Recipe search here

14 January 2012

Besto Chicken & PESTO Croquetas

Having eaten my way around Spain a bit, I just can’t go past an amazing, slow-grazing tapas feast. Best ingredients of all are when you also add great friends, sunshine, ice cold beers, kids tearing around the place playing happily and lots of laughs. Today we had a little soiree for my birthday, and while we were far far away from Spain (unfortunately! I love that place) I was lucky enough to have all of the other ingredients there. We didn’t put on a big tapas spread, just kept it simple with good bread, cheese, jamon Iberico and these croqueta’s below from a recipe adapted from the Movida cookbook. Made fresh today with the fab Pesto Festo (see previous post) I made last week and froze. Yes, it’s a bit time intensive, but the result is fastastico..mucho mucho fantastico! Impress your friends and yourself and enjoy these little parcels of Spanish utopia.

Prep time: prep: 1 hour, cooking: 20 min. Makes approx. 25 croqueta’s.

Kitchen stuff needed: 2 medium/large saucepans, wooden spoon, chopping board, sharp knife, slice tray/shallow wide cake tin, cling wrap, deep fryer/saucepan (I used a wok) for frying, absorbent paper.

Ingredients from the garden:
3 large tblespn of Pesto Festo

Other Ingredients

1 x small brown onion
2-3 x bay leaves
1.25 litres (5 cups) x  milk
175 gm x butter, coarsely chopped
320 gm x plain flour
75 gm x cornflour
200 gm x Cooked chicken , chopped.
½ tsp x finely grated nutmeg
2 x eggs, lightly beaten
300 gm x fine breadcrumbs (I use Panko breadcrumbs found in Japanese isle)
vegetable oil for deep frying

Let’s get ready to rumble:
1.       Pour all milk into one saucepan, add bay leaves , bring to the boil over medium heat, reduce heat to low-medium and simmer for 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat, cool to just warm (it must be cool or the following mixture will become lumpy),
2.       Finely chop  onion. Melt butter in a heavy-based saucepan over low heat, add onion and sauté for 5-10 minutes or until translucent (don’t allow onions or butter to colour).
3.       Add 200gm plain flour, a little at a time, mixing continuously, using a wooden spoon, until smooth, add cornflour and mix until smooth and silky.
4.       Add infused milk, a little at a time, stirring continuously, making sure that the milk is completely amalgamated before adding more.
5.       Continue cooking for 30 minutes, stirring frequently, until mixture is the consistency of double cream (resist the temptation to scrape up anything caught in the bottom of the pan that might colour the sauce).
6.       Add nutmeg, chicken, pesto and 1 tsp sea salt. Transfer to a wide tray, cover closely with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight or pop in freezer for approx. as I did for at least 30 min if you are time short).
 7. Using clean, lightly floured hands, take a heaped tablespoon of chicken pesto mixture, roll in remaining flour, shape into a croqueta, dip in beaten egg, roll in breadcrumbs, shaking off excess, and place on a tray. Repeat with remaining mixture. (At this point you can wrap in clingwrap and freeze your uncooked croquetas and deep fry later when you need them)
8. Heat oil in a deep-fryer or deep saucepan to 175C and cook croqueta’s, in batches, for 3-4 minutes, turning occasionally, until golden. Drain on absorbent paper, scatter with sea salt.

Watch them disappear fast as you pass around immediately. Enjoy with a cheeky Pimms or Monteiths Crushed Pear Cider as I did today ;)

Tunes of the day: To the Horses by Lanie Lane

1 comment: