I ate at a local diner last week and ordered chicken croquettes. I really haven't made or eaten them in years. When I was a kid I use to love the frozen ones. I think they were Howard Johnstons brand? Anyhow, the diner served them up with gravy, mashed potatoes and corn. Sadly, they were horrible. They had absolutely no taste and not a shred of chicken. I decided to make my own this week and turned to one of my go to chef's, Rachael Ray. She never lets me down and she certainly didn't let me down with this chicken croquette recipe.
For the most part I followed her recipe but I did make a few small changes using ingredients that I like and that I thought would enhance the flavor. I also left out some ingredients that I don't like. Some cooks put all the chicken in a food processor but I like to chop the chicken finely and leave a few bigger pieces as well. Give it a try, you won't be disappointed.
For the chicken:
Two and 1/2 Cups Cooked, Chopped and Cooled Chicken
For the croquettes
4 tablespoons butter
1 small onion, very finely chopped
1/4 cup chopped celery
Salt and pepper
1/2 teaspoon Bells All Natural Seasoning
6 tablespoons flour
2 cups chicken stock
1/3 cup of cream. ( I use 1/2 and 1/2 )
4 egg yolks
1 cup fine breadcrumbs, divided
1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
A small handful of flat leaf parsley, very finely chopped
About 1/3 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese (a couple small handfuls)
1 extra-large egg
1/4 cup water
For the gravy:
3 tablespoons butter
4 tablespoons flour
2 1/2 cups chicken stock
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
Salt and black pepper
1 extra-large egg yolk, beaten
For the croquettes, heat the butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and Celery and season with salt, pepper and Bells Seasoning. Stir for 5-6 minutes to soften, then add the flour and whisk for 1 minute. Whisk in the chicken stock, then cream. Add some to a small bowl with the egg yolks to temper, then add everything back to the sauce and let thicken. Remove from heat and stir in about 1/2 cup breadcrumbs – the sauce should be very thick. Let cool, then pour room temperature sauce over cold chicken. Combine and chill at least 1 hour more.
Heat a few inches of oil in a Dutch oven or in a counter top fryer to 360°F-365°F.
Pre-heat the oven to 275°F and place a wire rack in a rimmed baking sheet.
Combine the remaining breadcrumbs with the panko, parsley and cheese in a shallow dish. Beat the egg with water in a second shallow dish.
For the gravy, melt the butter in a sauce-pot or skillet over medium to medium-high heat. Whisk in the flour, cook for 1-2 minutes, then add the stock and let thicken. Season with Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper. Ladle some gravy into the egg yolk to temper, then add back to the gravy; adjust the seasoning, to taste, and reduce the heat to low.
Use an ice cream scoop to form shape or use damp hands to roll balls and form 12-15 croquettes. Turn the croquettes in the egg wash, then gently press the breading mixture evenly all over the croquettes. Fry the croquettes 3-4 at a time until deeply golden, turning the conical shapes gently as they cook to evenly brown, 5-6 minutes per croquette.