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Sunday recipe: add pop to a cocktail party with sweet and spicy appetizers

People near and far eagerly await December 31 so they can welcome the arrival of a new year. The final day of the year is a key date on social calendars, and most individuals gather with friends or family members to count down to midnight.

Foods and beverages are important components of New Year’s Eve gatherings, no matter how many guests are in attendance. Finger foods and easy-to-share appetizers are ideal snacks to pair with cocktails or glasses of bubbly. This recipe for “Chicken Meatballs With Chipotle-Honey Sauce” from Crock•Pot 365 Year-Round Recipes (Publications International, Ltd.) from the Crock•Pot Kitchens can make for an ideal hors d’oeuvres for New Year’s Eve celebrations.

Chicken meatballs with chipotle-honey sauce. Photo licensed through Metro Creative Services.

Chicken Meatballs With Chipotle-Honey Sauce

Makes 12 servings (4 meatballs each)

2 pounds ground chicken
2 eggs, lightly beaten
⅓ cup plain dry bread crumbs
⅓ cup chopped fresh cilantro
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 4-ounce can chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, divided
1½ teaspoons salt, divided
¾ cup honey
⅓ cup chicken broth
⅓ cup tomato paste
1 tablespoon lime juice
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided

  1. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Combine chicken, eggs, bread crumbs, cilantro, lime juice, garlic, 1 tablespoon adobo sauce, and 1 teaspoon salt in medium bowl; mix well. Form mixture into 48 meatballs. Place meatballs in single layers on prepared baking sheets. Cover with plastic wrap; chill 1 hour.
  2. Combine remaining ½ teaspoon salt, 2 to 3 chipotle peppers, honey, chicken broth, tomato paste, lime juice, and Dijon mustard in blender or food processor. Process until smooth. Pour sauce into slow cooker. Set aside.
  3. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Working in batches, cook meatballs, turning to brown on all sides, transferring batches to slow cooker as they are finished. Add additional tablespoon of oil to skillet as needed for second and subsequent batches.
  4. When all meatballs have been added to slow cooker, stir gently to coat all meatballs. Cover; cook on high 3 to 4 hours or until meatballs are no longer pink in centers.