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Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Chicken Meatball Sub with Gobs of Fresh Mozzarella

Before we go too far, let me just say that when my husband first tasted this dish, he exclaimed: "Oh my gosh, this is good." And he's right.

It was Sunday night. We'd just finished a relaxing, refreshing week off work, and were looking for a comforting meal to ease us back into the real world. You know how that goes.

Chicken Meatball Sub with Gobs of Fresh Mozzarella fit the bill. This creamy, toasty sandwich delivers layer upon layer of assertive flavor and texture, elevating the meatball sub to something substantially more sophisticated.

I tested this recipe, created by apartmentcooker, a recent culinary grad, as an Editors' Pick for food52. While I typically follow these recipes to the letter, this time I subbed ground turkey, used an Italian seasoning blend with rosemary, sage, marjoram, oregano and basil instead of plain dried oregano, and deglazed the meatball pan with white wine and added the bits to the tomato sauce. I did all this because it was what I had, or could easily find, and because my tomato sauces usually taste bland (yes, I know, I'm Italian, but apparently I didn't inherit THAT gene).

I also altered the method slightly, using a great trick from Giada DeLaurentiis, which is to mix all the meatball ingredients thoroughly before adding the meat, which helps assure the end result is tender and soft.

No matter, this recipe would be terrific as written. The meatballs are intensely flavorful, the sauce turned out perfectly and the fresh mozzarella adds a silky, luxurious touch.

This isn't a quick cooking meal, but it won't take you all afternoon, either. And, it's versatile -- my daughter ate the leftover meatballs and sauce for dinner the next night. I think it's a great dish for casual entertaining -- say, a football party, or a group of teens, especially since you can make the meatballs and sauce in advance.

I've become a fan of apartmentcooker's style. I recently tested her amazing Leek, Prosciutto and Egg pizza, and find she has a knack for taking seemingly simple comfort food and making it shine. Check her out and give her recipes a try.


  1. Ah ha, I knew I'd seen this recipe on food52! It looks lovely too.....

  2. Wow. After a night out on the town, this is exactly what I want for lunch today. (Or breakfast, either one.)