roasted chicken croquetas

croquetas 4

Guys. I feel like I’ve passed the threshold – from dilettante to legit Spanish lady cook. Yesterday I made homemade croquetas – those deep fried bites filled with tasty ingredients like jamón or bacalao. I had eaten them a bajillion times in bars and tapas spots around Spain, but I never ventured to make them myself. The bechamel filling and the deep frying, which would no doubt leave my kitchen an oil-spattered mess, were intimidating me. But tell truth: it wasn’t nearly as challenging or messy as I had imagined. And yep, you bet your Halloween candy they tasted good. Speaking of which, hope you had a Happy Halloween. I went to a party where everyone was dressed as Xmen and superheroes. I didn’t get the memo and came as Elvira Hancock of Scarface. Oops.  ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Back to the tapas: I would recommend approaching homemade croquetas in two distinct stages. The night before, prep your filling. It has to be cooled completely before being spooned into balls, breaded, egged, breaded again and deep fried anyway. Then the next day, while you’re visualizing how to pull of your Elvira Hancock costume (and master her dance moves, obv) you can form the fritters, cool them again, and fry them up.

fried croquetas

Things to keep in mind when you’re mastering your croquetas game:

  • the filling: warm the milk before adding it to the flour/oil/butter combo;
  • refrigerate the filling once it’s made, then refrigerate the croquetas again before frying – this will keep the shape intact;
  • when doing the breading/egging, beat the eggs well – there should be no egg white lingering;
  • the balls: make sure they’re no larger than a tablespoon – that way they will cook through-and-through, and won’t brown on the outside before warming on the inside;
  • make sure your oil is sufficiently hot before dropping in the croquetas – some say 180 degrees celsius. I, who am yet to buy the requisite thermometer, say when I drop a sprinkle of water into the oil and it starts fizzing on contact;
  • upon submerging the croquetas in oil, use a spoon to push them around a bit, to prevent them from sticking to the bottom of your sauce pan; and
  • my Spanish sis-in-law Laura says croquetas are served alone – no aioli, no salsa verde, no nuffin. But feel free to be a yankee like me and serve them with heaps of sriracha or whatever else you fancy.

Cocinamos! Xx

croquetas 2

croquetas 3


the bechamel

  • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 4 cups whole milk
  • a couple pinches of ground nutmeg
  • salt + ground black pepper to taste

the roasted chicken mix

  • meat from 1/2 of one small roasted chicken – I used a supermarket rotisserie chicken, but feel free to go the extra mile and roast it yourself. Leftover meats are perfect for croquetas
  • 1 medium white onion, diced
  • a few pinches of kosher salt

the breading

  • 2 eggs
  • bread crumbs (*I tested both plain breadcrumbs and the Kikkoman 100% whole wheat panko japanese style – I prefer the crunchy texture of the panko style)

+ 5 cups of olive oil, or enough to fill a medium sauce pan at least a few inches.


the inside

  • prep your chicken in a large mixing bowl
  • heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in heavy-bottomed pan; add onions and cook until golden; straining any excess oil, add onions to chicken bowl and mix
  • add chicken mixture to food processor (I know this feels weird, processing chicken, but just roll wit it) and pulse until chicken and onions are a  paste-like consistency; remove mixture to the large mixing bowl
  • meanwhile, add extra virgin olive oil to a saucepan over medium heat
  • warm your milk in the microwave
  • when oil is hot, add flour and stir immediately; allow flour to clump and brown a little bit, 2 -3 minutes, before adding the warmed milk; stir again and turn heat to low
  • Stir often, scraping the bottom; cook for 5 – 7 minutes, until mixture is consistent and has lost the raw flour taste
  • Add salt, pepper and nutmeg
  • Add bechamel to chicken mixture, stir with large spoon until thoroughly mixed, then refrigerate for a couple hours or overnight

the outside

  • prep your cooking area with a bowl of thoroughly beaten eggs, a plate of bread crumbs and two large spoons for forming the balls;
  • form balls the size of 3/4 tablespoon – it takes a few tries to get the hang of it, but keep at it
  • using your hands, thoroughly coat each ball in breadcrumbs, then dip in egg, then breadcrumbs again; place breaded balls on a large plate or tray; repeat until all filling is used
  • refrigerate croquetas for at least an hour or overnight
  • when ready to fry, heat oil in a medium sauce pan and get a large slotted spoon or sieve spoon ready
  • when oil is hot, add a couple croquetas at a time, gently pushing around so they don’t stick to the bottom; fry until golden brown on all sides then remove to a tray with paper towel; repeat with all croquetas
  • serve warm, preferably with a cold beer or glass of wine
  • refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 2 days – reheat + serve

Elvira + croqueta

croquetas + sriracha

12 thoughts on “roasted chicken croquetas

    1. Just checked out your blog and now i’m thinking about the ultimate Quebecois indulgence – poutine! I’m wondering if I could make a less intense homemade version – or maybe that would defeat the point 🙂 Cheeeers!

  1. These look amazing, gonna try and make them this weekend. Last time I tried to make croquetas they didn’t keep their shape very well but I didn’t put the filling in the fridge or the made croquetas in the fridge either before cooking so I bet that will solve my problem! They’re some of my favourite tapas so I can’t wait to try this out. Thanks! I’ve just started a blog so it’s in its early stages. xx

  2. Beautiful!! We lived in Spain for twelve years (mostly in/around Seville) and croquetas are my favorite!! I’ve tried to make them since we’ve moved back to Calif. and never with much success! BUT- you’re encouraging me to try again– with all your great tips! These do look incredible! thanks!

  3. Okay these were another one of my mothers specialties. Try the recipe with really fine breadcrumbs next time. Not the thick ones, but the ones that are really really finely ground. It makes for a much more elegant croqueta.

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