I have a confession. I don’t really like turkey. I never have. So when the holidays roll around, I’m always looking forward to a different dish — one that my family has been making since I was just a wee child. Chicken croquettes!
I’m not sure where this recipe actually originated. But here’s the story my mom has always told.
I was a very picky eater as a child. And who am I kidding? I still am. My parents struggled to get me to eat anything beyond hot dogs, Vienna sausages and, I shit you not, Miracle Whip sandwiches. That’s right, two slices of white bread glued together with Miracle Whip. But one fateful evening when I was very young, young enough that I don’t have the slightest recollection of this, my parents were invited to a dinner gathering. The hostess served these very croquettes, and I apparently gobbled them up. It was the first real food my parents had ever seen me actually enjoy. My mom asked for the recipe, and my love affair with chicken croquettes was born.
Growing up, we served these with Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners every single year, and I have continued that tradition as an adult. Since Chris and I were on vacation this year over Thanksgiving, I decided to make them (along with another holiday favorite, sweet potato casserole) when we got back. I thought this would be a perfect time to share the recipe with you since Christmas is right around the corner. I hope you’ll give these croquettes a try for your holiday celebrations this year!
Boil chicken in a large pot of water until cooked through. Let cool, then dice into 1/2 inch pieces.
Melt butter in a large skillet or saucepan. Add onion, and cook until soft and translucent.
Add flour and cook for about 30 seconds to create a roux. Add milk and chicken stock, stirring constantly until it begins to thicken and bubble.
Remove from heat and stir in lemon juice, parsley, paprika, nutmeg, salt & pepper, adding all spices to taste. Stir in diced chicken, and chill mixture for 10-15 minutes. Once chilled, you should be able to form a ball with the mixture.
Begin heating your oil for frying, either in a large pot or a deep fryer.
In a small bowl, beat together eggs and a couple of Tbsp of water. Add crushed crackers to a separate large bowl.
Spoon out chicken mixture and shape into balls. I prefer mine about the size of an egg. Dip the mixture into the eggs, then the crackers, and repeat to double coat the croquette.
Deep fry croquettes until golden brown.
Croquettes can be made a day in advance. Make as directed through the breading step, cover and refrigerate overnight. Remove croquettes 30 minutes to an hour before frying to ensure they will reheat all the way through.
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