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Chicken Croquettes

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  • 1/4 cup margarine
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 cup each minced onion and celery
  • 2 cups cooked chopped chicken or turkey
  • 1 egg, mixed with 1 tablespoon water
  • 1/4 cup additional flour
  • 3/4 cup fine dry bread crumbs

These are really really good. They are sort of like chicken cutlets, but much much better. This recipe has to be started in the morning, after breakfast because it has to cool down quite a bit before you can form the croquettes.

First you make a thick white sauce. Get out a 2-quart saucepan and melt the margarine in it, over medium heat. Stir in the flour with a whisk or a fork. Keep stirring the flour until all of the lumps are gone, and the fat totally absorbs the flour. Slowly whisk in the milk. Stir it until it is smooth. Add the salt and pepper. Cook and stir the sauce over medium heat until it comes to a full rolling boil. Boil for one full minute. Remove it from the stove, and stir in the minced celery, onion and chopped cooked chicken or turkey. Put it into the fridge. Let it cool until it is very stiff, at least several hours.

When the mixture is cold and firm, you can start making the croquettes. Using 1/4-cup of the mixture for each one, form a patty, about 1/2-inch thick. You should have enough of the chicken mixture to make 8 patties. Lay them on a plate and prepare the breading procedure.

Get out 3 bowls. Put the 1/4-cup additional flour in one bowl, the egg beaten with the water in the next bowl, and finally the dry bread crumbs in the last bowl. You are making an assembly line of sorts. Lay a patty into the flour first, then into the egg, and lastly into the dry bread crumbs. Coat the croquettes the best you can, but don't worry too much about them being perfect. As each croquette is finished, lay it on another plate or platter, or cookie sheet. When they are all coated, chill them again for about an hour.

To cook these, you have several options. They can be deep-fried like French fries or chicken nuggets. Kids like 'em best this way, but it isn't always practical. They can be pan-fried in a well oiled skillet until they are golden brown. Or they can be baked at 400 degrees for about 25 minutes. They have to be turned over after about 15 minutes, so that both sides form a nice crispy crust. Serve with chicken gravy if desired, or just plain with ketchup is good too.

This recipe makes 8 croquettes. It is also a bit more work than most of my recipes. For this reason, I recommend boiling up a lot of chicken leg quarters and using the meat to make double or even triple amounts of this recipe. It has a lot of kid appeal and it tastes really good, so it is definitely worth the effort. The extra croquettes can be arranged on a plastic wrap lined cookie sheet and frozen solid. Then collect them all in a bread bag and store them in the freezer. When you want them for lunch or supper, just take out how ever many you need and cook them up as you see fit. They are very easy to deep fry when they are frozen.

Freezer Cooking

 
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