Vodka Meatballs

Vodka Meatballs


This Vodka Meatball recipe is one even grandma will approve of. And if she doesn't.... well, good luck.
  • 1 lb. ground chicken
  • ½ c. panko bread crumbs
  • 1 oz. finely grated Parmesan (about ¼ c.)
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp. chopped fresh parsley
  • 1½ tsp. kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 1 small shallot, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • ½ c. tomato paste
  • 2 tbsp. vodka
  • ½ c. heavy cream
  • ½ c. (or more) water
  • ¼ tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 oz. finely grated Parmesan (about ¼ c.), plus more for serving
  • Chopped fresh parsley, for serving
  2. In a large bowl, combine chicken, bread crumbs, Parmesan, egg, garlic, and parsley; season with salt and a few grinds of black pepper.
  3. Form mixture into 12 meatballs (about 3 tablespoons each). If mixture is too sticky, slightly wet your hands to help form balls.
  4. In a large, high-sided skillet over medium heat, heat oil. Add meatballs and cook, turning occasionally, until golden brown on all sides and almost cooked through, 10 to 12 minutes. Transfer to a plate.
  6. In same skillet over medium heat, melt butter. Add shallot and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add tomato paste and cook, stirring frequently, until darkened and fragrant, about 3 minutes. Add vodka and cook, stirring, until evaporated, about 1 minute more.
  7. Slowly add cream and water. Stir until smooth, then stir in red pepper; season with salt and black pepper.
  8. Return meatballs to skillet and reduce heat to low. Turn meatballs to coat in sauce. Cover skillet and cook, stirring occasionally and adding more water if sauce is too thick, until meatballs are cooked through, 8 to 10 minutes. Add Parmesan and stir until melted.
  9. Transfer meatballs to a platter. Top with more Parmesan and parsley before serving.

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