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Easy Chicken Croquettes

cross section of chicken croquette

These easy chicken croquettes served with cherry preserves are a show-stopping dish to make for any dinner or party.

Or, if you’re looking for a new idea for those turkey leftovers, you’re in luck! Easily switch the chicken for turkey and keep the rest of the recipe the same. Easy as pumpkin pie.

Back to these easy chicken croquettes … I’ve been eating these since I was really little. They were one of my mom’s “specialty” dishes, although she didn’t make them too often. As my sister and I got older and eventually moved out of the house, we would often request a batch that we could take back to college with us. (Yes, they are *that* good.)

It wasn’t until I graduated and moved out of state when I had to finally figure out how to make these on my own. Because I wasn’t a skilled home chef at that time, the patience needed for these easy chicken croquettes just wasn’t there so I rarely made them.

Fast forward to this year and I’ve probably made hundreds of croquettes. The discovery of the food processor to shred the chicken was great. Plus, I often make the baked chicken for a separate dinner, make extra, and then use that extra for croquettes. It cuts down on cooking/cooling times for when you’re actually ready to make the chicken croquettes.

For those of you that may be new to my recipes — since I’m only cooking for one — I try to be creative. With most of my recipes, I try to find ways to reduce cooking times, utilize leftovers, freeze individually portioned servings, etc.

With these easy chicken croquettes, I made about 30 small croquettes. I ate some immediately, kept some in the fridge for the next day or two. Then I froze the rest once they had cooled! To reheat them, I take out my serving, thaw in the fridge overnight and then heat in a 450 degree oven for 10-15 minutes (until they are hot and crispy … just keep checking with a fork).

If you’re looking for other chicken recipes, be sure to check out our recipe for Individual Chicken Pot Pies.

bowl of croquettes
cross section of chicken croquette

Easy Chicken Croquettes

This is a chicken recipe I've been eating almost my entire life. It's easy to make from scratch, but feel free to use leftover chicken or turkey (or even a rotisserie chicken) to cut down on cooking times!
Prep Time 4 hrs
Cook Time 2 hrs
Course Appetizer, Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine French
Servings 4 people

Equipment

  • Baking dish for chicken
  • 9×13 baking pan
  • Fryer or large pot
  • Food processor
  • Sauce pan
  • Bowl (for egg wash)
  • Two plates

Ingredients
  

  • 2 lb chicken shredded
  • 1 medium onion diced
  • 6 tbsp butter
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • salt
  • pepper
  • olive oil
  • 3 cups breadcrumbs seasoned
  • 3 eggs lightly beaten
  • 2 cups Wondra (or all-purpose)

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees F
  • In a baking dish (or on a cookie sheet), place your skinless and boneless chicken breasts. Season with salt, pepper and olive oil on both sides. Bake until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees F. Depending on thickness, this should take about 20-25 minutes.
  • Once the chicken is cooked, remove from oven and let rest for about 20 minutes. Once rested, shred the chicken. You can do this by hand, but I find it a lot easier to put the chicken in a food processor and pulse for a few seconds. After the chicken is shredded, put it into the 9×13 baking (cake) pan. Begin your thick white sauce.
  • In a large sauce pan, place your diced onion, one teaspoon salt, one teaspoon pepper, and butter. Cook together until the butter is melted and the onion is translucent. Then add the 1/2 cup of flour. Stir until combined and the flour has cooked, about 2-3 minutes.
    Slowly (and carefully) add the milk, stirring the mixture as your pour. Once all of the milk has been added, continue to mix the sauce until it thickens and is bubbly. To make sure it's thickened enough, do the spoon test. (Spoon test: Coat the back of the spoon and run your finger down the middle. If the sauce doesn't run to fill the line, you're done!)
    **Be careful with this spoon test because the sauce is very hot.**
    Add the thick white sauce directly to the shredded chicken.
  • Mix the shredded chicken and white sauce until thoroughly combined. Spread mixture into an even layer, taking up the entire bottom of the baking pan. Let cool to room temperature and then place into your refrigerator for at least 2-3 hours, until the mixture has completely set (and would be able to be formed into ball shapes).
  • After a few hours in the refrigerator, you can begin shaping the croquettes.
    *I like to use an ice cream scooper to form the balls.
    After you've scooped out a ball, roll between your hands to make a smooth surface. Place on a clean surface and continue this process with the remaining mixture.
  • In a bowl, make an egg wash. Lightly beat the eggs with a little water or milk. Then on one plate, place 1.5 cups of breadcrumbs. On another plate, add one cup of flour.
    Now begins the assembly line.
    Take each croquette and roll in the flour, then dip into the egg wash, and finish with a coating of breadcrumbs. Set back on the clean surface and continue with remaining croquettes.
  • Once all of the croquettes have been coated, begin heating your frying oil. You want the oil to reach a temperature of 350 degrees F. Once hot, carefully place a few croquettes into the oil. Cook until the croquette is completely golden brown all around. Remove and drain on a paper towel or cooling rack. Continue this process until all croquettes are fried.
  • If you're not serving immediately, keep warm in the oven. If you made them well in advance, you can reheat in a 450 degree oven for about 10 minutes so they get crispy again.
    Serve with cherry preserves.
  • You can also easily substitute turkey for the chicken and then use cranberry sauce instead of cherry preserves.
Keyword appetizers, breadcrumbs, cherry preserves, chicken, croquettes, finger food, french food, holiday dishes, main dish, party appetizer, party food, side dish, turkey
chicken and white sauce
close up of fried croquette