Recipe courtesy of Fritz Cassel

Chicken Meatballs with Homemade Ricotta

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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 1 hr 10 min (includes sitting time)
  • Active: 35 min
  • Yield: 6 to 8 appetizer servings
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2 pounds ground chicken (white and dark meat)

2 cups breadcrumbs 

1 roasted red pepper, minced 

1/4 cup buttermilk 

1 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley 

1 tablespoon dried oregano 

1 tablespoon dried thyme 

10 fresh basil leaves, minced 

1 teaspoon minced garlic 

1 teaspoon salt 

1 teaspoon black pepper 

1 pinch crushed red pepper flakes

Oil, for greasing the baking sheet

Ricotta Cheese:

1/2 gallon whole milk

1 quart buttermilk 

1 quart heavy cream 

1 tablespoon salt 

Homemade or store-bought tomato sauce, for serving


Special equipment:
A very fine strainer or a strainer lined with cheesecloth
  1. For the meatballs: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Combine the chicken, breadcrumbs, roasted red pepper, buttermilk, parsley, oregano, thyme, basil, garlic, salt, pepper and red pepper flakes in a large bowl and mix thoroughly. Roll the mixture into 2- to 3-inch balls, though the meatballs can be made into any size desired.
  3. Place the meatballs on a lightly-greased baking sheet and roast until cooked through and a little brown, 35 to 40 minutes.
  4. For the ricotta cheese Bring the milk, buttermilk, heavy cream and salt to a boil in a large stockpot over medium heat, then turn off the heat and let sit for 30 minutes.
  5. Using a very fine strainer or cheesecloth, strain the milk mixture to separate the thick parts, or curds, from the remaining liquid, or whey, over a bowl or container. Discard the whey. For thicker ricotta, let the mixture strain longer so more liquid is removed. Let cool and adjust seasoning if necessary.
  6. Serve the meatballs hot with your favorite homemade or store-bought tomato sauce and garnish with pieces of ricotta.