This is a recipe my mother made when we had leftover chicken or turkey when I was growing up. If I remember correctly, she may have made them with ham as well. I don’t think I have had them since I lived at home many years ago. Once again, I got her recipe out of her beloved Betty Crocker cookbook. I did tweak it a little here and there, but it is pretty much the same as she used to make.
I wasn’t able to cook them the night I prepared the croquettes and I wasn’t sure how they would come out a day later. They were perfect! So now I know you can make them a day ahead and keep them in the refrigerator until ready to cook.
The original recipe calls for frozen peas in a cream sauce, does that even exist anymore? I am not sure what my mother did for this part of the recipe, I just remember there being a white sauce with peas. I went with the variation of using plain frozen peas and the Veloute Sauce that it gave as an option.
I have to say, I didn’t expect them to be as delicious as they were. Very good!
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup flour
1 cup milk
salt and pepper
2 cups finely chopped cooked chicken
1 tbsp. minced onion
1 tsp. parsley
2 tbsp. water
1/4 cup plain breadcrumbs
1 tbsp. grated parmesan cheese
8 oz. frozen peas
Veloute Sauce (see below)
The first thing you need to do is finely chop chicken and set aside. I did not have leftover chicken as my mother used to, so I cooked a few boneless chicken breasts. The next time I have leftovers I will think to make these.
Melt the butter in a saucepan over low/medium heat. Add some salt and pepper, then whisk in the flour to create a roux. I actually used a little more flour than it called for.
Add the milk while whisking and bring to a boil. This sauce thickened in no time so be prepared. It may be because of the additional flour that I used.
Mix the chicken, onion (I didn’t use onion because my son doesn’t like onion), parsley, and salt and pepper in with the thick sauce.
Spread into an ungreased dish and refrigerate for 2 hours.
Divide the mixture into 12 equal parts and shape into balls. Beat the egg and water together. Combine the breadcrumbs and parmesan. Dip each ball into the egg mixture, then roll in the breadcrumb parmesan mixture. The parmesan wasn’t in the original recipe but I like to add a little cheese. Cover and refrigerate for another 2 hours.
The original recipe calls for the croquettes to be fried in 3 to 4 inches of oil, which I did. Next time I think I might try baking them at 350 degrees to cut out some of the fat. You can do either and I would imagine they taste better fried. Doesn’t everything?
It only takes about a minute or two until they turn brown.
While they are cooking prepare the sauce.
Veloute Sauce –
2 tbsp. butter
2 tbsp. flour
1 cup chicken broth
1/4 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. pepper
1/8 tsp. nutmeg
Melt butter in a saucepan over low heat. Whisk in the flour and cook for a few minutes creating a roux. Whisk in the chicken broth and heat to boiling while whisking constantly. Boil for 1 minute then stir in the salt, pepper, and nutmeg.
Add the frozen peas and cook until warm.
Serve sauce over the croquettes.