Makes about 3 dozen
Prep time: 20 minutes
Total time: 1 hour and 30 minutes
4 tablespoons|55 grams unsalted butter
½ cup|75 grams very finely chopped onion
⅔ cups|100 grams all-purpose flour
1 ½ cups|375 ml whole milk
¼ cup|60 ml heavy cream
2 ½ cups|350 grams finely shredded skinless, boneless roasted chicken or store-bought rotisserie
2 teaspoons kosher salt
½ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
⅛ teaspoon freshly ground white or black pepper
1 cup|65 grams panko breadcrumbs
1 large egg
canola oil, for frying
1. Make the béchamel: Melt the butter in a large saucepan over low heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until translucent and soft but not at all browned, about 15 minutes. Add ⅓ cup flour and cook, whisking continuously, just until the raw flour smell dissipates, about 1 minute. Continue whisking while adding the milk a little at a time to prevent the mixture from clumping. Whisk in the cream. Bring to a boil over medium heat, then boil for 2 to 3 minutes, whisking the whole time. Add the chicken, salt, nutmeg, and pepper and stir for 2 minutes to draw out some of the moisture. Spread the mixture on a half-sheet pan and refrigerate, uncovered, until cold.
2. Shape and fry the croquettes: Roll 1 heaping tablespoon of the croquette mixture into a football shape. It should be about 2-inches long and 1-inch in diameter at its thickest point. Repeat with the remaining mixture. If the mixture has softened in the process, refrigerate until firm. Process the panko in a food processor into fine crumbs, then transfer to a shallow dish. Beat the egg with 1 tablespoon water in another shallow dish and place the remaining ⅓ cup flour in a third dish. Working with 4 or 5 pieces at a time, coat in flour and shake off excess, then coat with egg and let excess drip off. Finally, dredge in the panko to completely cover.
3. Transfer to a wax-paper-lined half-sheet pan. At this point, you can freeze the coated croquettes. When rock hard, transfer to airtight containers and refrigerate for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 1 month.
4. When ready to cook, fill a cast-iron skillet with canola oil to a depth of ½-inch. Heat over high heat until you see ripples forming on the surface. Drop in one croquette to test the oil temperature. If it does not begin to sizzle immediately, then remove the croquette right away and wait until the oil gets hot enough. Add just enough croquettes to fit in a single layer without crowding and reduce the heat to medium. Fry, using a fork or spoon to carefully turn the croquettes to brown on all sides, until golden brown, 3 to 5 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel−lined plate to drain. Repeat with the remaining croquettes. Cool for at least 5 minutes before serving. You don’t want to burn your tongue, and the croquettes taste great when completely cooled, too. Serve them hot, warm, or at room temperature.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: This recipe has been reprinted with permission of the author from Curate: Authentic Spanish Food from an American Kitchen.
Get recipes like this and more in the Munchies Recipes newsletter. Sign up here .