Fritters, Rissoles, Croquettes
– it doesn’t really matter what you call them as long as you call them good eats. They really are great and have been around for a very long time. The word croquette comes from the French croquer, meaning “to crunch”.
In all parts of the world, these rolled or flattened patties are just about always fried and some times baked. My favorite main ingredient is crab but salmon, tuna, chicken, beef and even potato are also equally good. Making croquettes is a great way in using leftover foods. The recipe below is one I have used many times and the taste is what a croquette should be – a tasty mildly flavored chicken patty with a crunchy outside coating . Enjoy!
4 tablespoons lard or butter (not margarine)
6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup milk
1/2 cup chicken broth
3 cups ground or finely chopped cooked chicken
1 teaspoon minced onion
1 teaspoon minced bell pepper
1 teaspoon minced celery
1 tablespoon chopped parsley
Salt and pepper to taste
1 egg, beaten
1 tablespoon water
Dry sifted bread crumbs (I some times use Panko for a bigger crunch)
Cooking lard or Crisco for frying
Melt butter in a saucepan, remove from heat and stir in the flour until it is smooth. Combine the milk and broth and gradually blend into the butter paste until the mixture is smooth. Cook over medium heat stirring constantly until thick. Remove and chill in the refrigerator until cold.
Fold in the chicken, vegetables, add salt and pepper to taste. Shape mixture into 6 or 8 cylinders or flatten into patties.
Combine the egg with the water. Dip each croquette into the egg and coat in the breadcrumbs. Repeat a second time. Place on a pan, cover and refrigerate for an hour to dry out the coating.
Heat the lard in a fryer or deep kettle to 365 degrees. Place 2 or 3 croquettes at a time in a frying basket and lower into the oil. Do not overcrowd the fryer. Cook until brown on all sides, remove and let drain on paper towels. Serve hot with your favorite sauce.