Thursday, December 8, 2011

Chicken Croquettes (Croquetas de Pollo)

This is one of those dishes that kids grow up with in Spain. It is a simple and delicious recipe to use leftover chicken, ham, codfish etc. It uses a thicker béchamel with those leftover ingredients and the croquettes are breaded. In Spain "croquetas" are served as a tapa, an appetizer, or main dish. I don't know any kid or grown up who doesn't like them. In this case I had one uncooked chicken breast -not enough to feed a family of five so the solution was to make croquettes.


1/2 Chicken Breast boiled and finely chopped in a food processor
1/4 Pound Unsalted Butter
1/2 Onion finely chopped
1 1/4 Cup flour
4 Cups whole milk
Salt to taste
Nutmeg to taste
Olive oil

To bread:

2 Whisked eggs

In a deep pan melt the butter and cook the onions until translucent. Then add the flour and stir until it is cooked a little bit to get rid of the flour flavor. Add the milk, stirring continuously until the mixture starts thickening, and then add the chicken, salt and nutmeg until the mixture starts bubbling. Remove from the stove and pour in a flat pan. Let it sit in the refrigerator overnight or at least a few hours.

When you are ready to make the "croquetas" have three plates ready - one for the flour, one for the egg and one for the breadcrumbs. With a spoon get some of the mixture and start forming small oblong shapes (about two inches), then put them in the flour, egg and breadcrumbs. I do the last steps with the egg and breadcrumbs twice. In hot olive oil, just enough to cover half the height of the croquettes, cook them, making sure they are done evenly on all sides. Remove when they get a nice brown color and set them on a paper towel.

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