If we have to highlight one of the most typical appetizers of Spanish cuisine , we could mention croquetas . Its tradition comes as a «use recipe» , since it consists of a bechamel mixed with those meat or fish leftovers that can traditionally be left over from stews, boiled or roasted, and a crunchy cover based on breadcrumbs. Then they are fried and… delicious!
These super juicy and tasty homemade chicken croquettes are delicious, I think they are one of my favorites and the trick is simply to follow the recipe and use the leftovers of a good cooked or roasted free-range chicken. It is a laborious recipe because you have to spend a lot of time stirring the bechamel, but in return we will obtain some of the most tender croquettes on the inside that you have ever tasted, and of course crispy and golden on the outside .
We talk about «delicate bechamel » because we are going to teach you tricks so that it is perfect for croquettes, that you know when it is thick enough but that it is not lumpy and that requires you to spend a while stirring it. You already know that once done you can add ingredients such as ham , tuna , cod , spinach , mushrooms , prawns or cheese and they will always be delicious.
If you like croquettes, don’t miss out on our delicious and extra crispy homemade ham croquettes or spinach and pine nut croquettes that will surely surprise you.
If you love recipes that incorporate bechamel, you can begin to salivate with these suggestions, such as the classic Bolognese meat lasagna , or the original spinach lasagna . Of course, do not miss the spectacular Greek version of lasagna, the delicious Greek moussaka or moussaka , full of meat and vegetables, and au gratin.
If what you like is to innovate, bring your bechamel to life and use it for these Scandal Macaroni with mustard and cheese bechamel , an authentic house-brand delicacy. And for cheese lovers, these macaroni with Roquefort sauce without cream are ideal , whose base is this delicious bechamel that you are already taking a long time to prepare 😉
Ingredients to make super juicy and tasty homemade chicken croquettes (about 35 croquettes):
- 250 gr of chicken, either cooked or roasted. I have used one of the chicken breasts from my whole and very juicy roast chicken recipe , it was a free-range chicken and the flavor is spectacular. You can also use cooked chicken, but I always recommend that you use a good free-range chicken so that the flavor is irresistible.
- 1 onion.
- 1 tablespoon dried thyme (optional) Including a dried herb that you like such as thyme, rosemary or oregano gives it a delicious flavor bonus.
- Olive oil and salt to sauté the onion.
- 2-3 eggs (for the batter).
- Bread crumbs. In this case I have used the most common breadcrumbs but you can also use coarse breadcrumbs for an extra crispy finish as in my homemade ham croquettes .
- oil for frying We prefer seed or sunflower oil because it doesn’t leave a flavor, but you can use olive oil if you prefer.
- For the homemade bechamel sauce:
- 1 liter of milk.
- 80 gr of flour.*
- 100 grams of butter.
- A pinch of nutmeg.
*I want to make a clarification regarding the amount of flour since it raises so much controversy in the comments. Whenever I prepare croquettes of any kind, I make the same béchamel sauce, obtaining creamy croquettes (as you can see in the photographs) and which are shaped very easily (as you can see in the photographs) since a consistent dough is obtained if you follow the step by step described below. That if, to make the bechamel requires a while, it can be half an hour or even more, over low heat and with patience, until it is thick. If you are in a hurry and you don’t mind making more «mazacote» type croquettes or it is simply the first time you are going to prepare them and you want each step to be simpler and shorter, instead of 80 gr of flour you can raise it up to 100, 120 or even 150 gr.
Preparation, how to make the recipe for homemade chicken croquettes, super juicy and tasty:
- Shred the cooked or roasted chicken by cutting it into very small pieces or however you prefer. I like it small so that later it integrates perfectly with the bechamel.
- Peel and finely chop the onion and, in a frying pan or pot (which will also fit the chicken later) with a little oil and salt over medium heat, poach it until it is tender and begins to brown, it will take about 10 minutes.
- At that time add the chicken along with the herbs (optional), stir everything for a couple of minutes and reserve.
- Now we are going to prepare the bechamel :
- In a saucepan over low heat, add the butter .
- When it is liquid, remove the saucepan from the heat and add the flour . Stir everything well quickly so that a homogeneous paste is formed and there are no lumps of flour.
