Hats off to HoJo’s and Chef Pierre Franey who served as inspiration for Rach’s decidedly Italian version of this chicken classic. Serve croquettes topped with gravy with Mashed Potatoes and Parsnips and Caramelized Onion Green Beans alongside.
For the poached chicken:
- 1 onion, quartered, with root end attached
- 2 carrots, peeled and cut into chunks on an angle
- 2 ribs celery, cut into chunks on an angle
- 2 large fresh bay leaves
- 2 full bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts
For the croquettes:
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 1 small onion, very finely chopped
- 2 large cloves garlic, minced
- Salt and pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon ground thyme
- A pinch of cayenne pepper
- Freshly grated nutmeg, to taste
- 6 tablespoons flour
- 2 cups chicken stock
- About 1/4-1/3 cup heavy cream
- 4 egg yolks
- 1 cup fine breadcrumbs, divided
- 1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
- A small handful of flat leaf parsley, very finely chopped
- About 1/3 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese (a couple small handfuls)
- 1 extra-large organic egg
- 1/4 cup water
- Frying oil
For the gravy:
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 4 tablespoons flour
- 2 1/2 cups chicken stock
- 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- Salt and black pepper
- 1 extra-large egg yolk, beaten
To poach the chicken, place the onion, carrots, celery and bay leaves in a pot. Add the chicken, cover with water and bring to a boil. Season with salt and reduce the heat to simmer; poach at a gentle, low, rolling boil for 1 hour. Remove the chicken and let cool. Strain the stock, simmer for 30 minutes more and strain again.
Remove the chicken from the bones and separate from the skin. Chop the chicken meat and add to a food processor; pulse to fine-chop. You should yield about 2 1/2 cups chopped meat. Cool in the refrigerator in a large mixing bowl.
For the croquettes, heat the butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and season with salt, pepper, thyme, cayenne pepper and nutmeg. Stir for 5-6 minutes to soften, then add the flour and whisk for 1 minute. Whisk in the chicken stock, then cream. Add some to a small bowl with the egg yolks to temper, then add everything back to the sauce and let thicken. Remove from heat and stir in about 1/2 cup breadcrumbs – the sauce should be very thick. Let cool, then pour room temperature sauce over cold chicken. Combine and chill at least 1 hour more.
Heat a few inches of oil in a Dutch oven or in a countertop fryer to 360°F-365°F.
Pre-heat the oven to 275°F and place a wire rack in a rimmed baking sheet.
Combine the remaining breadcrumbs with the panko, parsley and cheese in a shallow dish. Beat the egg with water in a second shallow dish.
For the gravy, melt the butter in a saucepot or skillet over medium to medium-high heat. Whisk in the flour, cook for 1-2 minutes, then add the stock and let thicken. Season with Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper. Ladle some gravy into the egg yolk to temper, then add back to the gravy; adjust the seasoning, to taste, and reduce the heat to low.
Use a conical ice cream scoop to form a pyramid shape or use damp hands to roll balls and form 12-15 croquettes. Turn the croquettes in the egg wash, then gently press the breading mixture evenly all over the croquettes. Fry the croquettes 3-4 at a time until deeply golden, turning the conical shapes gently as they cook to evenly brown, 5-6 minutes per croquette.
Serve croquettes topped with gravy with Mashed Potatoes and Parsnips and Caramelized Onion Green Beans alongside.