Chicken Croquettes. My daughter calls them gourmet, grown-up chicken nuggets, which makes me smile. Considering their savory, tender inside, enclosed in a crispy, crumb coating, I’d say her description is perfect! Our family enjoys serving mashed potatoes or baked sweet potatoes and a fresh, green salad, alongside this tasty main dish.
“Croquettes, small shaped masses of some savory (or occasionally sweet) substance deep-fried, typically in a coating of breadcrumbs, get their name from their crisp exterior: for croquette is a derivative of the French verb croquer, crunch.”
—An A to Z of Food and Drink, John Ayto [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 2002 (p. 98)
Although the croquette’s origins are French, it’s a frequently served dish in Amish and Mennonite households, and my grandmother’s homes were no exception.
Begin by chopping pre-cooked chicken into small pieces. (I use chicken breasts.)
To make the white sauce, melt the butter. Add flour and whisk together over medium-low heat. Add milk slowly, whisking constantly to keep the sauce smooth.
When the sauce thickens, turn off the heat and add seasonings.
Mix white sauce with minced chicken. Beat eggs, and pour breadcrumbs into dish.
To form the croquettes, shape chicken mixture into meatball-sized portions. Dip each croquette into beaten eggs. then roll in breadcrumbs. (I use seasoned Panko crumbs.)
Heat skillet and coat the bottom with olive oil. Pan-fry the croquettes until lightly browned. Drain on napkin to remove any excess grease.
And now your Chicken Croquettes are ready to serve! This recipe may be prepared in advance, or even frozen. If that is the case, pan-fry only until lightly browned, then chill. When serving, place in oven at 400 until heated through.
- 2 cups minced, cooked chicken
- 2 Tablespoons butter
- 2 1/2 Tablespoons flour
- 1 cup milk
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon onion or garlic powder
- 1 Tablespoon minced parsley
- 1/8-1/4 teaspoon thyme (optional)
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 1 cup dry bread crumbs
- Olive Oil to coat bottom of skillet
- Chop the pre-cooked chicken.
- Make a white sauce of the butter, flour and milk.
- Add salt, pepper and other seasonings to the white sauce. Cool.
- Combine chicken and seasoned sauce.
- Shape into eight croquettes. (About the size of large meatballs.)
- Dip in beaten eggs, then into crumbs.
- Pan-fry in olive oil at medium heat, for 3-5 minutes per side, or until brown.
- Set on napkins to remove excess oil before serving.
Recipe source: Mrs. Simon P. Kraybill; Mennonite Community Cookbook, Herald Press
References: An A to Z of Food and Drink, John Ayto [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 2002 (p. 98), source, TheFoodTimeline.org