Chicken Croquettes

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Years ago, there was a restaurant called Howard Johnsons that had some chicken croquettes that hold fond memories for a whole lot of people. This croquettes recipe with step-by-step pictures is just as good if not better than anything you'll find in a restaurant.

This croquettes recipe may take some time to prepare but it is well worth it. This recipe will make about 24 good size croquettes so unless you have a large family or you REALLY like chicken croquettes, you might wanna cut the recipe in half. Keep the gravy recipe just like it is though.

Chicken Croquettes

Here's what you are going to need to make 24 good sized croquettes:

For the chicken

2 pounds of boneless, skinless chicken breast
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon thyme
non-stick cooking spray

For the croquettes:

1/2 cup of butter (1 stick)
2 stalks of celery, finely chopped
1/2 onion, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon thyme
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon Accent
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup of All purpose flour
1 cup of milk
1 cup of chicken broth
1 Tablespoon fresh parsley
Peanut or Canola Oil for frying

For the breading:

1 cup of flour
2 eggs
1/2 cup of hot sauce
2 to 3 cups of Panko bread crumbs

For the gravy:

3 Tablespoons of butter
3 Tablespoons of All-Purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon thyme
2 cups of chicken broth
salt and pepper to taste

Here's what you need to do:
Preheat oven to 4oo° F.

Spray a shallow baking sheet with non-stick cooking spray.

Rinse the chicken and pat dry with paper towels.

Place the chicken on the baking sheet and sprinkle with the 1/2 teaspoon of salt, 1/4 teaspoon of black pepper and 1/4 teaspoon of thyme.

Bake in the preheated 400° oven for 30 minutes.

Cut the chicken into large chunks.

Place the chicken in a food processor.

Process until finely ground.

Place the chicken in a medium bowl and set aside.

Heat milk and chicken broth over low heat.

In a large skillet, combine the 1/2 cup of butter, onion, celery, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, 1/4 teaspoon thyme and 1/2 teaspoon Accent.

Saute over medium heat until vegetables are soft, about 7 minutes.

Add the minced garlic and continue cooking another 2 to 3 minutes.

Add the 1 cup of flour.

Stir in the flour and continue cooking another 2 to 3 minutes to cook out the "flour" taste.

Whisk in the warm milk/broth mixture

Continue cooking until mixture is thick and smooth. Cool.

Add the flour mixture to the bowl with the ground chicken. Add the fresh parsley.

Mix well. You may need to get in there with your hands to get it mixed up really well. Set aside.

For the breading:You will need three bowls for breading, in the first bowl, combine the eggs and hot sauce.

In another bowl, you will need to put the 1 cup of flour and in the other bowl, start with 2 cups of the Panko bread crumbs. You can always add more if you need to but Panko crumbs are a little expensive so you don't want to waste them.

Form into 2 ounce balls, about the size of a golf ball. Roll each ball in the flour.

Next, roll it in the egg/hot sauce mixture.

Roll it in the bread crumbs.

Place the chicken croquettes on a baking sheet and allow to "rest" so that the breading will stick while you heat about 2 inches of oil in a deep, heavy bottom pot to 325° F.

Drop the croquettes into the hot oil and fry 6 at a time. Try to keep the temperature of the oil as close to 325° as you can.

Fry for 4 to 5 minutes or until a nice golden brown and crispy.

Drain on a wire rack over paper towels.

For the gravy:In a medium frying pan, melt the butter. Add the flour.

Add the salt, pepper and 1/4 teaspoon of thyme.

Cook, stirring constantly until the flour just begins to brown.

Whisk in the 2 cups of Chicken broth and cook, while continuing to whisk until bubbly.

To serve, top the Chicken Croquettes with gravy and enjoy!

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