Homemade Chicken Croquettes With Dijon Pepper Sauce

 

I was really craving some freshly made chicken croquettes, but there was just one problem. I really didn't know how to make them. I knew that my mom used to make them for us growing up, so I decided to giver her a call. She told me, "It's really simple. Just make a roux, mix it with chicken, breaded it, and bake or fry it." I asked, "Okay, what are the measurements?" She said, "I don't know, you want about a cup."

Did that mean anything to any of you? Because it meant nothing to me.

Going back to the drawing board, I decided to take the bull by the horn and hedge forward with my own passion and unique skill for coming up with a recipe as I went. In other words, I grabbed a bunch of ingredients, threw it all together, and the end result was some pretty amazing chicken croquettes, if I do say so myself. They were so good, that as I was savoring them, I said to myself, "I would pay money for these in a restaurant."

Well, no need to worry about finding a place to get these. I'm going to tell you step by step how I made them. I promise you that you will enjoy them!

I'm going to split this recipe for the croquettes into two sections. I'll then finish it off with the sauce.

Ingredients (part 1)

2 1/2 Pounds Boneless / Skinless Chicken Breasts
1 Tablespoon Salt
2 Tablespoon Pepper
1 Tablespoon Dried Minced Onions
1 Tablespoon Parsley

Fill a large pot with water, and put it on the stove over medium high heat. Put your salt, pepper, minced onions, and parsley in it. Give it a good stir, and add your chicken breast. Let this boil until the chicken is cooked, which should take about forty minutes.

When your chicken is done, pull it out of the water, and dump the liquid down the sink. You don't need it anymore. Though, I suppose you could keep the liquid as a broth starter, or boil some noodles, rice or potatoes in it for a side dish. Up to you. As for me, I dumped it, because I was going to reuse the pot.

Chicken Croquettes are made from shredded chicken, but obviously right out of the pot, it's incredibly hot. You want to let your chicken cool just a bit before ripping it apart, if you're doing it by hand. I'm not, so I can let it cool for a few minutes to redistribute the juices inside.

I've placed my chicken in my KitchenAid mixing bowl, and I've attached the paddle attachment to it. Before you think I'm crazy, this is the definitive way of shredding chicken. Simple turn the mixer on low, and gradually work your way up to medium, and check this out.





Amazing, isn't it? You can also do this with a hand mixer, but definitely keep it on low for a while. Otherwise you're going to have chicken all over the ceiling.

On to the next step.

Ingredients (part 2)

6 Tablespoons Butter
6 Tablespoons Flour
3 Cups Heavy Whipping Cream (Divided Into One Cup and Two Cups)
1 Tablespoon Pepper
2 Teaspoons Salt
1/8 Teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
1 Cup Shredded Mexican Blend Cheese
1/4 Cup Unseasoned Bread Crumbs
1/4 Cup Grated Parmesan Cheese

Start by making your roux by melting your butter over medium heat.

Then add your flour.

Stir this into the butter, and let it cook, while stirring frequently, until it turns a nutty brown color.

Stir in two cups of your heavy whipping cream, reserving the remaining one cup for a moment. Immediately start whisking.


When it's fully incorporated with the roux base, add your pepper, salt and cayenne.

Continue to whisk, and let the sauce simmer. When it gets thick. See the photo below for consistency.

Add your remaining one cup of cream, and remove from heat, continuing to whisk until smooth. Immediately pour this over your chicken, and mix it all together. See the photo below for the consistency after adding the additional cream.

This part will work well with a KitchenAid and paddle attachment on low speed. Otherwise, use a large spoon or rubber spatula. I don't know that I would recommend stirring hold liquid with an electric hand mixer. That seems dangerous.

Once you have your sauce and chicken incorporated together, see above photo for consistency, add 1 cup of your shredded cheese. While I'm using Mexican Blend, I'm sure you can use any cheese you like and / or want.

Mix it on low to incorporate the cheese.

Add your bread crumbs and Parmesan cheese, and mix again to incorporate.

