Coquettish Croquettes: A “Fifty Shades of Chicken” Valentine Dinner

Could that title possibly have more words in it?  Jeez.

As I’ve mentioned before, being a poor grad student means packing a lot of lunches.  How better than to make an easy lunch than by purchasing a rotisserie chicken and shredding it to pieces?  You can make chicken salad sandwiches, put cold shredded chicken in regular salad, dollop on barbecue sauce and have…more sandwiches…yeah okay it’s mostly sandwiches but whatever.  I keep the chicken bones as well and use those to make stock with leftover veggie bits from other recipes, like the ends of onions and the skins off potatoes and squash.

I impulse-bought the “Fifty Shades of Chicken” cookbook at Target a year or so ago and have never looked back.  Not only is that book hilarious (the recipes are interspersed with sexy chicken-chef interactions), every recipe I’ve made has been extremely tasty.  This recipe comes from that book, with a few modifications.  It’s been really great for using up turkey leftovers from Thanksgiving, which I’m still trying to get through because we made a 12-pound turkey for two people.  I think we ended up with 14 cups of shredded turkey in our freezer.

Now, before I get into more words, I think you’ll have to actually grab a copy of the book to get the recipe.  I’m not sure if it’s illegal to post a photo the recipe here or copy it over, but I’m not taking any chances.  I’ll describe things as I’m going along, but that’s as specific as I think I ought to get.  You can probably find a generic croquette recipe online (this one is pretty close) and use that if you’re really opposed to shelling out $20 for a cookbook or don’t have a library card (you heathen).

Since the recipe comes from “Fifty Shades of Chicken,” the first modification I made was to replace the chicken with turkey because that’s what we had.  I’ve cooked this with chicken as well and you can taste the difference, although both are equally delicious.  The recipe calls for parsley to be added to the breadcrumb crust but I leave it out because I’m not a big fan of parsley.  I follow the recipe until the croquette “batter” has been made.  I then use an immersion blender to really combine the ingredients, which helps make it into a really smooth paste-like consistency.

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So smoove

This makes the batter easier to form into croquette logs, and it feels kind of fancy, too, like I’m at a restaurant.  The recipe suggests frying the croquettes in a small pot, but I use a cast-iron skillet.  Mostly, that just means I can fry more at once, although it also means I have to use more oil.  It’s a battle of my stomach vs. my wallet.

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One of these is just a log of breadcrumbs, see if you can guess which one it is.

Final Thoughts

This isn’t what I’d call a “convenient” recipe.  Shredding a 3-4 pound rotisserie chicken usually takes me about 45 minutes, and once the batter is made, it has to sit in the fridge for an hour to chill.  In today’s case, I already had shredded turkey in the freezer, so I didn’t have to spend time on that, but there’s still a lot of prep and technique, I guess.  If you don’t cook the flour long enough, the batter won’t be thick enough, and then the croquettes will fall apart when you’re shaping them and/or cooking them.  It took me at least 3 tries to figure that out, but now you know.  Ease of making: 6/10

As far as flavor, this recipe is quite tasty, but honestly a little bland.  I’ve tried doubling the amount of cayenne and salt, but they still don’t have that BIG FLAVOR I love.  If anyone tries these and has any suggestions, let me know and I’ll make them again!  Yum factor: 7/10

Like the Autumn Harvest Pizza in February, I’ve made this before, and I’m just sharing my modifications in the hopes that they’ll help someone.  Now, the likelihood that someone who reads this blog is also someone who has made or wants to make this recipe is probably near my chances of winning a Nobel Prize for my research (nonzero, but still really small).  Maybe I’ve just managed to convince someone to spend $20 on a book they didn’t know they wanted for a food craving they didn’t know they had.  Muahaha.

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See I can make normal faces like a normal human
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