Cheesy chicken & corn bites
Prep time – 1 hour
Cooking time – 20 minutes
2 cups chicken stock (reduced salt)
1 x size 14 or 16 whole pre-cooked chicken (preferably free-range!)
¼ cup flour
1 cup milk
1 cup grated cheddar cheese
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 cup drained sweetcorn kernels
3 tsp Dijon mustard
1 tbsp chopped fresh thyme leaves
3 tbsp very finely chopped parsley
Zest of 1 lemon, plus 3 tsp juice
1/4 tsp ground white pepper
3 free-range eggs, lightly beaten
¾ cup flour
2 cups dried breadcrumbs (I used a mix of panko & plain)
Flavourless oil for frying (I use grape seed or rice bran)
Shred the chicken and add to your largest mixing bowl. If you want to add the shredded skin too, go ahead (I do).
Add the chicken stock to a saucepan over a high heat and let it boil, uncovered, until it has reduced by about ¾ – there should be about half a cup left. Set aside.
Melt the butter in another saucepan over a medium-low heat. Add the flour and cook, stirring ever now and then, for 5 minutes. It should turn pale but now brown. Remove from the heat and slowly pour the milk in a thin stream, whisking all the time to avoid lumps. Whisk in the ½ cup of chicken stock, return to the heat and continue to cook, stirring, for another few minutes until it turns into a nice thick sauce. Add the grated cheeses, corn, mustard, thyme, parsley, lemon zest and juice, and white pepper. Season to taste with salt, and cracked black pepper if you like.
Scrape the cheesy sauce into the bowl with the chicken and mix. Cover and refrigerate until it’s firmed up enough to shape into logs – it might take 30 minutes to an hour.
Roll into logs as big as you want them – mine were about 8cm. Add the flour to a bowl, and the crumbs to another large bowl. Coat each croquette in flour, dip in the beaten egg, then dip in the bowl of breadcrumbs. If you want them extra crunchy, you can dip them in egg and crumbs again (not flour). Arrange on a plate or board, cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes to set. You can tidy up the shape of them just before cooking if you need to.
Heat about 2cm of the neutral oil in a frying pan over a medium-high heat. Dip the end of a wooden spoon to test the heat – if lots bubbles form around it, the oil is ready. Cook the croquettes in batches until dark golden brown and crispy, turning over carefully with tongs to cook evenly. Place the cooked croquettes on a baking tray lined with paper towels. If serving straight away you can either keep warm in a 60c oven until all the croquettes are done.
Serve alone, or with the aioli, mayonnaise or tomato sauce.
- You can also freeze the cooled fried croquettes and reheat them in a 160c fan bake oven for 20 minutes.