Chicken Meatballs and Rice Recipe

30 May –

Join Shea in the kitchen for a meal inspired by the garden. Today’s recipe is perfect for a simple, summer dinner for the family.

In the seventh episode of our Around the Table series, Shea is in the kitchen again to share another simple yet elevated dish. This recipe is a hearty meal for the whole family that is easy to prepare with ground chicken, lots of kale, bright dill, and briny feta cheese. This dish was inspired by the herbs in the garden, and Shea is excited to utilize her garden for summer recipes this year (if you missed Shea’s Kitchen Garden webisode you can watch it here). Follow along below as Shea prepares the meal and styles a place setting and get the recipe below.


¼ cup panko breadcrumbs
¼ cup whole milk
½ yellow onion, small
½ cup finely chopped dill
7 ounces feta cheese, divided
1 large egg
2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
1 pound ground chicken
1 lemon
2 ½ tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
2 cups long grain rice, such as basmati
3 cups chicken stock
3 garlic cloves, minced
4 cups kale, chopped



In a large bowl, combine the milk and panko breadcrumbs and let sit for 5-10 minutes to allow the breadcrumbs to absorb the milk. This is called a panade and helps make the meatballs tender and moist. Grate the onion, crumble half of the feta cheese, and zest 1 teaspoon lemon zest into the bowl along with the egg, chopped dill, and 1 teaspoon kosher salt. Whisk, then add the ground chicken and mix until just combined. Overmixing will make the meatballs tough.


Form the chicken mixture into 12 large meatballs using a ¼ measuring cup or large cookie scoop. Cover the meatballs with plastic wrap and chill for at least 20 minutes or up to overnight. When ready to cook, add 1 tablespoon olive oil to a sheet pan and place the meatballs on the pan. Drizzle the meatballs with an additional 1 tablespoon olive oil. Set the oven to broil and position the rack in the top third of the oven. Broil the meatballs until charred on top, about 5 minutes.


Add the remaining ½ tablespoon olive oil to a large Dutch oven or braiser (about 3.5-quart capacity) over medium heat. Once the oil is rippling, add the kale and garlic to the pan and quickly sauté for 2-3 minutes until the kale is vibrant green. Add the rice, the remaining 1 teaspoon kosher salt, and the chicken stock.


Bring to a simmer, then reduce the heat to low and add the broiled meatballs to the pan. Cover with a tight-fitting lid and cook, undisturbed, until the rice is tender and the meatballs are cooked through to an internal temperature of 165°—about 20-25 minutes.


When the chicken and rice are finished, crumble the remaining feta over the top of the dish. Squeeze a wedge of lemon over the top and sprinkle with additional dill, if desired.

Date Posted
30 May