Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Deep-fried and dangerous

On Sunday afternoon, I still had a large amount of leftover chicken that needed using. I knew of one recipe in the Edmonds book that required cooked chicken: chicken croquettes (p136). I hadn't been overly eager to do this one, as I'm not terribly keen on deep frying. However, there are a few deep-fried dishes in the book, and they all have to be done sometime.

The first thing to do was chop up the chicken in the food processor with some onion and garlic. Then, I made a white sauce base and added a bit of chicken stock, as well as some lemon juice, parsley, and an egg yolk. The chopped chicken mixture went in last, with a bit of seasoning.

I was supposed to spread this mixture in a separate dish and leave it until it went cold, but I wasn't about to dirty another dish for no reason, and the mix cooled down very quickly in the pan I was using. By the time I'd tidied a few things away and wiped down the bench, it was ready to use.

I put a pot of oil on to heat and began to shape my croquettes. The mixture was very soft and difficult to work with, but eventually I had eight reasonably neat cylinders ready to go. These needed to be dipped in beaten egg white and rolled in breadcrumbs, a fiddly little task that resulted in my croquettes being considerably more misshapen than before.

I managed to tidy them up, however, and was soon ready to begin frying. The oil had been heating for some time, so I was pretty sure it would be hot enough. When I lowered my first batch into the oil, I found that it was actually too hot - after the initial bubbling had died down, the croquettes had already turned dark brown and burnt-looking, despite the fact that they hadn't been in the oil for anything like the 5 minutes' specified cooking time.

I left them in for a little longer to make sure the chicken was heated through, then fished them out and set them in a paper-towel-lined colander to drain. I'd turned down the heat, so the second batch of croquettes looked a lot better than the first.

I threw together a salad while the croquettes were draining, and served myself a couple from the good batch, and one from the slightly overdone batch.

They were quite tasty (especially the ones that weren't overdone): nice and crisp on the outside and sort of hot and melty in the middle. I don't think I'd bother making them again, though. Setting aside the fact that deep frying is possibly the unhealthiest way of cooking anything, it's just not worth the effort and the mess! My kitchen was covered in dribbles and splatters of oil, and there were breadcrumbs, flour and smears of egg white and chicken mixture everywhere.

I wouldn't want to discourage you from trying these if you want to have a go - like I said, they're quite tasty, and they're a good way of using up leftover chicken. It would be easier (and perhaps less messy) if you happened to have a proper deep-fryer. Just bear your arteries in mind and don't eat too many!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Popular posts this week