French Onion Chicken Meatballs

The internet is currently having a love affair with variations on this theme. Here’s a recipe with lower fat than most of the rest of the pack. 😉

French Onion Chicken Meatballs
6 servings (3 meatballs each) // 325 calories, 4 net carbs

CHICKEN MEATBALLS
6 cloves garlic
1 large pasture-raised egg
1 pound pasture-raised skinless chicken breast, cut into 2-inch chunks
1/2 cup shredded Gruyère cheese
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon mustard powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon fresh thyme (dried will taste bitter)
(alternate: 1 teaspoon thyme + 3 tablespoons olive oil)
1 teaspoon coarse sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper (10 cranks of a pepper mill)

FRENCH ONION SAUCE
2 medium onions, halved lengthwise, then thinly sliced lengthwise
1 sprig fresh thyme
1 Turkish bay leaf or 1/2 California bay leaf
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons unsalted Kerrygold butter
1/2 teaspoon cornstarch
1/4 cup dry white wine
2 cups reduced-sodium beef broth (32 fl oz)
1/4—3/4 cup water
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan (or Gruyère)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. 

Chicken Meatballs: In a food processor, pulse garlic cloves until minced. Add the egg and pulse well. Next, add the chicken, Gruyère, Parmesan, thyme, mustard powder, onion powder, smoked paprika, and pesto. Process until everything is coarsely ground. Season with salt and pepper. Form into 16 ping pong ball-sized meatballs, then place on the parchment-lined baking sheet. Place in freezer for 10 minutes. Remove from freezer and bake at 400 degrees until just cooked through, 7-9 minutes.

French Onion Sauce: Cook onions, thyme, bay leaves, and salt in butter in a heavy pot over moderate heat, uncovered, stirring frequently, until onions are very soft and deep golden brown, about 30-45 minutes. Mix the 1/2 teaspoon cornstarch with 1/2 teaspoon cold water and add to onions. Add the wine and cook, stirring, 2 minutes. Stir in broth, 1/4 cup water, and pepper, and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, 20-30 minutes. Add more water, as needed, to create a thick sauce.

Add meatballs to skillet of sauce and sprinkle with Gruyère. Cover and cook over medium-low heat until meatballs are warmed through and cheese is melty, about 5 minutes. Insert an instant-read thermometer into a meatball to make sure the interior temperature is 165 degrees. Serve warm, garnished with thyme.

Serve with a warm green bean salad and zero-carb shirataki noodles or zucchini noodles or mashed cauliflower.