Turkey & Sage Meatballs with Cranberry BBQ Sauce


1 lb ground turkey
1/3 Cup oats
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 garlic clove, minced
1 Tbsp Worchestershire Powder
1 Tbsp Rubbed Sage
1/2 Tbsp Rosemary, dried whole
1/2 Tbsp dried Thyme Leaf, roughly chopped
1/2 Tbsp air-dried Chives
Salt and Pepper to taste

Cranberry BBQ Sauce:
12 oz fresh cranberries (1 bag)
1/2 Cup orange juice
1/4 Cup molasses
3 Tbsp honey
2 Tbsp light brown sugar
2 (canned) chipotle peppers in adobo
1/2 Cup ketchup
2 Tbsp Red Apple Balsamic or Traditional Balsamic Vinegar
3/4 tsp Ground Cinnamon

Preheat oven to 375°F.  Put all meatball ingredients into a large mixing bowl and mix (with a big wooden spoon, or preferably with your hands) together until mixture is just combined. Season with salt and pepper.

Lightly oil a baking sheet, then take two Tbsp of the seasoned meatball mixture and form into a meatball. Gently transfer the meatball to the prepared baking sheet continue forming meatballs until all of the turkey mixture is used.

Bake seasoned meatballs in oven for 20 to 25 minutes, or until exterior is lightly browned and meatball completely cooked through. (Cut through a single meatball to check for doneness if necessary). Allow meatballs to cool several minutes on the baking sheet before transferring to a serving platter or bowl.

Make the cranberry bbq sauce: Combine the cranberries, orange juice, molasses, honey, brown sugar, and chipotles in adobo in a medium saucepan. Warm the mixture over medium heat on the stove, and bring to a simmer, stirring continuously.  When the sauce begins to bubble, the cranberries will begin to “pop,” releasing tart juice into the mixture.  Continue to simmer, and stir while you add the remaining ingredients.

Reduce heat to a bare simmer, and cook the cranberry bbq sauce for an additional 30 minutes, stirring occasionally as the sauce thickens, the volume reducing by a third.

Serve the meatballs with the cranberry bbq sauce on the side.

**Note: For a heartier bbq sauce, saute some diced onion, minced garlic, and a little more minced thyme, and add this sauteed mixture along with 1/4 Cup of dried cranberries at the beginning of the sauce recipe.

Adapted from Spoon Fork Bacon.