skillet turkey meatballs with lemony rice

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Maybe we’re getting the hang of things. I’m still depending heavily on my freezer meals, but I can count on being able to cook a few nights per week. Last weekend, I even made salmon cakes, broiled asparagus with shallot-lemon vinaigrette, and biscuits for dinner one night. I prepped it all ahead of time, and then when we put the baby down to sleep, I finished cooking everything, plated it, poured the wine – and the baby woke up. Something else I’m getting the hang of: feeding myself while feeding the baby.

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I made this back when she was just three weeks old, when we definitely did not have the hang of things. But I got ahead of the game by making the meatballs (a double batch, with extra to freeze) in the afternoon. The dish is easy enough that it wasn’t much trouble to finish it up when the baby was sleeping that evening.

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And then she woke up while it was cooking, and I fed her, and since I wasn’t proficient at feeding myself while feeding the baby then, I ate my meatballs and rice lukewarm. Fortunately, this is a meal that tastes just fine at room temperature – lemony and light, but substantial enough to last through a night of baby-feeding. However, it was even better when I made it again a few weeks later and got to eat it hot.

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Skillet Turkey Meatballs with Lemony Rice (adapted from Cook’s Country via Elly Says Opa)

Serves 4

½ cup panko bread crumbs
1 large egg
6 scallions, white and green parts separated, divided
¼ cup freshly chopped parsley, divided
½ teaspoon dried oregano
salt and pepper
1 tablespoon grated lemon zest, divided
1 pound ground turkey
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup white rice
3 cloves garlic, minced
2¼ cups chicken broth
2 tablespoons lemon juice
½ cup (1 ounce) grated parmesan cheese
lemon wedges for serving

1. In a large mixing bowl, combine the panko and egg. Set aside, stirring occasionally, until the panko is moistened, about 15 minutes. Add 2 tablespoons of the scallion greens, 3 tablespoons parsley, the oregano, 1 teaspoon salt, ½ teaspoon pepper, and 1½ teaspoons lemon zest; stir to combine. Add the turkey; mix thoroughly. Form the mixture into balls approximately 1-inch in diameter; you should have about 24 meatballs.

2. In a 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, heat the oil until it flows like water when the pan is tilted. Arrange the meatballs in the pan with space between them. Cook without stirring until the bottom sides are brown, about 2 minutes. Flip and brown the opposite side. Transfer the browned meatballs to a plate.

3. Leaving the remaining fat in the skillet, add the rice. Cook, stirring constantly, until the grains are translucent at the edges, 1-2 minutes. Add the garlic and scallion whites and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the chicken broth, lemon juice, and 1½ teaspoons lemon zest; stir to combine, then arrange the meatballs in the rice. Bring to a simmer, then reduce the heat to low, cover, and cook until the rice is tender and the meatballs are cooked through, about 20 minutes. Remove from the heat and let set, covered, for an additional 5 minutes. Uncover and top with the parmesan cheese, remaining scallion greens, and remaining parsley; serve, with additional lemon wedges.

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  1. This looks great! And I plan on making the rhubarb cake as soon as our market gets it in. thanks!
    Congrats to you and your husband on your baby girl.

  2. This has become one of my husband’s favorite meals! The lemon and oregano- so good! I serve it with a salad for additional veggies.

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