These savory nuggets, crunchy outside and meltingly soft inside, are a fine way to use leftover chicken. Here is a Spanish version.
- 5 tbsp butter
- 1/3 cup all purpose flour
- 1¾ cups whole milk
- 1 cup finely chopped cooked chicken
- 1 tsp tomato paste
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- ¾ cup dried bread crumbs
- 3 large eggs
- Vegetable oil, for deep-frying
1. Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat. Whisk in the flour. Let bubble without browning for 2 minutes. Whisk in the milk and increase the heat to medium. Bring to a boil, whisking often. Reduce the heat to low and cook, whisking often, until the sauce is very thick, about 5 minutes.
2. Stir in the chicken and tomato paste and season with salt and pepper. Transfer the mixture to a bowl. Press a piece of plastic wrap directly on the surface and pierce a few holes in the wrap. Let stand about 2 hours, until completely cooled.
3. Line a baking sheet with wax paper. Spread the bread crumbs in a shallow dish. Beat the eggs in another shallow dish. Use two soup spoons to form 12 thick ovals about 1½–2in (3-4cm) long. Roll in the bread crumbs, coat with the eggs, roll again in the bread crumbs, and place on the baking sheet.
4. Preheat the oven to 200°F (100°C). Line another baking sheet with paper towels. Add enough oil to a large, heavy frying pan to come halfway up the sides and heat until the oil is 350°F (170°C). In two batches, add the croquettes and deep-fry, turning frequently, about 3 minutes, or until deep golden brown. Transfer to the paper towels, and keep warm in the oven.
5. Serve the croquettes on a heated serving platter.