Croquettes or Croquetas
Croquettes or Croquetas are a food that is used as an appetizer or snack. It consists of mashed potatoes, seasonings, plus any of these additional ingredients- cheese, ground meat, fish, shellfish, or vegetables. It is rolled into a ball and then in bread crumbs and deep fried.
Croquettes/Croquetas are a food that originated in France. It is extremely popular in Sicily, Spain, and the Netherlands. Some croquettes are served with bechamel sauce, while others are not. Croquettes and their variations are eaten all over the world. Many cultures adapted the recipe to suit their tastes and readily available, local ingredients.
300 gr skinless, boneless chicken (ground chicken may also be used)
100 gr bacon
1 tbs fresh garlic, chopped fine
2 tbs dried dill
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup dry bread crumbs
1. Take a medium sized saucepan and add enough water so that it is half full. Turn on stove and add in the boneless, skinless chicken pieces. A dash of salt may be added, if desired, but this is entirely optional.
2. Boil for 20 minutes or until done. Drain saucepan and permit the cooked chicken to cool completely at room temperature. Do not refrigerate as this will be used in the recipe right away.
3. If you are using ground chicken, fry it in a saucepan until it loses its pink color. Mash to break up pieces as it is frying. Drain as you would hamburger meat. Set aside to cool.
4. As the chicken is cooling down, you are going to take a clean saucepan and half fill with water. Put it on stove, turn it on, and add the potatoes. You are going to boil them until they are fork tender and can be easily mashed.
5. Once your chicken has cooled enough for you to handle, place it on a cutting board. You are going to cut the chicken into small, bite sized pieces. Place the cut up chicken into a bowl until you are ready to incorporate it into the recipe.
6. Once your potatoes are fork tender, tun off stove. Drain the potatoes through a colander. Place in large bowl and mash them with a potato masher. No need to add milk or butter to them.
7. Take your garlic cloves, peel them, and chop fine. Now add the chopped garlic pieces to the mashed potatoes.
8. Add in the cooked chicken pieces that have been chopped into bite-sized pieces.
9. Fry bacon until crisp, or until it reaches the cooked stage that you are comfortable with. Make sure it is fully cooked. Some people like their bacon extra crispy, crispy, or until the meat has browned and the fatty part is translucent.
10. Once the bacon is done, remove it from the pan and pat with paper towels to remove the grease.
11. Crumble the bacon into little bits. Add it to the mashed potatoes.
12. Add the chopped dill to the potato mixture. Mix well.
13. Take a piece of plastic wrap and cover the bowl of potatoes. Place in refrigerator for 20 minutes to cool and set.
14. Whip the two eggs together in a small dish. This will be used to dip the potato, bacon, and chicken ball into before deep frying. Set aside.
15. Add the flour to another small bowl or small plate. This will be for dipping the potato ball into before frying.
16. After 20 minutes, remove the potato, bacon, and chicken mixture from the refrigerator. Roll into small balls and stack them on a plate or cookie sheet.
17. Add some cooking oil to a medium sized pot or deep fryer. This is what you will use to deep fry the potato balls.
18. After all of the potato mixture has been rolled in small balls, it is now time to turn on the pot of oil or deep fryer.
19. Place the plate of potato balls on the counter nearest the pot with the cooking oil or deep fryer.
20. Place the bowl of flour and the bowl of whipped eggs right near the potato balls.
21. Place the breadcrumbs into a small bowl. Place this near the potatoes, flour, and eggs.
22. Turn on the oil. Add a little water to your fingertips and shake them over the hot oil. If it sputters, it is ready to start frying the potato balls, once they have been coated.
23. Now the process of prepping the potato balls (Croquetas or Croquettes) for deep frying.
a) Take one potato ball and roll it in flour, shake off access. Then dip it into the beaten egg. Then roll it in the breadcrumbs.
b) Very gently drop the Croquetas that has been rolled in flour, dipped in egg, and rolled in breadcrumbs into the hot oil.
c) Use a slotted spoon to turn the potato ball over. Brown on all side. Don’t all it to burn.
d) Once the Croquettes are a golden brown color, remove them from the oil with the slotted spoon.
e) Place deep fried potato ball on a paper towel covered plate to permit the potato ball to drain away the excess oil.
f) Repeat steps 23 a) – 23 e) until all Croquettes or Croquetas have been deep fried.
22. Serve the Croquettes or Croquetas to family and/or friends.
*You can double or triple the potato, chicken, and bacon part of the recipe, depending on how many people you are serving. Replenish the bowl of beaten eggs, flour, and breadcrumbs as needed. (In other words, if you triple the recipe, you will have to triple the amount of eggs, flour, and breadcrumbs, that you will need for this Croquettes or Croquetas recipe.
*A dipping sauce can be made with sour cream and Tabasco sauce. For those that like their dipping sauce fiery hot, chopped jalapenos can be added to the sour cream instead. Do not remove seeds as these contain the most heat.