Saturday, January 15, 2011

New Recipe: Jennifer's Chicken Croquettes

A long time ago, I made Salmon Croquettes following a recipe from Paula Deen. They came out really good and were a frugal choice for lean times. Well, lean times continue so I began looking for more frugal, yet tasty recipes. After looking at several chicken croquette recipes, I combined what I liked best about all of them, using only what I had on hand. The canned chicken goes on sale BOGO at Publix often enough and the rest of the ingredients are what I consider pantry staples. Except for the red peppers, I picked those up at Big Lots a while back and have been looking for an opportunity to use them.

Our dinner last night was the tasty result of my searching and pantry pilfering. Even Mary ate about 1 1/2 of them, though Charlotte didn't care for the soft texture on the inside.

Jennifer's Chicken Croquettes
  • 1 stick butter
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock
  • 3 cans chicken, drained (about 3 cups of chicken)
  • 1 cup seasoned dry bread crumbs
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 2 roasted red peppers (from a jar), diced
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

Melt butter over low heat. Make a roux with flour. Once you have cooked your flour well (so that it doesn't really taste like flour anymore), add the milk and chicken stock. Whisk until your mixture is smooth and creamy then remove from heat to cool.

While you wait for your roux to cool, finely chop your chicken (I used my Pampered Chef chopper and it got the chicken really fine). Put it in a large mixing bowl and add bread crumbs, red peppers, egg, salt, pepper, and onion powder. Mix together then add cooled roux and combine thoroughly.

Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let chill in the refrigerator for about 2 hours, or until needed. (This is a perfect meal to prep while the littles are napping). Chilling the mixture makes it easier to form into patties later.

Just before dinner time, heat skillet with just enough oil to cover the bottom. While it heats, scoop out equal portions of your chicken mixture (I use an ice cream type scoop). I found it was easiest to drop the scoop into my hand and flatten it with my fingers before placing it in the pan. Let cook a few minutes on each side, until desired browning has been achieved. I let a couple of mine go longer to get some really crispy bits on the edges. Add additional oil as needed.

Drain on cookie rack over a paper towel, then serve.

Alternate ideas - I want to try baking these to see if I can make them a little healthier. And you could replace onion powder with 1 diced, sauteed onion for a more robust flavor and added texture.

Do you have any frugal recipes that use pantry staples?

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