- Next, put the saucepan back on the fire, add a little milk (half a glass) and continue mixing well. When everything has been integrated, add the rest of the milk and do not stop stirring with a whisk , so that it does not stick to the bottom or form lumps. Remember to keep the fire soft. A good TRICK is to have the milk previously warm or at least at room temperature (never cold) so that it integrates well and does not form lumps.
- Add a pinch of nutmeg and also a little salt.
- To ensure that there are no lumps left and it is thick enough, the TRICK is precisely to keep stirring it non-stop over low heat for approximately 20-30 minutes (depending on the temperature of your fire). It will be ready when, when stirring, grooves are made that allow you to clearly see the bottom of the saucepan.
- When it is almost ready, add the chicken and onion mixture . Taste it a little in case you have to rectify it with salt .
- Remove the saucepan from the heat, pour the croquette dough into another container and let it cool covered in contact with plastic wrap to prevent it from forming a crust. Let it cool down to room temperature first, and when it’s no longer hot, put it in the fridge. You can prepare the bechamel overnight (it’s best), or just wait until it cools down.
- Next, prepare a flat plate with flour , another deep one with the beaten eggs and finally a flat one with the breadcrumbs .
- Now you can shape the croquettes with your own hands, this time I have given them the classic cylindrical shape. A TRICK to take the portions in a simpler and more uniform way is to use an ice cream scoop, preferably a small one, and you will see that it helps you a lot in the task.
- Pass each croquette through flour, then through egg and finally through breadcrumbs.
- When you have them all ready, let them rest between 30 minutes and 1 hour to get them to room temperature and thus prevent them from opening when you fry them.
- Now you can fry the croquettes in a fryer or in a pan:
- In a saucepan or deep frying pan : add plenty of oil . Put the fire high, and when the oil is very hot (without smoking), fry them for a few minutes, making sure they are done on all sides.
- In a fryer, add oil up to the mark on the fryer itself and set it to heat up to 180ºC. When it has reached that temperature, place the croquettes in the basket (you will have to make several batches, make sure that in each batch they are not on top of each other but all flat in the basket) and fry them until they are golden on the outside to your liking, keep an eye on them and even taking out the basket to check how they are going, it will take about 4-5 minutes.
- As they are fried, drain them and put them on a plate with kitchen paper to soak the oil.
Time: 20 minutes crumbling meat and frying + 30 minutes bechamel sauce + rest to cool down + 1 hour to form and fry them
Serve and taste:
These croquettes as they come out of the pan say «eat me» . It is a pleasure to eat them hot , freshly made , although warm they are not bad at all. And of course they can be frozen , either before or after frying. Further down in the tips section I tell you how to do it.
You will see that with our recipe you will have a super crunchy exterior and inside they will be juicy and full of flavor , authentic… scandal!
Variants of the recipe for homemade chicken croquettes, super juicy and tasty:
If you want to give them a plus of flavor we have two suggestions. Substitute 200 ml of milk for 200 ml of homemade cooked broth and the bechamel will be even tastier.
Flavor to your liking with herbs as I have suggested above, but you can also use spices and give it a totally different touch: curry, paprika or cumin are great.
Do not stop stirring the bechamel at the end of the process, since if it sticks to the bottom it will be left with lumps or it may even burn and turn dark.
Forming the croquettes is not easy , and everyone has their method. You can use two teaspoons to give them a round shape, use an ice cream scoop , or even a wide-mouth pastry bag to make them as if they were churros, and then cut them. We usually make the balls by hand , and even better with gloves , because although they stick, they give you a more agile feeling in your hands. Of course, in any case, patience and affection.
Since preparing croquettes is somewhat laborious, especially to shape them, I recommend you prepare this amount or even multiply it by 2 or 3 and thus make many croquettes at once. Best of all, you can freeze them, both before frying and after. To do this, place them on a tray in the freezer (if it is after they are fried, wait until they are completely cold), separate from each other, and when about 1 hour has passed and they are quite hard, you can put them all together in a bag. or container and store them for months. If you have frozen them without frying then I recommend you defrost them for a few hours and then fry them, or if you want you can fry them directly frozen but you must be careful that they do not get cold inside. And if you have frozen them already fried , the best way to revive them is to heat them in the microwave at minimum power and check every minute if they are already hot.