Is there an extremely high demand for flat-leaf parsley that I am unaware of? Or did herb famers go on strike?? I went to three grocery stores and all of them were sold out of flat leaf parsley. Seriously… what the heck!? I should probably point out that by “I”, I of course mean Boy. You have got to love my husband for his unwavering support of me, and my passion for cooking. After driving around town and stopping in not one, but three stores, he finally called me to ask if it was ‘okay if he couldn’t find flat leaf parsley. Instead he got me curly.’ I could tell, when he was talking to me, that he was holding his breath. What did he think I was going to say? “No hunny, that is completely unacceptable. I need you to drive to another city, to see if they are possibly unaffected by this parsley shortage debacle. And if that city is dry of flat leaf, I’m going to need you to go ahead and drive to the next state. Don’t bother coming home with that curly stuff.” Lol. I know I’m a little crazy, but I’m not that freggin’ cray-cray! Or am I?
Never mind, don’t answer that question. Instead let’s talk about these mind-blowingly delicious Jack Daniels Glazed Chicken Meatballs. I haven’t been to TGI Fridays since dinosaurs wondered the earth, but I do remember their Jack Daniels glazed menu items. And I know people are nuts-o over those dishes, mostly because I get a promotional flyer for them at least once a week. Last week, when I went to throw away the flyer, like normal, I paused and totally had one of those light bulb moments. I decided I absolutely had to recreate that glaze, stat. Obviously, that’s exactly what I did. 🙂 However, this Jack Daniels glaze is a million times better than TGI Fridays (#SorryNotSorry). Why, you ask? First of all, this glaze is made with love. That secret ingredient alone makes everything taste better. Second, you know exactly what is in it, which is always a huge plus. Third, it is slightly thicker, so the glaze coats and lovingly hugs the nooks and crannies of the meatballs. The glaze is also perfectly balanced: slightly sweet and a bit boozy, with a touch of a spicy kick on the back end. All in all, it’s epically delicious. You could easily slurp up the glaze on its own. And you can most definitely use this glaze on anything: chicken breast, tofu, pork, beef ribs…. Limitless possibilities.
But then you would miss out on the meatballs, which are magnificent. Soft, moist, meltingly tender and baked for an overall healthy, delicious chicken meatball. As far as the ground chicken for the meatballs, you want to be sure not to use all ground breast meat. I know, I know ‘but you like chicken breast!’ Just trust me on this one. If you use all ground breast meat, you will end up with a dry chicken meatball. And you want a juicy meat-a-balla! Right? Right!
I served my Jack Daniels Glazed Chicken Meatballs in a fondue pot with the burner lit to keep the meatballs warm. I found the fondue pot to be a perfect little vessel for serving these meatballs. However, you could certainly transfer these to a crockpot if transporting them to a party, then set it on warm when ready to serve. Or, you could just eat these immediately, and not futz with serving them in anything cutesy. Your call.
Tender chicken meatballs with a sticky Jack Daniels glaze. These epic meatballs are perfect for parties!
- 1 pound Ground Chicken (preferably NOT all ground chicken breast)
- 3 Cloves Garlic – minced
- ½ Small Yellow Onion – finely diced (about ½ cup)
- 3 TBS Curly Parsley Leaves - Minced
- ½ Cup Panko Breadcrumbs
- ½ tsp Cayenne Pepper
- ½ tsp Dried Oregano
- 1 tsp Poultry Seasoning
- 1 tsp Kosher Salt
- ½ tsp Ground Black Pepper
- 1 Large Egg – beaten
- 2 TBS Buttermilk
- Glaze: (yields roughly 1 cup)
- ¾ Cup Unsalted Chicken Stock
- 1 Cup Pineapple Juice
- 1/3 Cup Teriyaki Sauce
- 1 ½ TBS Reduced Sodium Soy Sauce
- 1 Cup Dark Brown Sugar , packed
- 3 TBS Lemon Juice
- ¼ Cup Yellow Onion – finely diced (about a quarter of a medium sized onion)
- 3 Cloves Garlic - minced
- ¼ Cup Jack Daniels Whiskey
- ¼ tsp Cayenne Pepper
- ½ tsp Kosher Salt
- 1 TBS + 1 tsp Cornstarch
- For the Glaze: In a medium sized saucepan over medium-high heat, combine the stock, pineapple juice, teriyaki sauce, soy sauce and brown sugar. Bring contents to a boil.
- Stir in the remaining ingredients, except for the Cornstarch.
- Immediately reduce to a simmer over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally. Simmer glaze, stirring occasionally, until reduced by half, about 1 hour.
- Mix the cornstarch with 3 tablespoons of water. Slowly whisk into the glaze. Continue to simmer until thickened to desired consistency, about 5 additional minutes.
- Meanwhile, Make the Meatballs: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper for easy clean up.
- In a large mixing bowl combine all of the meatball ingredients. Use your hands to mix ingredients together, being sure NOT to over mix the meatballs. For medium sized meatballs, scoop 2 tablespoons of chicken mixture into hands and form into a ball. Place onto prepared baking sheet.
- Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until an instant read thermometer inserted into a meatball reads 165 degrees F.
- Toss the meatballs with the glaze.
- Serve immediately with additional glaze on the side for dipping.
*Recipe yields approximately 18-20 meatballs
*Glaze can be made a day in advance and stored, covered, in the refrigerator. Reheat in a small saucepan over medium low heat until warmed throughout, stirring occasionally. Toss with hot meatballs.
*Glazed meatballs will keep, covered, in the refrigerator for up to three days.
*To reheat glazed meatballs: Place in a medium sized saucepan over medium low heat and cook, stirring occasionally until warmed throughout.
*Glaze heavily adapted from Top Secret Recipes