Some leftover chicken, and crumbs from Saturday’s bread, became Chicken Croquetts following Mrs. B. P.’s recipe in the 1906 Berlin Cook Book. I have no idea the identity of Mrs. B. P. but certain fast food companies could learn something from her recipe for chicken croquetts which are essentially chicken nuggets.
I chopped up white chicken meat until I had a cup full. Next I made some bread crumbs using the white bread I baked a few days ago. I added 1/4 cup of crumbs to the chicken and saved the rest for coating. I added some gravy to moisten the mixture and seasoned with salt and pepper. At first I thought I was to add beaten egg to the mix but decided the egg was only for coating. I could be mistaken about this but my technique worked. I floured my hands and made the mixture into balls about the size of a golf ball. I rolled them in the beaten egg and then into the bread crumbs. One cup of chicken made about eight chicken croquettes.
I wasn’t sure how to fry the balls of chicken. I tried pan frying first and then switched to deep-frying using lard in both cases. The croquettes made in the frying pan were a bit misshapen but were nice and crispy. The deep-fried ones had a better shape but tasted of oil. I made one coated with flour instead of bread but it didn’t brown as nicely.
I did not expect to like Mrs. B. P.’s Chicken Croquetts. I thought they would be bland and oily. Instead they had a nice fresh taste and the salt and pepper seasoning was just right. It is a great way to use up the last bits of chicken or wean 21st century children from processed nuggets. Modern cooks could try seasoning the chicken in various ways or adding some finely chopped onion to the mixture. They could probably be fried in a different fat or made with whole wheat bread crumbs.
I’m not sure how Mrs. B. P. served her Chicken Croquetts. What would accompany them? The rest of the meal would need to be ready as they are best eaten hot. Is this a company dish or an everyday meal? It is certainly a good way to use up leftover chicken in both 1912 and 2012. My modern taste called out for a salad or simple vegetables but this was the beginning of an era of special occasion colour coordinated meals like an all white dinner or a pink lunch for ladies. The colour refers to the food not the clothing of the diners. I might not serve the croquettes like Mrs. B. P. but I will definitely make her Chicken Croquetts again!
Minced chicken, a quarter as much bread crumbs, 1 egg to each cup of meat, pepper and salt and enough gravy or drawn butter to moisten the whole, not very wet, make with floured hands into balls, roll in beaten egg, then in bread crumbs and fry a nice brown.