Chicken croquettes

Serves 4-6 as a snack

These will feature on our new bar snacks menu, along with the Yorkshire puddings. You can use leftover roast chicken or cook chicken thighs or breasts from scratch.

120g butter
1 medium onion, peeled, halved and finely chopped
120g flour
500ml chicken stock
125ml double cream
60-80g finely-grated hard cheese like Cheddar or Parmesan
200g cooked chicken, chopped finely
2tbsp chopped parsley
Salt and freshly ground white pepper
Flour, for dusting the croquettes
2 small eggs, beaten
60g fresh white breadcrumbs
Vegetable or corn oil for deep frying

Melt the butter in a thick-bottomed pan and cook the onion for 2-3 minutes until soft. Add the flour and stir over a low heat, preferably on a diffuser plate, for a minute or so. Gradually whisk in the chicken stock to avoid lumps forming, then season and cook on a very low heat for 6-8 minutes, giving it an occasional whisk.

This mixture is very thick and needs close supervision and stirring. Whisk in the cream; continue cooking for another 5-6 minutes then remove from the heat, whisk in the cheese and leave to cool, stirring as it's cooling to avoid a skin forming. Stir in the chicken and parsley, season; transfer to a plastic storage container, cover; refrigerate overnight.

Have 4 containers ready, one with the flour, one with the eggs, one with the breadcrumbs and the fourth one empty for the crumbed croquettes.

Using a tablespoon, scoop the set mixture in tablespoon-sized pieces into the flour. Coat in the flour using your hands and mould them into rough cylinders on the work surface with the help of a palette knife.

Place on a tray and put them in the freezer for 20-30 minutes to firm them up. Dust them in a little more flour, shaking any excess off, then put them through the egg, again shaking off any excess, then finally through the crumbs, re-shaping them if necessary. Leave in the fridge until required.

To serve, preheat about 8cm of oil to 160-180C in a large, thick-bottomed saucepan or electric deep-fat fryer. Fry the croquettes a few at a time for 2-3 minutes until golden, turning them in the oil with a slotted spoon as they are cooking. Drain on kitchen paper; serve immediately.

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