1 1/4 to 1 1/2 pounds bone-in chicken breast
One 3/4- pound cooked ham slice, with center bone in
2 cups water
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/2 pound ground beef
1 cup fresh or dried bread crumbs
2 garlic cloves, very finely chopped
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley leaves
1/4 cup finely chopped roasted red bell peppers (pimientos)
Pinch of saffron threads, crumbled
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
3/4 teaspoon salt
Juice from 1/2 lemon
6 cups pure or virgin olive, olive pomace, or vegetable oil for frying
All-purpose flour for dredging
1 large egg yolk
1. Bone the chicken breasts and set the bones aside. Discard any fat or skin. In a food processor, chop the chicken breasts with several short pulses. Remove to a medium-size bowl. There should be about 1/2 pound of breast meat.
2. Cut the ham slice in half. One half should have most of the fat and the other half should have the bone. Grind the half without the bone in a food processor. Remove to the bowl with the chicken. There should be about 1/2 pound of ham meat.
3. Place the chicken carcass and ham bone in a medium-size casserole or saucepan with the water and olive oil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 45 minutes to extract the flavor.
4. Combine the ground beef, bread crumbs, garlic, parsley, roasted peppers, saffron, beaten eggs, salt, and lemon juice with the chicken and ham. Knead the mixture well and form into meatballs with your hands, kept wet with cold water so the mixture doesnât stick. Make 18 meatballs, or, if you have the patience, as many hazelnut-size ones as you can.
5. Preheat the frying oil in a deep-fryer or an 8-inch saucepan fitted with a basket insert to 375 degrees F. Dredge the meatballs in the flour, patting off any excess, and deep-fry in the hot oil until golden, about 2 1/2 minutes (much less if hazelnut-size). Remove from the oil with a slotted spoon, drain on paper towels, and keep warm.
6. Remove and discard the chicken and ham bones from the broth, strain, and return the broth to the casserole or saucepan. Place the meatballs in the broth and poach over low heat until cooked through, about 45 minutes.
7. Remove the meatballs from the casserole and transfer to a serving platter. Whisk the egg yolk into the broth and heat for 1 to 2 minutes, then pour over the meatballs and serve. Let the frying oil cool completely, strain, and save for a future use.