June 24, 2012

Leftover Chicken? Make these!

I pulled out this recipe last night after realizing I had almost a full rotisserie chicken in the fridge that I needed to use. I had used some of the meat for chicken and black bean quesadillas a few nights ago and wanted to use up the rest of the meat so I could get the bones into a pot with veggies and herbs to make some more of my homemade chicken stock.

These are called chicken croquettes, and they're great not only because they are a unique way to use up any kind of leftover chicken you have (I've used leftover baked, roasted, and grilled meat) but also because they are so customizable depending on whatever you want/need to use up. Last night, for example, I had a couple roasted red peppers floating around at the bottom of a bottle in the fridge, so I knew those would work. My roasted chicken yielded about 5 cups of meat, so I also increased all the other ingredients to make 12 croquettes. I'll give you the starting recipe and then some things I do to jazz it up a bit.

Chicken Croquettes
Original recipe found HERE

  • 3 cups cooked and finely chopped chicken (dark or white meat, doesn't mater; you're going to want to really chop it up pretty finely so the patties hold together better. I used my Pampered Chef handheld chopper)
  • 1 1/2 cups seasoned bread crumbs
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 2 cups sauteed chopped onion
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
1. Saute the onions in either olive oil or butter. I wouldn't skip the onions in this recipe because they help keep the croquettes moist and add a lot of flavor. Mine were vidalia so they were yummy and sweet.

2. Now this what I do to make sure my croquettes taste good even before I cook them. I mix all ingredients but the eggs together in a big bowl, and then I get creative! I usually add some parmesan cheese, herbs (either fresh or dry, doesn't matter!), Lawry's seasoning salt, garlic, etc. Like I said, last night I threw in some finely chopped roasted red peppers. I sample the mixture and add ingredients until I like the way it tastes, then I add the eggs.

3. Add the two eggs to the mixture. If the mixture is too dry to form into patties, add another egg.

4. You have two options for cooking these. You can cook them in a skillet in some oil over medium heat until golden brown, or do what I usually do and bake on a lightly greased cookie sheet for about 12-15 minutes at 350. I've done both cooking methods and the work just fine, I just like throwing them in the oven because it's less fattening and it gives me a few minutes to work on something else in the kitchen.

These are great with just about any sides, and the website I found the recipe has reviews from others that like to use them for sandwiches. I served mine with some broccoli salad and some cheesy herb baked potatoes. These are man-approved in my house, and I hope your family enjoys them, too!


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