Vegetable oil, for frying
1 pound ground chicken
1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1 large egg
1 1/4 cups panko
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Fifteen 1/2-inch cubes part-skim mozzarella (from 1 pound piece of mozzarella)
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan
Warmed marinara sauce, for dipping
- Fill a large Dutch oven or pot halfway with oil. Attach a deep-fat fry thermometer on the side. Heat over medium to 350 degrees F.
- Meanwhile, mix together the chicken, Italian seasoning, egg, 1/4 cup panko, 1 teaspoon salt and a few grinds of pepper in a large bowl.
- Scoop out 2 heaping tablespoons of the chicken mixture and flatten into a 2-inch circle in your hand. Put a mozzarella cube in the center of the circle. Pat the meat mixture around the cheese to encase it in a ball. Set the ball aside on a plate or baking sheet and repeat with the remaining mozzarella and chicken mixture.
- Stir together the Parmesan, remaining 1 cup panko and 1 teaspoon salt in a medium bowl.
- Working one at a time, toss the chicken balls in the panko mixture until they are completely coated, pressings the panko into the ball with your hands to make sure it sticks.
- Fry the balls in batches until deep golden brown and the chicken is cooked through, 6 to 8 minutes.
- Serve with the marinara for dipping.