Monday, April 20, 2009

Recipe: Chicken Croquettes

This is a comfort food that I rather enjoy now and then and is also a great way to use up leftover roast chicken. It also lends itself to eating some and freezing some and therefore lets me stick one or two easy weeknight meals in the freezer.

Chicken Croquettes

2 cups finely diced cooked chicken (This is about half a roast chicken's worth)
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup minced celery
Pinch of cayenne pepper
2 tsp lemon juice
1/4 cup minced onion
1 TBS minced parsley
1 cup thick Bechamel (follows)
2 eggs, lightly beaten
2 cups bread crumbs
1/2 cup almonds, chopped (optional)

Mix the chicken, salt, celery, cayenne pepper, lemon juice, onion, parsley, cand bechamel sauce until wee blended. Cover, refrigerate until chilled, then form into balls or small cones, about 2 inches in diameter. Dip in beaten eggs and then roll in the crumbs. Set them to dry on a piece of wax paper.

Deep fry at about 360 degrees until brown. Drain. You can also do these in a skillet with a couple of inches of oil and turn them when one side is brown.

I serve these with a brown sauce. You can prepare from scratch or use a packaged sauce such as McCormick Hunter Sauce mix.

They freeze well; separate using wax paper.

Thick Bechamel (White) Sauce

2 TBS butter
3 TBS flour
1 cup milk, heated
Salt
Freshly ground pepper

Melt the butter in a heavy-bottomed saucepan. Stir in the flour and cook, stirring constantly, until the paste cooks and bubbles a bit, but don't let it brown—about 2 minutes. Add the hot milk, continuing to stir as the sauce thickens. Bring it to a boil. Add salt and pepper to taste, lower the heat, and cook, stirring for 2 to 3 minutes more. Remove from the heat. To cool this sauce for later use, cover it with wax paper or pour a film of milk over it to prevent a skin from forming.

Adapted from The Fannie Farmer Cookbook by Marion Cunningham
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