How Do You Feel About Croquettes?

Dr. Freud's Couch

Croquettes creeped into my life slowly. Once, when I was whiling away my 45 minutes of psychoanalysis I asked out loud what I could prepare for dinner with leftover roast chicken. “Croquettes!” was the enthusiastic response from my analyst. This from the person who was so professionally restrained that nearly every question I asked in 10 years went unanswered. Croquettes? What in the world was she talking about?

Years went by and that cryptic and isolated response perplexed me. What are croquettes and why, of all the things she could possibly tell me, did she recommend them?

Then I picked My Girl up from a late afternoon play date (which marvelously included dinner). I could see some of the leftovers on the kitchen table, and the kind dad (who also happens to be a wonderful cook) offered me some. They were little potato pancakes full of chicken and peas. “What are these?” I asked with a mouth full of the light and savory morsel.


They are indeed an excellent way to make use of leftover chicken, leftover mashed potatoes, and leftover peas. But I was so in the mood for them the other night that I made fresh mashed potatoes and fresh corn to accompany the leftover chicken and to appease my hunger.

They are most definitely comfort food, and perhaps that comfort was what the wise doctor was trying to relay.

Here’s how I made them:

Mashed potatoes—this is the main ingredient, and the amount you have will determine how many croquettes you will have. Remember, butter makes them better.

Roast Chicken – take the meat off the bone and chop into bite-sized pieces

Some sautéed onion, shallot and/or garlic will add more flavor. You won’t need a lot

Some vegetables – corn, peas. I used one ear of corn for about 10 croquettes

Egg—(beaten) Think of this as meatloaf, you want enough to bind everything together and add some lightness when it cooks, but don’t make it too wet.

Salt / Pepper

Bread Crumbs or Panko

Vegetable Oil

Mix the potatoes, chicken, onion, veggies, egg, and salt and pepper. Form them into balls and flatten them out into cakes (about the size of a hamburger patty). It’s not a bad idea to let them chill in the fridge if you have the time. I think this helps them set.

Lightly bread each side of each croquette with breadcrumbs

Heat a griddle and add some oil (don’t let it smoke), and cook the croquettes, letting them crisp up on each side. Let each one drain on some paper towels after you cook them, then keep them warm a low oven until they are all done.

Image: From Freud.uk.org


TwoSquareMeals said...

Croquettes sound fantastic! I'll have to try them next time I have leftover chicken. Thanks for stopping by my site and leaving some advice for my warring children. And thanks for the movie recommendations. We'll add them to our Netflix queue.

SF Mom of One said...

Croquettes sound good. Would a croquette with a different binder be a croquette? and what could that binder be? Maybe I need a session with your former analyst.

Deb said...

SF Mom - Are you thinking of another binder than egg? Or are you trying to avoid the potatoes. I had lunch with my advisory students once and one girl shared these rice balls with me. Rice made sticky with some water, filled with something savory, and then wrapped up tight, tight, tight in saran wrap. Oh my! Would brown rice work like that?