Cover with plastic, and put in the fridge.

But wait a minute. This mix right here, as is, is amazing just as is. It's packed with flavor, and you can eat it by the spoonful if you want. I imagine it would also make one amazing chicken salad sandwich. Put it on a casserole and bake it. Serve it over rice. I'm telling you, this is good.

However, for the purpose of this meal, and today's post, I was croquette bound, which meat I needed this to chill thoroughly, and bind together. Using the photo above as an image of what it should look like, and not an example of your next step, spread the mixture out over a wax paper lined cookie sheet or cake pan, and throw it in the freezer for thirty minutes to set.

You need to ultimately be able to roll this into the croquette shapes, so you need it very cold, almost frozen. Like what you see on the spoon.

Roll your croquettes to your desired shape and size, and place them on a new piece of wax paper lined baking sheet.

Pop them back into the freezer for fifteen minutes, and start your next steps, which are breading, baking / frying, and making your sauce.

For the breading, you need the following ingredients:

3 Cups Unseasoned Bread Crumbs
3 Cups Panko Bread Crumbs
6 Eggs
2 Tablespoons Lemon Juice

I made this in two separate batches, using half my ingredients each time. Not because I was under anticipating what I would need, but rather because I was double dredging my croquettes to ensure crispy breading, which results in lumpy eggs as it gets absorbed.

With that in mind, whisk three eggs together.

Add one tablespoon of lemon juice, and mix it into the eggs.

In a separate dish, mix one and a half cups of bread crumbs with one and a half cups of panko, and stir to incorporate.

Roll your croquette in egg to thoroughly coat it.

Roll it in your bread crumbs to coat it.

Return the croquette to your egg mixture, and coat it again.

Then repeat this again with the bread crumbs.

Repeat until this is done for all of the croquettes, making more egg and crumb mixture as needed.

You need your croquettes to set, so place your tray back in the freezer for fifteen more minutes.

Now, if you're baking these, you're going to need more time than you would if frying. Though I have not tried this method myself, I would guess you need a high temp to crisp them, such as 425 to 450, and at least twenty minutes, flipping them half way through cooking to get a good crunch on both sides.

As for me, I'm going the traditional frying method. It's not healthy by any means, but neither is this recipe in general. Because I'm frying, these are going to take about five to seven minutes on each side, and that means I also need to simultaneously cook my sauce.

Ingredients

2 Tablespoons Butter
2 Tablespoons Flour
1 Cup Heavy Whipping Cream
4 Tablespoons Dijon Mustard
1 Tablespoon Pepper

Yes, I'm making a roux again. First though, I'm heating my oil over 350 degrees in my electric skillet.

Then while that's heating, I'm getting started on the sauce.

Referencing the photos above from my first roux, if needed, melt your butter, add the flour, and stir it to a nutty brown.

Add your cream, and Dijon mustard, and keep stirring.

While continuing to stir, add your pepper, and immediately remove the pot from the heat. The more this simmers, the thicker it is going to get. If it gets too thick for your liking, simply add more cream to thin it out. I prefer mine to be able to sit on top of stuff, without filling the plate with liquid, so I like mine a bit thicker.

While cooking my sauce, I was actively frying up a few croquettes. The rest, I packed up in Ziploc bags, and froze for later.

I'm looking for a golden brown breading around the entire croquette, which means I was flipping these periodically to achieve this. You really just have to eyeball it.


Meanwhile, my sauce was waiting for me to introduce it to the croquettes.


Removing them from the oil, I put them in a wire strainer, and shake out any excess grease.

You know what's coming! 

Serve you up a plate, and get to digging in!


Since I didn't make any side dishes to go with them, I was a little Piglet, and crushed four of them.

Speaking of crushing, I did that too in order to get more sauce on top. Oink, oink!


The next day, I took the remaining two, and made a sandwich.

With a freezer full of chicken croquettes, and six in my tummy already, I'm set for a long while on these. 

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