A great suggestion was given to me by my friend Brian, he stated that I should start featuring recipes from the vintage cookbooks that I’m starting to collect. (Duh…. Why didn’t I think of that?!?!). So, here’s my first one. Chicken Croquettes! While I was visiting Pennsylvania, my sister and her husband took me to a local diner that served chicken croquettes. I was telling her, I haven’t croquettes in probably 20 years- no joke! So I ordered them, they were juicy and crunchy and what I remembered. So, I thought selecting this recipe would be a fun way to start. This recipe is from The Better Homes and Gardens series book titled, “Chicken and Turkey Cookbook” from 1976.
These are oven baked croquettes, so they will be a little healthier and less messy. I am going to try to stay as close to the original recipe, making small changes as needed. I never made croquettes or made anything from this cookbook… So hold on…here we go!
Here’s the complete recipe from the book:
I had some chicken legs, thighs and a breast. I removed the meat from the bones and put in a food processor and made my own ground chicken. It’s about two cups.
I melted the butter, added the flour and mixed in the milk, chicken broth and brought to a boil.Next I added the ground chicken, parsley, rosemary and salt and mixed well. (Lawdy!!! This isn’t pretty….. atleast it smells good)
I covered and placed in the fridge to “chill for several hours”. Next we move onto making the croquettes. I’m struggling with the instructions here as my gut is telling me that this is going to be a mess. I understand we need to make breadcrumbs, but cutting them into 1/2″ cubes?!!? I’m picturing rolling these things in that boxed cubed stuffing mix and they’re going to come out looking like some target that should be shot at in a 1980’s video game. I can’t do cubes- I just can’t- we’re doing breadcrumbs.
Now to make the cranberry-claret sauce. I will admit I have no clue what the heck claret is. So- off to Google I go. (I guess I should have stayed in the vintage era and pulled out a Encyclopedia Brittanica-nah I’m good.)
According to Wikipedia, Claret is a red wine from the region of Bordeaux, France. I’m certainly not heading out to pick up a Bordeaux after all we’re using canned cranberry sauce for goodness sake- so red wine it is!
I mixed the cranberry sauce with the red wine and slowly heated. (reserving a glass of red wine for the chef.)
I also included a “Corn in Tomato Cup” salad in the picture and rice pilaf. The corn in tomato cups recipe is from the the Better Homes and Gardens- Lunches and Brunches cookbook. This recipe makes 8 tomato cups, but I think one will be sufficient. If you’re interested in this salad recipe, please reply to this post and I’ll provide it to you.
The Good: The taste is actually pretty good, the cranberry claret sauce works well with the croquette. The corn in a tomato cup although odd in appearance is actually tasty.
The Bad: I was hoping for more of a rounded croquette, this reminds me of a crab cake. Maybe the bread cubes might have made a difference, but I don’t think so. Presentation leaves much to be desired. 30 minutes is not enough time to cook or brown the croquettes- minimum 45+.
The Ugly: Very mushy when rolling the croquettes in the breadcrumbs I gave up using the egg after the first few as it was too mushy. It’s like rolling paper mache into a ball. Thank goodness I saved a glass of “claret” for the chef.
This could be a good recipe with a few more modifications. Will I try it again- possibly.