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Nothing is more retro than chicken croquettes. The ideal comfort food.
So Retro: Chicken Croquettes
Whenever someone mentions “retro recipes,” chicken croquettes are the first thing that comes to mind.
I’m also sure this was on the menu for weekdays in a lot of homes during the 1950s and 1960s. And that was usually to use leftover chicken or turkey–turkey works equally as well–when either of those were dinner on the previous Sunday. Back in those days, little went to waste. Especially in my home where my mother lived through the depression in England where there was serious rationing.
Croquettes are seriously delicious considering they’re made with leftovers and ordinary ingredients.
Make Basic Croquettes More Interesting
The basic recipe for these croquettes is pretty tasty and satisfying. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t get creative with flavors here.
For lovers of heat, use some hot peppers in place of the optional bell peppers. Some cayenne can be used as well or in place of hot peppers.
A bit of Parmesan or Romano can also be added to the chicken mixture. You can also turn them more cheesy by adding a half cup of shredded cheese to the white sauce.
In fact, there’s almost infinite ways to flavor these, so let your imagination take over. The only thing you have to pay attention to is the chicken mixture must hold together when you roll it into balls.
If you want sauce to serve with these croquettes, that’s pretty easy.
You can opt for a cheese sauce, which is wonderful, or keep to the basic white sauce with some herbs added.
You could double the sauce in the recipe card, using half for the croquette mixture then thinning the other half with more milk or cream. But what I do is make another white sauce–a thinner one–then add either some cheese or some finely chopped fresh parsley. Just follow the same recipe in the card, but use 1 1/2 – 2 tbs of flour. The amounts of cheese and herbs are up to you.
- 2 cups finely chopped cooked chicken see NOTES
- 2 tbs finely chopped onion
- 2 tbs finely chopped celery
- 2 tbs finely diced bell pepper
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp pepper
- 1 egg
- 2 tbs water
- 1 1/2 cups plain dry bread crumbs
- Oil for frying
Thick White Sauce:
- 2 tbs butter
- 3 tbs flour
- 1 cup hot milk
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp dry mustard optional
- Pinch of pepper
- For sauce--melt the butter over medium heat in a medium saucepan. Which in flour, salt, pepper and dry mustard (if using). Gradually add hot milk, while whisking until well blended and there are no lumps. Cook, whisking constantly, for 1 minute. Remove from heat and set aside too cool slightly.
- In a large bowl, mix chicken, onion, celery, bell pepper, salt and pepper.
- Add the cooled white sauce and mix well.
- Beat the egg with the 2 tbs water.
- Form the chicken mixture into balls about the size of a ping pong ball. Dredge in the bread crumbs, then dip in the egg and dredge again with the bread crumbs. Place in the refrigerator while you heat the oil.
- Heat about 2-inches/5 cm of oil in a dutch oven to 350F/180C. Add the croquettes to the hot oil and fry about 1-2 minutes each side or until golden brown. Drain on paper towels.