Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Chicken Croquette...Mice

Chicken Croquettes Over Lemon Mache

This is such a fun meal for my kid and a fun meal for me because he eats it all up, greens and all. Then goes for seconds.

Chicken Croquettes

Sauce Bechamel: Combine in a small saucepan over very low heat 1 1/4 cup milk (almond milk works great for those who can't do dairy), 1/4 onion with 1 bay leave stuck to it using 2 whole cloves, and pinch of fresh nutmeg. Simmer for 15 minutes, uncovered, to infuse flavor into the milk. Discard the onion, bay leaf, and cloves. Meanwhile, melt in a medium, heavy suacepan over low heat 2 tablespoons unsalted butter (vegan butter works fine), stir in 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour. Cook, uncovered, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon, over medium-low heat until the roux is just fragrant, but not darkened, 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool slightly. Slowly whisk in warm milk and return the saucepan to the heat. Bring the suace slowly to a simmer, whishing to preven lumps, and cook, stirring often, and skimming any skin that forms on the surface, over low heat without boiling, until it reaches the consistency of thick cream soup, 8-10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Melt in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat 1 tablespoon butter, stir in 1 cup chopped onions. Stir often until tender but still crunchy, 7-10 minutes. Add the sauce bechamel and cook for 1 minute. Scrape the sauce into a large bowl and combine thoroughly with 2 1/2 cups chopped cooked chicken, 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley, 1/2 teaspoon ground pepper, 1/2 teaspoon thyme, 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg, 1/2 cup cooked rice, salt to taste. Press a sheet of plastic wrap directly on the surface of the mixture and refrigerate until very cold and firm, at least 2 hours.

Spread in an even layer on 2 separate plates 1 1/2 cups breadcrumbs, 1/2 cup all-purpose flour. Whisk together in a wide shallow bowl 2 large eggs. Drop a generous 1/4 cup scoop of the croquette mixture on the flour, then egg, then breadcrumbs and gently roll until the rough ball is evenly coated on all sides. While rolling, shape the croquette into ball. Set aside on plate. Repeat with remaining mixture.

Heat heavy pot over medium-high heat 8 cups vegetable oil. Gently drop 4 croquettes in the hot fat and fry until deep brown on all sides, 3-4 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Fry the remaining croquettes.

For kids, cut two slices of carrots for "ears" and a thin slice of carrot for a "tail", get 3 craisins to create "eyes" and "nose". Place appropriately on croquette ball to create a mouse. Put mache in front of mouse as though he's eating the greens. This is one of my son's favorites.


Using a handful of mache for each serving put in large bowl. Squeeze 1/2 of a lemon's juice over greens, 1 teaspoon ground pepper, 1/4 cup craisins and mix. This is my son's favorite green, especially served this way.

Make a bed of greens on a plate, place two croquettes on each plate, and serve with 1 lemon wedge.

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