Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Chicken Croquettes

I have been cooking, I swear.  Almost every night I make dinner. I've even started baking again, some muffins, some scones, some cookies, a cake.  It's just that it's all been familiar.  Safe.  Easy.  And that can get just a little bit boring.  So last week I dragged a stack of cookbooks over to the sofa and started paging through them for something new to try.  I looked through three whole cookbooks. But honestly, I'd made up my mind the minute I saw these chicken croquettes.  Tasty nuggets of chickeny goodness?  Yes please!!  It's the very first thing I've made from Secrets of the Best Chefs: Recipes, Techniques, and Tricks from America's Greatest Cooks by Adam D. Roberts, which I got last Christmas.  Don't worry, I'm embarrassed about it too. On the upside, I will be using the cookbook again, whether for the croquettes or something that appears after 104 which is when my mind was officially poisoned against all other recipes.

Verdict: Delicious.

adapted from Secrets of the Best Chefs

1 lb ground chicken or turkey
8 oz mushrooms - I used baby bella, the recipe asked for shiitake
3 cloves garlic
3 T sun dried tomato, minced
3 T grated parmesan
1/4 C bread crumbs
2 large eggs
salt and pepper
vegetable oil for frying
1 T butter
1 C panko bread crumbs

Wash and roughly quarter your mushrooms.  Toss them in a food processor with the garlic cloves and give everything a good whir until it's small chunks.  Mine ended up more towards the paste end of the spectrum from using a teensy food processor, but I'd aim for the size you'd get if you'd minced everything.  Then melt the butter in a small saute pan.  Add the mushroom and garlic mixture, sprinkle with a bit of salt and pepper and cook for 3-5 minutes until mushrooms are tender.

Deal with your sun-dried tomatoes.  Mine were dried and needed to be reconstituted, which I did according to the package directions.  But yours might be jarred in oil.  Either way, chop them up until itty-bitty.

In a large bowl, combine your ground poultry, mushroom and garlic mixture, minced sun dried tomatoes, the grated parm, the bread crumbs, the eggs and a teaspoon of salt and a good sprinkle of black pepper.  Mix the whole thing up (use your hands) until well combined.  If you like to check your seasoning, you could fry up one little ball and then taste it, but otherwise, begin making your croquettes.  Form little patties (mine were about 2 inches in diameter) out of the meat mixture.

Pour the panko bread crumbs on a clean plate. Coat the patties with the panko and set them aside (you can leave them like this in the fridge for several hours if necessary).

In a large skillet, heat up your oil.  You want enough to coat the bottom of the pan, but you don't need any real depth to it.  Coat the bottom well, no skimping.  Heat it on medium heat and pop in your croquettes.  Cook them 3-4 minutes per side.  They are done when the middle is no longer pink.

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