like or not at all. The bourbon is optional. One of the best features of this recipe is that either the meatballs or the sauce can be a day or two made ahead. Or, the full recipe – just reheat before serving.
Tailor To Your Taste
- Feel free to use beef, pork or veal (or a combination) for the meatballs. Or use you own favourite meatball recipe.
- Vary the herbs in the meatballs. I used basil – parsley would be good too.
- Use maple syrup in the sauce instead of the brown sugar. I did.
- Use frozen store-bought meatballs.
- Use frozen cubes or powder instead of fresh garlic and ginger.
- Make half as many larger meatballs. Bake for an extra 8-12 minutes.
- Definitely. See above.
Here’s a similar recipe you might like:
Bourbon Chicken (copycat-ish) (get the recipe)