For me, comfort meals mean either pasta or meatballs. Or even better yet, both. Anything smothered in sauce and served with carbs is bound to hit the spot. These chicken meatballs with bourbon mustard sauce are the perfect example of just that. I mean, who can say no to tender meatballs simmered in a flavorful bourbon mustard sauce served on a bed of creamy mashed potatoes? I know I can't!
Chicken Meatballs with Bourbon Mustard Sauce
- 1 lb ground chicken
- 1 large egg beaten
- ¼ cup milk
- ¾ cup panko
- ⅓ cup grated parmesan
- ¼ cup parsley chopped
- 2 tablespoon dill chopped
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- ½ teaspoon fennel seeds ground
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
Bourbon mustard sauce
- 2 tablespoon butter
- 4 shallots finely chopped
- ½ cup bourbon
- 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- 3 cups chicken stock
- 3 sprigs thyme
- ¼ cup heavy cream
- ¼ cup dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon green peppercorns
- salt and pepper
- 2 tablespoon fresh dill chopped
- mashed potatoes or rice for serving
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
- Make the meatballs. Mix together the ground chicken with egg, milk, panko, parmesan, parsley, dill, garlic, fennel, salt, and pepper until well combined. Shape the mixture into about 12 large meatballs and place them on a baking sheet. Bake the meatballs for 10 minutes and remove from the oven.
- Prepare the bourbon mustard sauce. Melt 2 tablespoon butter in a deep saute pan over medium heat. Add the shallots and saute until softened and lightly browned. Add the bourbon and bring to a boil. Continue to simmer the bourbon until it's reduced by ½. Add the flour and stir to coat.
- Add the chicken stock and thyme and bring to a boil. Continue to simmer for 10 minutes. Add the heavy cream, dijion mustard, and green peppercorns and simmer for 1 more minute.
- Add the chicken meatballs to the sauce and reduce heat to low. Gently simmer the meatballs for 10 minutes. Season the sauce with salt and pepper and transfer the meatballs to a serving plate. Pour the sauce on top and garnish with chopped fresh dill. Serve immediately with mashed potatoes or rice.
**Helpful tips and common mistakes
These chicken meatballs with bourbon mustard sauce not only deliver on flavor and comfort, but they're also easy to prepare. You can even make a large batch of the meatballs and freeze them to enjoy in the near future.
I used ground chicken for this recipe but you can use any other type of ground meat. Ground beef, pork, lamb, and turkey are all fair game.
Combine the meat with the seasonings, panko, and egg, mixing until combined. The mixture will be wet but you don't want to add too much panko or it'll dry out the meat.
To make sure the meatballs have enough seasoning, take a small piece and cook it on a pan. Once you've determined that there's enough salt and pepper, shape the mixture into 12 large meatballs.
Bake the chicken meatballs for 10 minutes in the oven. We're only par cooking the meatballs since they're going to continue to cook in the sauce.
Now let's move on to the magical bourbon mustard sauce. Start by cooking the shallots in butter until they're golden brown. Add the bourbon and bring it to a simmer, cooking it until it's reduced by half. This will cook out all of the alcohol but leave all of the flavors of the alcohol.
If you don't like bourbon, you can use white wine instead. Alternatively, you can omit the alcohol altogether. The sauce will still taste good since we have other flavorful ingredients.
Add the chicken stock and thyme to the bourbon mix and simmer the sauce for 10 minutes. Then, add the remaining ingredients including mustard, green peppercorns, and heavy cream, and simmer for 1 more minute.
Finish the dish by adding the chicken meatballs to the sauce. After about 10 minutes or so, the meatballs are ready. Give it a final seasoning and serve the chicken meatballs with bourbon sauce on a bed of mashed potatoes or rice.
Just by smelling the dish, I knew I would love these meatballs. They're not too decadent but have the perfect balance of creamy and savory. Not to mention, the meatballs are oh so juicy!
For more meatball inspiration check out these harissa chicken meatballs!