Friday, November 19, 2010

Spanish Chicken & Corn Croquettes

It has been almost 10 years since G bought me this Spanish Tapas cookbook for my birthday (he figured I'd be happier receiving a cookbook with mouth-watering photos of food rather than flowers, and that still holds true to this day). It's interesting that food that may not have appealed to you (or me) a few years back suddenly appears more interesting and relevant when you revisit the cookbook, especially when you go, "Oh yeah, I know those herbs go really well with that meat" or "I've made something similar before and this sounds pretty easy to make"...etc.

Well, these croquettes are easy to prepare with simple basic ingredients, and as such, you can add in your favourite spices, herbs, vegetables, bacon and so on. I tweaked the recipe a little and added some parsley, corn and peas (peas weren't a good idea because the kids started picking them out one by one! But corn is good, sweet and adds some texture to the creamy chicken filling). When I took a bite of these, it instantly reminded me of the deep-fried Japanese Korokkes, and they are so soft and creamy on the inside. This Spanish version of the croquette uses a roux in lieu of potatoes to bind the meat together, and I like the idea of cooking the chicken first before blending it finely, as this gives it a smooth velvety texture. There are many variations you can make to the recipe, and I think next time I might try making a curry croquette, and use mashed potatoes and onions instead. These ones I've made, however, are totally delicious and addictive. Serve them with a drizzle of lemon juice, and perhaps dipped in some barbecue sauce or mayonnaise. Yum!

Here is the recipe below:

Chicken Croquettes


2 tbsp butter
1/4 cup plain flour
2/3 cup milk
1 tbsp olive oil
1 chicken breast fillet, with skin on (approx 250g), diced
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 tbsp corn/peas
1 small egg, beaten with 1 tbsp milk
1 cup panko crumbs (or fresh breadcrumbs will do too)
Vegetable oil for deep frying
Salt and black pepper
1 tbsp Italian flat-leaf parsley, plus extra for garnish
Lemon wedges, to serve


  1. Melt butter in a small saucepan. Add flour, stir and cook for 1-2 minutes. Gradually beat in the milk until the sauce is thick and smooth. Cover with a lid and remove from heat.
  2. Heat oil in a frying pan and cook chicken with the garlic until chicken is lightly browned and cooked through.
  3. Pour contents of the frying pan (remove liquid if any) into a blender and process until finely chopped. Stir into the sauce together with the chopped parsley, corn and peas. Season with plenty of salt and pepper. Let cool completely and refrigerate for at least half an hour to firm up.
  4. Wet both hands with water and shape the mixture into small sausages, then dip in egg and then breadcrumbs. Deep fry in hot oil until crisp and lightly golden (about 4 minutes). Drain on paper towels and serve with lemon and garnish with parsley.
Note: You can refrigerate the shaped "sausages" before crumbing them so that they are easier to handle.