The first time I had the pleasure of enjoying chicken croquettes was on a study abroad trip to Spain back in 2000. I was totally in love, but since I don't fry anything at home, I never really considered making them. I was reminded of how awesome they are when I saw this recipe posted by Mary Ellen, so I figured I'd give them a try and then pan fry some and bake others to see if both methods produce good results. I also decided to replace the butter in the croquette portion of the recipe, with pureed cottage cheese. While I'm sure butter would take better, the cottage cheese actually worked really well.
Baking the croquettes also worked out really well, and makes this long recipe just a little easier. When we sat down to eat, it became clear my husband had never had these before, and he kept referring to them as "chicken balls." He loved them and we were definitely fighting over the leftovers!
Source: Slightly adapted from Mary Ellen's Cooking Creations
* 1 c milk
* 1 c chicken stock
* 1/4 tsp white pepper
* 2 tsp freshly chopped parsley leaves
* 1/2 cup pureed cottage cheese
* 1 stalk celery, minced
* 1/2 onion, minced
* 1 c all purpose flour
* 1 1/4 lbs cooked chicken breast, ground in a food processor
* Olive oil for pan frying, or spraying on croquettes before baking
* 2 eggs
* 2 c milk
* 1/8 tsp salt
* 3 c all purpose flour or cracker meal
* 3 c bread crumbs
Chicken Gravy Ingredients
* 3 tbsp butter
* 2 c chicken stock
* 3 tbsp all purpose flour
* 2 tsp chopped fresh parsley
* Pinch white pepper and salt
* Making the croquettes (refer to the croquette ingredients): In a heavy pot, heat the milk and stock on the stove and add the white pepper, parsley, and salt. In a separate pot, warm the cottage cheese and add the celery and onions. Stir in the flour and cook for 3 minutes. Pour in the hot milk/stock mixture and stir until thickened and smooth. Fold in the chicken and allow to cool.
* Breading the croquettes (refer to the breading ingredients): Shape 3 oz portions of the croquette batter into the shape of a cone and place on a tray lined with wax paper. Set out three bowls/breading dishes. In the first, make an egg wash with the egg, milk, and salt. The second bowl is flour, the third is breadcrumbs. Dip the croquettes into the egg wash, then flour, then egg wash again, then breadcrumbs.
* Cooking the croquettes: For pan frying the croquettes, heat oil in saute pan. Add croquettes, rotating to cook all sides, about 2 minutes per side. Drain well and blot on paper towels. For baking, preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Place croquettes on a rack over a baking sheet, spray croquettes lightly with olive oil. Bake for about 15 minutes.
* Cooking the gravy: Melt the butter in a 1 or 2 qt saucepan. Stir in the flour. Pour in the stock and whisk until smooth. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and cook for 20 minutes, whisking occasionally. Add the parsley, white pepper, and salt to taste.