Everytime we would eat at El Comedor, among the tapas we could order, my favourite were the Croquetas de Pollo (Chicken Croquettes). I would usually order two serves at a time, one for me and one to share with others in the table because, well, they were everyone’s favourite too!
In Madrid, the best Croquetas can be found at Lhardy. During my last trip, I visited the tapas bar/pastry shop several times. The most memorable time was when I bought a box of TWENTY croquetas. I wanted to take them back to the hotel and give my husband ten of them.
On my way home I finished one and then another…. and pretty soon I had eaten the whole box! Mortified, I rushed back to the store to buy some more for my husband. However, the store had run out of them already so I went back to the hotel and fessed up.
Expecting the worst, I was pleasantly surprised when my husband said that it was all fine – all he asked was that when we got back to Sydney I’d make a batch of the Croquetas using El Comedor’s recipe – he said they were just as good! So here it is. El Comedor’s Croquetas de Pollo. Buen Provecho!
- 4 Tablespoons oil or butter
- 1/2 onion, minced
- 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons flour
- 250 ml milk (or you can used 125 ml milk and 125 ml chicken stock) – Note: This should be warm, you can microwave it for a few seconds before pouring into the flour mixture
- pinch of nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup cooked chicken, finely shredded
- 1/4 cup finely chopped ham
- 2 beaten eggs
- flour for dusting
- 1 1/2 cups of breadcrumbs
- oil for deep frying
- Heat the oil or butter in a saucepan and saute the minced onions until transparent over medium heat. Do not allow them to brown. Stir in the flour and cook briefly, then whisk in the milk a little at a time, stirring constantly (around 5 minutes to cook the flour out) until the sauce thickens.
- Season with the nutmeg, salt and pepper. Stir in the cooked and chopped filling. Spread the mixture on to a dish and refrigerate until this becomes solid.
- Place the beaten eggs, flour and breadcrumbs in three separate dishes. With moistened hands, form the croquetas mixture into balls or cylinders. Dip each one first in the flour, then egg and finally the breadcrumbs.
- Now you are ready to either fry them in a deep fryer (which is my preference) or a pot filled with oil at least 1/2 inch deep. Fry them for at least 3 to 5 minutes until golden brown.
Note: These are best eaten right after frying. If you have some left over (this recipe makes about 20 pieces), may I suggest freezing the leftover UNFRIED croquettes and frying them another time. If frozen, you can fry them straight away in a deep fryer for 5 to 7 minutes. DO NOT use a pot to fry frozen croquettes. They will splatter too much and can be very dangerous.