Chicken Meatballs on Barley

  • Yield 4 servings

Ingredients

Chicken Meatballs:
1/2 cup plain dry breadcrumbs
1 -- egg, beaten
2 tablespoons milk
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon dried tarragon, divided
1 teaspoon dried basil, divided
1 pound ground chicken
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 cup white wine
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1/2 cup chicken broth
1 tablespoon cornstarch
Lemon Pecan Barley:
1 cup quick cooking pearl barley
2 cups chicken broth
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 cup coarsely chopped pecans, toasted
2 -- green onions, thinly sliced, white and green parts
1/4 cup fresh chopped parsley
-- lemon wedges for garnish if desired.

Instructions

For meatballs and sauce:
In a mixing bowl, combine breadcrumbs, egg, milk, salt, pepper, garlic, 1/2 teaspoon tarragon and 1/2 teaspoon basil. Add chicken and mix gently with hands just to combine. Mixture will be soft; can be refrigerated for 20-30 minutes for easier handling. Shape into meatballs about 1" in diameter. Heat olive oil and butter in a large skillet over medium high heat. Saute meatballs, turning often, until browned and cooked through. Remove to a plate. Add wine, lemon zest and remaining tarragon and basil to skillet. Bring to a boil, stirring to scrape up any browned bits in bottom of skillet. Reduce heat to simmer. Stir together chicken broth and cornstarch and add to pan. Simmer, stirring constantly, until sauce thickens. Add meatballs back into pan along with any accumulated juices on plate. Cover and keep warm.

For lemon pecan barley:
In a large saucepan, combine barley and chicken broth. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer 10-12 minutes until all liquid is absorbed. Remove from heat and stir in lemon juice and zest, butter, pecans and green onions.

To serve, place lemon pecan barley on a large platter. Arrange meatballs around barley. Drizzle the sauce over meatballs; sprinkle chopped parsley over all. Garnish platter with lemon wedges, if desired. Serves 4.

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