As a Coal Cracker and Dutchie, I grew up appreciating an elegance that can be found in simple foods, and I recycle ingredients as much as possible and waste as little as possible. Here, those philosophies come together in a classic diner and homey kitchen favorite – chicken croquettes.
With the addition of some seasonings, refrigerator ingredients, and bread crumbs, leftover chicken becomes creamy, golden, crunchy pyramids of goodness, nestled on top of a bed of mashed potatoes bathed in a smooth chicken gravy. If you do not have left-over chicken and do not have the time or inclination to cook it from scratch for this dish, a store-bought rotisserie chicken will yield plenty of meat with which to create these croquettes.
Classic Chicken Croquettes with GravyCourse: EntreeCuisine: Coal Region, Pa. DutchDifficulty: Intermediate
2 cups diced cooked chicken
1/3 cup finely chopped celery (including some leaves if you have them)
1/4 teaspoon celery salt
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon chopped fresh parsley
3/4 cup thick white sauce (see below for white sauce recipe)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 ¼ cups fresh bread crumbs
1 1/4 cups fresh cracker crumbs OR use all fine dry breadcrumbs
2 large eggs, beaten
Vegetable oil for frying
2 to 3 cups chicken gravy (see below for gravy recipe) OR canned/jarred gravy of your choice
Fresh parsley sprigs for garnish
- Thick White Sauce
3 Tablespoons butter or vegetable shortening
3 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup milk
1/4 teaspoon salt
Dash of freshly ground black or white pepper
2 -1/2 cups chicken stock or broth
6 Tablespoons butter
6 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/4 cup chopped celery
1/4 cup chopped onion
Salt and pepper to taste
- Make the thick white sauce, set aside to cool.
- Combine the chicken, celery, celery leaves, celery salt, lemon juice, parsley, white sauce and salt thoroughly in a large mixing bowl. Refrigerate until easy to form croquettes, about 30 minutes.
- Using about 1/2 cup of the chilled mixture for each croquette, form into cones or rectangular croquettes.
- Mix the fresh bread and cracker crumbs together, then roll the croquettes in the crumbs, dip them in the beaten eggs, and then roll them in the crumbs again. Chill for at least 30 minutes until firm.
- Deep fry in 3” of vegetable oil in a large, heavy skillet or fryer at 375° until golden brown, about 5 minutes.
- Keep on a plate in a preheated 300° oven until ready to serve.
- Serve with gravy on the side and garnish with fresh parsley.
- Thick White Sauce
- In a 1 quart saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Gradually add the flour, stirring with a whisk until it becomes a smooth paste, approximately 2 minutes.
- Gradually add the milk, stirring constantly until thickened.
- Add salt and pepper and reduce heat to very low.
- Stir and cook for another minute. Set aside to cool.
- Melt the butter in a heavy saucepan, whisk in the flour and stir over medium heat until golden and bubbling.
- Slowly whisk in the stock, celery and onions, stirring constantly until smooth, creamy and thickened, about 10 minutes.
- Serve immediately.
- Using the meat from a store-bought rotisserie chicken is a real time-saver!