These meatballs have been a huge hit on our dinner table for some months now! Not only are they super simple to make, but they are also very tasty. This recipe came together more or less by accident, just using the ingredients I happened to have at hand. (Isn’t that the way how the best recipes are created, anyway?) Moreover, I don’t think you can go wrong with anything that is wrapped in bacon!
The combination of garlic, onion and paprika is quite basic what comes to seasoning, but I just consider those spices really tasty. They go well with mild chicken and savory bacon. Please feel free to use your favorite spices or seasonings, or what you happen to have in your pantry at the moment. Also, if you don’t eat bacon, you can just use turkey bacon or omit the bacon altogether and fry these like regular meatballs.
Tips for making the bacon wrapped chicken meatballs
This recipe is very easy, I think wrapping the meatballs in the bacon is the most time-consuming part. Otherwise, you just combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix them well. An important tip: don’t mix the ingredients too long, just that the mixture is not sticky anymore. If you mix and knead too long, the meatballs might turn into “rubber balls” which is the last thing you want.
But let’s take a look how to prepare these bacony bombs:
Place the ground chicken meat in a large bowl. (I have a separate bowl which I use only for meat). Add the paprika.
Add the onion powder…
…and the salt if you use it.
Mix the ingredients well…
…until they are well mixed and the mixture is not sticky anymore. (The added salt helps in this.) Don’t mix too long, otherwise the meatballs will turn chewy and rubbery.
Shape the mixture into eight meatballs.
Place the meatballs on an oiled plate. You can also oil your hands, as the shaping is much easier with oiled hands.
Wrap each meatball in bacon. Use two slices of bacon per meatball.
Ready to be fried.
Heat a skillet over medium-high heat. If you don’t use a non-stick pan or just prefer to include some more fat, place some oil (or butter if you use dairy) on the skillet and let it melt.
Fry the meatballs until they are completely done, some 15 minutes or until the juices run clear. You should never eat raw chicken meat! Turn the meatballs while frying so that they get nicely browned on each side.
I fry the meatballs in two batches to prevent the skillet from cooling too much under a big load of meat.
I prefer to use medium-high heat until the bacon is nicely browned, then I cover the skillet with lid and reduce the heat to medium-low. These start looking good now! Don’t forget to make some side dish as well, for example turnip fries or quick cauli ‘n’ cheese accompany these chicken meatballs in a perfect way.
|Nutrition information (approximate)
My experiments with these bacon wrapped chicken meatballs
I just love simple one-bowl recipes which contain basic and clean ingredients. I came up with this simple dish after buying some ground chicken meat (it was on offer) and wondering what to do with it. I’ve used ground chicken for sauces, but my guys don’t really care about that, they prefer beef. So, I had to think of something else which would be palatable for everyone in our small family.
Meatballs are usually a huge hit, so I thought that ground chicken might make also great meatballs. Since I had bacon which was close to expiry date, I got the idea to wrap the meatballs in bacon. I think you can wrap anything in bacon, it will make it a huge hit anyway! Now, that’s a great idea to hide the leftovers and make the dish look like you would have thought and selected all ingredients really carefully!
So, I had ground chicken meat and bacon. Because this was supposed to be a whole-family dish, I wanted to use some basic spices to which nobody would turn up his nose. Onion powder was a sure thing, it works well basically in any savory dish and saves you the effort of chopping onion. (Yes, I confess that I’m too busy to chop onion… or maybe just too lazy!) Garlic powder was another staple, but just a little bit of that would be enough, maybe just 1/4 teaspoon. Garlic powder easily overpowers other flavors and simply tastes, hmm… dull, if used too much.
There would be still room for one more spice or seasoning. I was thinking of some herb, but after some pondering I couldn’t think of any herb that would have gone well with these ingredients. Oregano? Well, maybe, but I wasn’t convinced of the combination of oregano and bacon. I was going through my pantry trying to find the best option. Then it hit me: paprika! Mild, gentle taste and appetizing red color. That was it! I decided to add a whole tablespoon paprika because it was so mild.
I did’t want to use anything for binding the ground meat mixture, I thought that when wrapped in bacon, the meatballs keep together well anyway. I could have added an egg or some psyllium, but after all, I was sure that the result was as good even without those.
I just mixed the ground meat, spices and some salt in a bowl, shaped into balls and wrapped them in bacon. I fried the meatballs in butter (though oil or lard would have been perfect dairy-free options) and served the creations to my family with some cooked cauliflower and fresh veggies for dipping with sour cream sauce. Perfect! My husband was raving about the meatballs and my son also loved the meatballs, after removing the bacon! My son usually eats bacon very eagerly, but this combination seemed to be too much to handle…
Tips for variation
If you don’t eat pork, you can use turkey bacon or omit the bacon altogether. Bacon is not absolutely necessary, though it makes the meatballs tastier and is just the icing on the cake, so to say. Maybe we should start using low-carb version of this common idiom and start speaking of “the bacon on the meatballs” rather than of “the icing on the cake”… although you can create great low-carb icings thanks to natural sweeteners.
But back to the point. Please feel free to use your favorite seasonings. Next, I would try home-made taco seasoning, I bet it’s great with these meatballs. Smoked paprika might be also worth trying, as some other good-quality spice mixes. To my great disappointment, Frontier Natural Products is going to discontinue my all-time favorite seasoning, Garlic Bread Seasoning! I’m so devastated! That means that I have to develop my own garlic bread seasoning. Well, after all it’s not too bad thing, I love testing and experimenting! And if you know any great recipe for home-made garlic bread seasoning, I would love to hear from that!