When it’s chilly outside and you’re getting real sick of winter, it’s nice to dream about ways to keep warm. Comfy sweaters, radiators, criminal arson. Now don’t get me wrong, toasting your hands over the smoldering remains of an ill-fated Hobby Lobby is a great way to make memories—but sometimes you just gotta have some balls.
Meatballs. Buffalo Chicken Meatballs. Get your mind out of the gutter.
We nabbed this dandy little recipe from Marvel Comics: Cooking with Deadpool, from Insight Editions. If your mouth is watering for more of my culinary expertise, make sure to check that out.
The first thing to keep in mind is that balls are totally a personal preference. You might like them big or small, you might not like balls at all. (Poetry. Nailed it.) In the book, you’ll see that this recipe is intended to yield 18 balls. I happen to be cooking for one, #ForeverAlone, so I made 9 really big ones. I like to be able to make a meal of two balls. Also it cuts down on the amount of meat I have to put in the pan, because hot oil is scary.
Anyway, Here are the Ingredients
- 1/3 cup (2 ounces) crumbled blue cheese
- 1/4 cup finely diced celery
- 4 tbsp salted butter, melted
- 4 tbsp hot sauce
- 1/2 tsp salt
- black pepper to taste
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 lb ground chicken
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
For Dredging / Coating
- 2 eggs
- 2 tbsp hot sauce
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp salt
- black pepper to taste
- Peanut or canola oil, for frying ( s c a r y )
- 1/2 cup hot sauce
- 3 tbsp honey
- 2 tbsp ketchup
- 4 tbsp salted better
Making the Filling
Grab a medium bowl, put in your cheese and your celery. Mix it. Very complicated, I know. Although honestly, I subbed in jalapeños here instead of celery. Why? Because I’d rather spend money on peppers than the floss of the vegetable world. Was that a good idea? Who’s to say? I’ll let you know when I eat them.
Prepping Your Meat
Before we get to the good stuff, you’re gonna want to grab a baking tray and line it with foil. Just put it aside for now. You’ll thank me later.
Now, in a large bowl, mix your melted butter, hot sauce, salt, pepper, and baking powder. Once that’s done, add the ground chicken and work it with your hands until its evenly covered in the sauce. Sprinkle the flour in a little bit at a time, then lovingly beat your meat until you’re satisfied. You should have a well-incorporated dough ball of chicken meat. Delightful.
Fondling Your Balls
Using a spoon or your fingers, scoop out at least 2 tbsp of the chicken mixture and make an indent in the meat with your thumb. Fill it with some of the blue-cheese-and-celery-or-possibly-jalapeño mixture from the medium bowl, then roll the meat together into a perfect little ball. Set it on that baking sheet that you prepped earlier and repeat until all your meat is gone. Then move the baking sheet to the fridge to rest.
I would have taken a picture of this step, but as previously stated, I was doing this by myself, and my hands were covered in chicken. So good luck with this part.
Dredging And Frying
After you’ve iced your balls for an hour or two, it’s time to coat them and fry ’em. Grab two more bowls. In one, mix the cup of flour, salt, and pepper. The other one gets two more tablespoons of hot sauce and two eggs, which you can beat together like they owe you money. Prep a medium frying pan with two inches of peanut or canola oil, whatever floats your boat. Then it’s time to carefully—carefully, carefully, carefully, carefully, carefully, carefully, carefully, carefully— fry the meatballs without splashing yourself in the face and melting your skin off. Cook until crispy and golden brown.
Sweet Secret Sauce
Maybe you’re looking at this recipe and saying, “You know? There’s not ENOUGH sauce here.” Well, okay then, you insatiable saucemaster. You can also make a dipping sauce to coat your balls in some extra goodness.
Get a small saucepan and combine 4 tbsp of butter, half a cup of more hot sauce, 2 tbsp of ketchup, and 3 tbsp of honey. The honey was probably intended to add a sweet balance to the sauce, but I am a heedless idiot, so I used Mike’s Hot Honey, which is infused with chiles.
Keep warm on the stove until everything’s plated, and the serve on the side for dipping.
Everything worked out.
I take back what I said about
me being an idiot.
My balls are delicious.