Oven Chicken Croquettes à la Mini-Prep

Posted on 05 October 2011

Chicken croquettes

Ah, comfort food. This recipephany produces a classic croquette from the early 50s. But it is neither deep fried nor béchamel-laden, as you’d find in a diner. So you can take comfort in its wholesomeness. It’s more like a chicken patty, best served with spicy barbecue or horseradish sauce. And surprisingly, it has no onions. More surprisingly, I’ve never been tempted to add any. (Note: Since I posted this, I tried adding chopped scallions. They gave the croquettes a nice little bite and turned them into something like baked chicken salad.)

Most important, it’s comfort food for the cook because I get to whirr it up in the Cuisinart Mini-Prep Plus Processor my friend Emily gave me a couple years ago. At the risk of sounding like Ron Popeil, this midget chopper/grinder is the real recipephany here. I use it instead of my big-ass food processor whenever I can because it cleans up quick and weighs little more than what you put into it.

The Mini-Prep. (Not to be confused with the miniprep method of isolating plasmid DNA from bacteria.)

Even when I just need to mince garlic, out comes the Mini-Prep. Now don’t get me wrong—I don’t like to waste energy. My admirably green neighbors Lynn and Willy calculated that I have saved more than 2 tons of carbon by dragging my bubby cart on shopping trips. I love to hand-crank pasta, and my rotary egg beater is downright fun to use. But this Mini-Prep does in seconds what takes me minutes with a sharp knife, and considering how I am with sharp knives, the extra electricity is well worth it.

Oven Chicken Croquettes

  • 2 cups cooked chicken, ground
  • 1 cup celery, finely chopped
  • 1 cup soft bread crumbs
  • 1 egg, well-beaten
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • Chopped scallions (optional)
  • ¼ cup melted butter or margarine
  • ½ cup dry bread crumbs (from bread toasted in the oven and ground up in the Mini-Prep, of course)

Preheat oven to 375°.

In separate batches, process the bread to make soft crumbs (exactly one hamburger bun defrosted from the freezer), grind chicken pieces, and chop the celery (roughly cut first for even processing).

Combine everything but the melted butter or margarine and dry bread crumbs. Shape into 6 croquettes. Roll each in melted margarine or butter, then in crumbs. Place in shallow pan. Bake until a golden brown. You may want to turn them once midway through baking for even browning. Bake about 30 minutes.

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