This recipe for chicken croquettes turns leftover chicken into a new meal. The croquettes or patties are crisp on the outside and creamy on the inside. They can be served as a main course, an appetizer, a sandwich or a snack. Chicken is blended into a well seasoned cream sauce and formed into round flat patties. They are dipped in beaten egg and coated in bread crumbs then fried crisp.
Because of the amount of work and time involved most cooks only made croquettes during holidays. In many countries they are popular snacks served by street venders and at snack bars. Endless types of croquette style products can be found in the freezer section of the grocery store. You can freeze your homemade creations.
Croquettes and other related breaded and fried food items came to us from the Ancient Greeks and Romans. Recipes for croquettes began appearing in American cookbooks in the early 1800s. They became a popular food item for church fund raising events and were served at formal dinner parties. Salmon croquettes were served on meatless days in many American homes before and after WWII.
Versions of croquettes can be found all over the world thanks to European exploration, colonization and trade between East and West. The fillings differ between countries, with potato being one of the favorites. The method is the same. Ingredients can be whatever is liked in the country and culture such as beef, pork, mutton, chicken, fish, seafood of all types, rice, cheese, fruit, pasta and vegetables. Early cookbooks warned new cooks not to try making croquettes until they became fully experienced in sauce making and in frying.
This recipe will make about 8 croquettes depending on the size.
- ¼ cup of butter, for the sauce
- ¼ cup of all-purpose flour, for the sauce
- 1 cup of milk, for the sauce
- ½ teaspoon of salt, for the sauce
- ½ teaspoon of black pepper, for the sauce
- 1 teaspoon of dry chicken bouillon, for the sauce
- 1 teaspoon of poultry seasoning, for the sauce
- ¼ teaspoon of celery seed, for the sauce
- ½ teaspoon of onion powder, for the sauce
- 2 cups diced or minced cooked chicken
- 1 egg, beaten
- 2 tablespoons of milk
- Bread crumbs
Mix the flour with the seasonings in a small bowl. In a sauce pan melt the butter over medium heat. Whisk in the flour and seasonings. Continue to whisk for a minute or two. Slowly pour in the cup of milk while still whisking. Continue to stir or whisk and cook the sauce until it comes to a boil and thickens. It should be very smooth. Remove from the heat.
Cube or mince the chicken into a bowl. Pour the hot white sauce over the chicken. Stir to blend.
The chicken and white sauce mixture must be cooled before forming into patties. Cover the bowl and put it in the refrigerator for at least an hour until the mixture is completely cold and firm.
Evenly divide the mixture and using floured hands form into round flat patties. Sit them on a plate.
Beat the egg and milk together in a flat dish. Put the bread crumbs in another flat container. Have a wire rack with a flat pan under it ready to sit the breaded croquettes on. Using a spatula or forks dip the patties in the egg and milk and then coat with bread crumbs. Dip again in the egg and milk and again coat with crumbs. Allow the patties to dry at least 30 minutes or longer before frying. If covered with foil or plastic you can keep them in the refrigerator over night.
Heat a tablespoon or more of butter or part butter and part cooking oil in a large frying pan. Fry the patties on each side until they are golden brown and crisp. Sit the patties on paper towels to drain or on a wire rack with a flat pan under it. The patties can be put on a sheet pan, uncovered, and kept warm in a very low oven for a while.
Serve as a main course or on hamburger buns or bread as sandwiches.
The mixture can be pressed into a lightly oiled or buttered sheet pan and after cooling it can be cut into squares or rectangles. Less mess and much easier.
Some cooks flour the patties before dipping them in the egg and milk mixture and only dip them once in the egg.
Instead of breading you can dip the croquettes in a batter.
You can bake the patties on an oiled shallow pan in a hot 425 degree F oven. Turn once. Watch them carefully.
Cooked vegetables can be used in place of part of the meat. For example, 1 cup of meat, 1 cup of finely chopped cooked vegetables.
Mashed potatoes, stuffing or cooked rice can be added as a filler in place of part of the meat. About ½ cup filler and 1 and ½ cup of meat or 1/3 cup of a vegetable to 2/3 cup meat.
Some recipes add chopped cooked mushrooms.
The older recipes say not to use ground cooked meat in croquettes.
All meats, fish, seafood, vegetables, fruits or grains must be cooked before using in croquettes.
To kick up the flavor, depending on the ingredients used, dry mustard, red pepper flakes, garlic, horseradish, chili powder or other hot seasonings can be added with the meat or cooked into the sauce.
Some recipes say to add 1 egg or egg yolk to the white sauce. Beat the egg or yolk and stir a small amount of the hot white sauce into the egg (to temper it), then pour that into the white sauce. Stir and cook a minute longer. Do not allow it to boil. This makes the sauce thicker.
If you want to deep fat fry the croquettes heat the oil to 375 degrees F.