Croquetas de Pollo
Adapted from Jose Andres: Tapas a Taste of Spain in America
- 1/4 pound unsalted butter
- 1/2 Spanish onion, peeled and finely chopped (about ½ cup)
- 2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 4 cups whole milk
- 10 ounces chicken, boiled and shredded (leftover chicken from a stock is ideal)
- 1 pinch nutmeg
- 2 large eggs, beaten
- 1 cup breadcrumbs
- 2 cups Spanish extra-virgin olive oil
Step 1: Heat the butter in a medium sauté pan over medium heat. Add the onions and cook until they become translucent, about 5 minutes.
Step 2: Stir in 1-1/2 cups of the flour and continue stirring vigorously. Cook for 5 minutes until the flour is cooked through and golden brown. Pour the milk into the flour mixture and cook, stirring continuously, for about 2 minutes, until you have a thick béchamel sauce.
Step 3; Add the chicken, and sprinkle in ½ teaspoon of salt and the nutmeg. Cook for another 2 minutes. You should now have a thick mixture that you can mold in your hands.
Step 4: Carefully pick up a bit of the mixture and try to ball it with your hands. It shouldn’t be too sticky. If it does stick to your hands, allow the mixture to cook a little longer. Spread the mixture on a cookie sheet to cool.
Step 5: Take a spoon of the mixture and roll in your hands to make a small cylinder, about the size of a wine cork. Roll the cylinder in the remaining 1 cup flour, then in the eggs, and then in the breadcrumbs and set aside on another cookie sheet. Repeat with the remaining mixture until you have about 36 croquetas.
Step 6: In a small deep frying pan, heat the olive oil to 375 degrees (measured with a candy thermometer). Working in small batches, add the croquetas, making sure they are covered completely in oil. Fry until golden, about 1 minute, then transfer to a paper towel-lined tray to let drain. Be sure to allow the oil to return to 375 degrees F on the candy thermometer between batches.
Step 7: Season with salt and serve hot.