Chicken Croquettes (Croquetas de Pollo)

by Erica Dinho on April 8, 2013

Chicken Croquettes (Croquetas de Pollo)

Colombians are party people. We are always looking for an excuse to get together, eat, drink, and dance. What’s better than spending time with friends and family, while sharing good music, food and drinks? Not much in my book!

Our home was always a meeting place for family and friends when I was growing up in Colombia. My parents loved to entertain and my mom loved to cook for crowds of people. Sometimes these parties happened on extremely short notice, like when my father would bring friends home from work! So, my family has an extensive collection of throw-together party foods for whenever the moment strikes!

Croquetas were something my mom kept on hand at all times. They make great last minute hors d’oeuvres. If you entertain regularly, you need to have a few tricks up your sleeve!

Croquettes are perfect party snacks that can be made in advance, then placed in the fridge in sealed plastic bags, and cooked when your guests arrive. I find that at parties, people are more likely to choose the least messy food to eat, especially if it’s an event where they are not sitting at a table, or where there is dancing. Croquettes are easy to pick up and carry while dancing salsa or merengue!

This recipe starts with cooked chicken meat. That means, you can use leftovers from another meal, such as roasted or grilled chicken. So when you prepare one meal during the week, you are actually getting a head start on the appetizers for your weekend gathering! Isn’t that exciting?

Keep in mind that just because I call them appetizers, doesn’t mean you can only serve them before a meal. As a matter of fact, my mom would serve them for dinner at times with rice and plantains on the side, and we loved them. Buen provecho!

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Ingredients

  • About 20 croquettes
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped red bell pepper
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 2 cups cooked chicken, diced
  • 3 tablespoons of chicken broth
  • 2 cups bread crumbs
  • 3 eggs
  • Canola, or vegetable oil for frying

Directions

  1. In a sauté pan over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the onion, red bell pepper and garlic. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are soft, about 3 to 4 minutes. Add the cumin and season with salt and pepper. Remove the vegetables from the heat. Transfer to a large bowl.
  2. Meanwhile, place the cooked chicken in the food processor or a meat grinder. Process for a couple of minutes, or until ground, and add to the onion mixture.
  3. In a small bowl, combine the eggs, chicken broth, and 1/2 cup of the bread crumbs and mix well. Place the rest of the bread crumbs in separate bowl. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  4. Take small balls from the mixture and form the croquettes. Roll the croquettes in the bread crumbs. Set the croquettes on the prepared sheet. Repeat with the remaining mixture. Place in the fridge to rest for about 3 hours.
  5. In a fry pan over medium-high heat, pour in the oil, enough to cover the croquettes, and heat to 350°F.
  6. Using tongs, carefully place 3 or 4 croquettes in the hot oil (do not crowd the pan) and cook, turning as needed, until golden brown, about 4 minutes. Repeat with the remaining croquettes.
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{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

1 lisaiscooking April 8, 2013 at 3:37 PM

I’d love to be offered some of these at a party! These are perfect for nibbling while standing and mingling.

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2 Evelyne@cheapethniceatz April 8, 2013 at 4:02 PM

These sound wonderful and I would love making a meal of them. I like the use of leftovers and preparing ahead of time!

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3 Belinda @zomppa April 8, 2013 at 9:16 PM

This is a great way to celebrate for any party! Or really, enjoy on any occasion.

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4 anh April 8, 2013 at 11:11 PM

YUmmm!! I already wanted to eat this!

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5 Joanne April 9, 2013 at 7:30 AM

I’ve only ever had potato croquettes but I’m definitely intrigued by this meat-filled version!

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6 Jeannie April 10, 2013 at 1:50 AM

Yummy! I love fried stuff and this is neat!

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7 grace April 10, 2013 at 2:35 PM

terrific ingredients, all fried up–that’s hard to beat!

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8 rebecca April 10, 2013 at 11:02 PM

these look so good and it would have been fun growing up in your house

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9 Emily A. April 11, 2013 at 8:58 PM

I got lost on step 3… after I mix eggs with stock and breadcrumbs … do I add this mix to the ground chicken?
Thanks

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10 Erica April 12, 2013 at 9:24 AM

Yes,

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11 Norma-Platanos, Mangoes and Me! April 13, 2013 at 11:19 AM

They really came out nice Erica. I have not had one of these in years….

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12 Nora B February 6, 2014 at 8:05 PM

Erica, I also grew up with my mom making croquettes from just about anything that was in the fridge. She would pass them around for us to eat while dinner was still cooking. I really want to try making them. I’m just wondering if there is any way of accomplishing the same texture and flavors by baking them rather than frying them.

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