I love roast chicken. I love the way it fills the house with such a delicious aroma, making everyone, including my kids, clamor for dinner. I love how easy it is, just rub it with some spices and pop it in the oven. I usually make a roast chicken most weeks, just to feed the kids and to make lunches.
This week I had some leftover roast chicken and stuffing and I decided to vary our routine by using those leftovers to adapt a Christmas family favorite: chicken croquettes. At Christmastime, my father is the one that normally whips these up from the mountains of leftover turkey. I have a new appreciation for his labor of love after putting these together! They were more work than I realized, but well worth it. Each bite is pure comfort, and they were a hit with the kids, even with the veggies I added in.
Ingredients For Veloute:
- 3 tablespoons of butter
- 6 tablespoons of flour
- 3 cups of chicken stock
- 2 egg yolks
- Leftover roast chicken and stuffing*, coarsely chopped (about 3 cups, I used 4 drumsticks and a breast to make 30 croquettes)
- 1/2 cup of chopped carrots
- 1/2 cup of chopped celery
- 1 cup of breadcrumbs
- 4 eggs, beaten
*Note – the stuffing is optional, but it adds to the taste and texture. I would substitute some bread crumbs and raisins if you don’t have stuffing.
1) Make a veloute (this sounds much scarier than it is – it’s just stock thickened with flour). Melt the 3 tablespoons of butter in a medium stockpot over medium heat, add the flour and stir constantly for about 3-4 minutes, until the flour taste is cooked off. Don’t let this brown. Add the chicken stock all at once, stirring constantly until thickened. Once it is thickened and coats the back of your spoon, turn off the heat. Then add in the egg yolks and stir until thoroughly mixed. Set aside.
2) In a food processor, chop the leftover chicken and stuffing until fine. Add in the vegetables and pulse until well incorporated.
3) Pour chicken mixture into the veloute and stir until completely incorporated.
4) Refrigerate the chicken/veloute mixture for an hour or two, to firm it up.
5) Remove from the fridge and form into 3 inch long logs on a cookie sheet covered with foil.
6) Heat some vegetable oil in a pan on medium heat. Dip each croquette first in the beaten egg mixture and then roll in the breadcrumbs. Pan fry in batches until brown on both sides, about 4 minutes on each side. Set on paper towels to dry.
7) These can be eaten hot, but honestly I prefer them the next day, reheated in the oven or microwave. We’ve made fancy sauces to go with them, but I love to dip them in ketchup too.