Okay, it’s about 4:00 in the morning, the temperature outside is flirting with the freezing mark, and I’m up and about. Guru, my Jack Russell terrier is following me and probably wondering what I’m doing out of my nice warm bed. Well, I have an idea for a new appetizer, and it’s time to make it happen.
Chicken croquettes have been around for a long time, but these are going into the oven; as opposed to the traditional deep-frying method, and I’ve added panko over regular breadcrumbs to give them a bit of a crunch... that and a few other tricks.
When the foaming subsides add the flour and whisk until smooth, about 1 minute.
Chef’s Note: The process of combining fat and butter is known as making a roux. There are several ways to make a roux, and we’re making a blonde roux (please no blonde jokes). In other words, whisk to combine, but don’t allow the mixture to brown.
Combine the liquids (milk, stock) into a single container, and then slowly add to the roux, while constantly whisking.
Continue to whisk until the mixture thickens.
Remove from the heat, and allow the mixture to cool for about 10 minutes.
In a good size bowl, add the chicken with the panko breadcrumbs, the parsley, salt, pepper, and cayenne, and then lightly toss to combine.
Chef’s Note: You can purchase pre-cooked chicken; however, I prefer to slowly cook my own in some butter and grapeseed oil.
Beat the eggs, add them to the bowl, and gently fold together.
Add the reserved sauce to the bowl.
Fold the mixture until thoroughly blended
Cover the bowl, and allow the ingredients to rest in the refrigerator for about 2 hours, or overnight.
Chef’s Note: This resting period is very important because it will help to firm up the croquettes when they are baking. If you skip this step they will have a tendency to fall apart as they bake, and I hate it when that happens.
COATING & BAKING
Place a rack in the middle position, and preheat the oven to 360f (182c).
In a small dish, combine the Parmesan cheese with the remaining panko breadcrumbs.
Using an ice cream scoop (if you have one) scoop out a nice portion of the croquette mixture, and form into a ball.
Chef’s Note: Each of the mini croquettes should weigh about 2.5 ounces.
Carefully roll the croquette in the breadcrumb/Parmesan mixture.
Place them on a parchment-lined baking sheet, and make sure they are not touching.
Bake in the preheated oven for 20 to 30 minutes, or until golden brown.
Serve as appetizers with a nice sauce, or make them bigger and serve them as a main dish (along with your favorite sides). Enjoy.
Keep the faith, and keep cooking.
Chef's Tips: I made a second batch of these and added a bit of pepper-jack cheese and some parmesan. Then I added a bit of cayenne, salt, and pepper to the coating. Served them up swimming in a plate of homemade tomato sauce.