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Buffalo Chicken Meatballs

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It’s GAME DAY!!!  Bring out the tailgating apps, football season is here.  It’s been a long while since the Ohio State Buckeyes had an away season opener and for the Bucks it was last Saturday at Navy.  It seemed no one in Columbus knew what to do with this situation last weekend.  No noon home opener?  No rushing down to campus at 8:30 a.m. to eat breakfast sandwiches, drink light beer and talk shop?  Luckily a friend had the perfect solution — a friday night “Buckeye Fan’s Tailgate Training” party complete with a tailgate appetizer competition, a keg of Coors Light, and a slew of college-style party games.  So needless to say, everyone brought their A-game.  In regard to the appetizer competition, there was rueben dip, barbecued bacon sliders, chicken salad with bacon on a pretzel bun, pepperoni rolls (note the meat-theme…we live in the Midwest!).

My friends know that I have a particular fondness for buffalo sauce and they could have predicted that I might include it in my tailgate app.  While I almost made my Buffalo Chicken Egg Rolls or Buffalo Chicken Dip, I decided to try something new and keep it a little healthier.  These Buffalo Chicken Meatballs were savory, spicy and super easy to make (get out your crockpot!).  I decided to have a little fun with my presentation and the naming of the dish…I think Brutus would be flattered.  These chicken meatballs can be adapted to include any sauce…perhaps a teriyaki, or a thai-peanut, or a korean bbq.  You can serve them individually with blue cheese and ranch dips, or you could serve them on slider buns with a little shredded iceberg lettuce and crumbled blue cheese.  Whatever your tailgate appetizer craving may be, I hope you get some of it one of these Saturdays.  As I sit here and write this post, I hear the soothing sounds of Chris Fowler, Kirk Herbstreit and Lee Corso breaking down college football in my family room (does Corso still put the mascot head on at the end of the show?).  From these guys I catch little tidbits of college football trivia so I can somewhat communicate with my husband in the next few months.  But all in all, I’ll stick with prepping the tailgate apps.

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Buffalo Chicken Meatballs (Makes appx 35-40)

2 lbs ground chicken

1 1/2 cups Panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)

2 large eggs

1 tsp garlic powder

1 tsp onion powder

4-5 green onions, sliced thin

kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper

1 1/2 cups buffalo sauce (or 1 1/4 cup Frank’s Red Hot mixed with 6 Tbsp melted butter)

For serving: blue cheese dressing and/or ranch dressing and celery

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Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  In large bowl, combine ground chicken, panko, egg, garlic powder, onion powder, onions, salt and pepper.  Mix thoroughly with clean hands until well combined.  Roll the mixture into balls, forming about 35-40 meatballs.

Place meatballs on baking sheet lined with foil and sprayed with cooking spray.  Bake meatballs for about 4-5 minutes or until all sides are browned.  Place meatballs into a slow cooker.  Add buffalo sauce and gently toss.  Cook on low heat for 2-3 hours.

Recipe from Damn Delicious