Years ago – when my girlfriend (who is now, years later, my lovely and wonderful wife) became my live-in girlfriend – I was informed that I was part of the “Turkey Revolution”. Of course, I immediately imagined an uprising of ammo-belt clad fowl, who would inconspicuously conspire against the oppresive institutions bent on making them into succulent, Thanksgiving-style dinners before finally rising up against said institutions, and fighting their way through the corporate offices and across the killing-floors of Butterball, Jennie-O and Perdue hacking and slashing with meat-tenderizers and carving knives, all the while incessantly gobbling out their insane battle cry: “Thank THIS, motherfuckers!”
That’s not what the turkey revolution was.
Apparently “revolution” is a word quickly ascribed to movements in the culinary world as they become relatively mainstream (see: raw food revolution, vegetarian revolution, paleo revolution, Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution, etc.) before disappearing or being dismissed as ridiculous and /or obnoxious. This is a poor use of the word revolution, but I promise I won’t rant this time around.
To be a member of the turkey revolution, apparently all I needed to do was replace other meats with turkey in an effort to reduce both the caloric value and overall flavor of the food I was making (the latter was an unintended consequence).
I forged ahead, tryptophan and all, replacing the beef in burgers and meatballs with this low-fat poultry. My first attempt at a burger (ground turkey with nothing mixed in) turned into a sad, gray, mushy puck, and my first meatballs will not be spoken of. But I pressed on, like those revolutionary turkeys fighting amongst the cages of their captive brothers, and created recipes to stand the test of time and – more importantly – my tastebuds.
My more recent iterations have been more successful. I have a delicious recipe for turkey burgers which features my salsa slaw, and I’ve even made stuffed turkey patties over fresh, homemade pasta. Recently, I came up with the following recipe for “bird balls”, or meatballs made of ground turkey and italian-style chicken sausage. They’re baked, not fried, so they’re relatively healthy, and still pack a flavorful punch.
They’re also very simple to make.
Ingredients and Instructions:
- 20 oz ground turkey
- 16 oz chicken sausage (casings removed)
- 1 tbsp italian seasoning
- ¾ cup bread crumbs
- 1 egg
- 2 tbsp milk (which you cannot get from a bird, don’t be weird about it)
- 1 tsp pepper
Preheat the oven to 350.
Combine all ingredients in a large bowl, and fold them together until well-combined.
Form the mixture into 1 1/2 to 2-inch balls, rolling between your palms.
Place the bird balls on a cookie sheet, spaced a few inches apart, and bake them for 25 mintues, turning once after about 15 minutes.
Remove the balls from the oven, adn enjoy!
At this point, I like to place them in whatever sauce I’m making, which I like to cook them in before serving them over pasta or (if I’m being healthy) spaghetti squash.