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Orange Chicken Meatballs

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Orange Chicken Meatballs combine the sweet and tangy flavors of orange sauce with savory chicken meatballs, making them a delicious and versatile dish. Perfect for a quick dinner or a party appetizer, these meatballs are sure to be a hit. In this blog post, we’ll guide you through the step-by-step process of making Orange Chicken Meatballs, provide helpful cooking notes, and offer variations to suit different tastes.

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Ingredients

For the Meatballs:

  • 1 lb ground chicken
  • 1/2 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1 egg
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper

For the Orange Sauce:

  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 2 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes (optional)
  • Sliced green onions and sesame seeds for garnish

Instructions

Step 1: Prepare the Meatballs

  1. Preheat Oven:
    • Preheat your oven to 400°F (200°C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or lightly grease it.
  2. Mix Ingredients:
    • In a large bowl, combine the ground chicken, breadcrumbs, egg, minced garlic, ground ginger, salt, and black pepper. Mix until well combined.
  3. Form Meatballs:
    • Using your hands or a small cookie scoop, form the mixture into small meatballs, about 1 inch in diameter. Place them on the prepared baking sheet.
  4. Bake:
    • Bake the meatballs in the preheated oven for 15-20 minutes, or until they are cooked through and golden brown.

Step 2: Prepare the Orange Sauce

  1. Mix Sauce Ingredients:
    • In a medium bowl, whisk together the orange juice, soy sauce, honey, rice vinegar, and sesame oil.
  2. Prepare Cornstarch Slurry:
    • In a small bowl, dissolve the cornstarch in 1/4 cup of water to create a slurry. Set aside.
  3. Cook the Sauce:
    • In a large skillet, heat the orange sauce mixture over medium heat. Bring it to a simmer and cook for 3-4 minutes.
  4. Thicken the Sauce:
    • Stir the cornstarch slurry into the sauce. Continue to cook, stirring constantly, until the sauce thickens, about 2-3 minutes. If using, add the red pepper flakes for a bit of heat.

Step 3: Combine and Serve

  1. Add Meatballs to Sauce:
    • Add the baked meatballs to the skillet with the orange sauce. Toss to coat the meatballs evenly in the sauce.
  2. Garnish and Serve:
    • Transfer the Orange Chicken Meatballs to a serving dish. Garnish with sliced green onions and sesame seeds. Serve hot with rice, noodles, or as an appetizer.

Cook Notes and Variations

Cook Notes:

  • Ground Chicken: If ground chicken is not available, you can use ground turkey or a mix of ground chicken and ground pork.
  • Breadcrumbs: Panko breadcrumbs can be used for a crunchier texture.

Variations:

  • Spicy Orange Chicken Meatballs:
    • Add more red pepper flakes or a splash of sriracha to the sauce for extra heat.
  • Orange Chicken Meatball Stir-Fry:
    • Add stir-fried vegetables like bell peppers, snap peas, and carrots to the skillet along with the meatballs and sauce for a complete meal.
  • Gluten-Free Option:
    • Use gluten-free breadcrumbs and tamari instead of soy sauce to make this dish gluten-free.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. Can I make the meatballs ahead of time?

Yes, you can prepare the meatballs ahead of time. Bake them and store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. Reheat them in the sauce before serving.

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2. How do I store leftovers?

Store any leftover meatballs in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat them in a skillet over medium heat until warmed through.

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3. Can I freeze these meatballs?

Yes, you can freeze the cooked meatballs. Allow them to cool completely, then place them on a baking sheet to freeze individually. Once frozen, transfer them to a freezer-safe bag or container. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight before reheating in the sauce.

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4. What can I serve with Orange Chicken Meatballs?

These meatballs are delicious served with rice, noodles, or steamed vegetables. They also make a great appetizer served with toothpicks.

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5. Can I use store-bought orange sauce?

Yes, you can use store-bought orange sauce if you prefer. Just heat the sauce in a skillet and add the baked meatballs to coat them.

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Orange Chicken Meatballs are a sweet and savory delight that’s perfect for any occasion. With their flavorful orange sauce and tender chicken meatballs, this dish is sure to become a favorite in your household. Whether you’re making them for a quick dinner, a party appetizer, or meal prep, this recipe is easy to follow and full of delicious flavors. Give these Orange Chicken Meatballs a try and enjoy a comforting and delightful meal. Happy cooking!