Thursday, 1 August 2013

Chicken and Bacon Croquettes Tapas

So, having got back off our summer hols in sunny Biarritz (many incredible recipes and restaurant reviews from our two week road trip to follow really soon), I thought I'd post one of the recipes I cooked while using the kitchen of our sunny and very delightful holiday flat rental.

The thing is, Biarritz is really close to the Spanish border - just a hop, skip and a jump to fabulous San Sebastian (or 'Donastia', if you're a sycophantic Basqueophile) - so the tapas influence is strong in that southern part of France.

We ate at many tapas places, and I couldn't help but marvel at the many pinxos on offer. These tasty morsels, usually fried or atop a crispy slice of baguette, accompany the local plonk and are usually reasonably priced and intensely tasty.

So, one day, I decided to attempt a pinxo or two of my own and made these delightful little croquettes. Mrs Ribeye loved them. The chicken I used was left over from a very fancy and expensive locally reared artisan black leg, and so the recipe came in at a very reasonable £3 per dozen croquettes. If you use a cheap UK chicken, the results won't be vastly different to these fritters in taste, but you won't get to gnaw on some freaky looking roasted black chicken feet as a cook's treat.

Saying that, the last time I saw feet on a supermarket chicken in Britain was in about 1975.

Makes 12 croquettes


200g leftover cooked chicken, shredded
150g bacon lardons
1 onion, finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
50ml olive oil
2 tbsps plain flour
300ml milk
Salt and black pepper
Small handful of fresh parsley, finely chopped

To fry:
50g flour
2 eggs, beaten
100g breadcrumbs or matzo meal
Sunflower or vegetable oil for deep frying

In a medium hot pan, fry the chicken, bacon, onion and garlic in the oil until soft and translucent. Add the flour and stir to remove lumps. Add the milk but-by-bit until you have a smooth thick mixture and then add the seasoning and parsley. Allow the mixture to cool and firm-up in the refrigerator. Once the mixture is cool, form into croquettes. Dip them into the flour egg and breadcrumbs until well coated. Deep fry at 180c for 5-6 minutes, or until golden brown. Serve with garlic mayo (aioli) or a spicy tomato sauce.

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