Bacon & Cheese-Stuffed Chicken Meatball Heroes
Does it get any better than bacon and cheese?
- 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO), divided, plus 1 tablespoon for the greens
- 6 slices bacon, chopped
- 1 pound ground all-white meat chicken
- 1 egg
- 2 tablespoons milk
- 1/2 cup (a couple of generous handfuls) bread crumbs
- 1/2 cup (a couple of handfuls) grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
- 2 tablespoon flat-leaf parsley, chopped
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 4-ounce piece cheddar cheese, cut into 1/2-inch chunks
- 2 cups arugula roughly chopped or 1/4 head lettuce, shredded
- 1 tomato, seeded and chopped
- Juice of 1/2 lemon
- 4 sub rolls, split in half but not all the way through
Yields: 4 servings
Preheat oven to 425°F.
Heat a medium-size, nonstick skillet over medium-high heat with 1 turn of the pan of EVOO, about 1 tablespoon. Add the chopped bacon and cook until crispy, about 4-5 minutes. Remove bacon from the pan to a paper towel-lined plate. Set aside.
Place the ground chicken in a medium-size mixing bowl and add the egg, milk, bread crumbs, grated cheese, parsley and cooked bacon. Season the chicken mixture with salt and pepper. Mix all ingredients together and roll into 12 medium-size meatballs, each about 2 inches round. Place a piece of cheddar cheese into the center of each meatball and maneuver the meat around the cheese to seal it in the middle.
Place the skillet you cooked the bacon in back on the burner over medium-high heat and add the remaining EVOO. The oil should generously coat the bottom of the pan. Place the meatballs in the pan and cook about 5-6 minutes per side, or until golden brown and cooked through. While the meatballs are browning, place the split sub rolls on a baking sheet and toast under the broiler for about 30 seconds to a minute. Make sure you don't burn them!
In a bowl, combine the chopped watercress and tomatoes, squeeze the juice of half a lemon and drizzle a little EVOO over the greens. Season with salt and pepper, and toss to coat.
To serve, assemble 3 meatballs per sub and top with the watercress tomato mixture.
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