Spanish croquettes with chorizo and chicken, packed full of flavour – a perfect plate of tapas!
This week’s recipe for Spanish croquettes is simplicity itself and inspired by past holidays spent in Barcelona drinking wine (or sherry in my case) and eating tapas. I do love small plates of tapas, perfect bite-sized offerings packed full of flavour. I enjoy nothing better on a warm day (not that we are having many of those at the moment) than to sit down around the table with my family and friends, picking at plates of tapas. Perhaps it is the dreadful weather that made me think of this recipe, desperately trying to evoke memories of holidays in the warm sunshine!
What substitutions can I make?
Croquettes are traditionally made with ham or jamon, however, I’ve substituted with chorizo and added in some leftover cooked chicken. Croquettes are an ideal way of using up leftovers and that’s what I’ve done here, I reckon they taste better with leftover roast chicken as it really adds to the flavour. However, if you don’t have leftover chicken you can use fresh chicken. Dice the chicken small and add it to the pan along with the onion, to cook through before adding chorizo.
Can these croquettes be frozen?
This recipe makes a large quantity, perfect for a Tapas party. However, I like to make the fully quantity and same some for later as croquettes are easily frozen, before they are bread crumbed. Once the sauce has been cooked and cooled, shape the croquettes as per the recipe card. Then place the croquettes individually onto a large baking sheet, taking care to keep them from touching. Place in the freezer for 3 hours, then remove the tray and place into a box with a lid and return to the freezer. When you are ready to enjoy, remove the number you want from the freezer and defrost overnight in the fridge. When ready to eat remove from the fridge, crumb, cook and enjoy immediately.
Point to note:
This Spanish croquettes recipe starts with a base of bechamel sauce. However, the sauce does require to be considerably thicker than a normal pouring bechamel sauce. You need it to thicken enough so that once chilled you can quenelle them into individual croquettes that hold their shape. The sauce will be thick but this is ideal for shaping.
What can I serve with croquettes?
We enjoyed these Spanish croquette for lunch, served warm with a homemade chilli mayonnaise and a parsley oil, perfect for dipping. However, we also served them as a side dish with a roasted pumpkin puree at one of our Supperclubs. They made the perfect accompaniment to our Roast Chicken with Chorizo & Butter Bean Stew.
Some other recipes to try:
spanish croquettes with chorizo & chicken
- 4 tbsp plain flour - season with salt and pepper
- 2 large eggs - beaten
- 200 g panko breadcrumbs
- 1 ltr sunflower oil
- 100 g unsalted butter
- 1 small onion - very finely chopped
- 150 g cooking chorizo - very finely chopped
- 100 g cooked chicken - very finely chopped
- 150 g plain flour
- 1/2 nutmeg - grated
- 1 ltr chicken stock
- 1 large handful parsley leaf - roughly chopped
- salt & pepper
- Melt the butter in a large saucepan over a medium heat, add the onion and cook gently for 10 minutes to soften the onion. Add the chorizo to the pan and cook for a further 5 minutes, then add the cooked chicken to the pan and mix well.
- Reduce the heat to low, add the flour and the nutmeg to the pan and cook the flour gently for 5 minutes. Stir constantly as you want the flour to cook but not burn.
- Gradually add the chicken stock to the pan and stir continuously to avoid the sauce becoming lumpy. The sauce will start to thicken, you want a smooth fairly thick sauce. Once you've achieved this take it off the heat, stir through the parsley and season to taste.
- Remove the pan from the heat, pour the sauce into a flat dish and leave to cool. Once cool place the mixture in the fridge for an hour to become cold and thicken.
- Taking a heaped tablespoon of the mixture, shape into a quenelle. [At this stage you can freeze the croquettes. Place each individual quenelle onto a lined baking sheet and open freeze for 30 minutes. Remove from the freezer and freeze as normal in a bag or box. When ready to cook remove from the freezer and defrost in the fridge overnight.]
- Dip each quenelle into the seasoned flour, then into the beaten egg and finally into the panko breadcrumbs. Place on a plate and once all croquettes have been bread-crumbed, pop the plate back into the fridge for 30 minutes.
- Pour the sunflower oil in a medium sized saucepan and heat to 180C. Place each croquette onto a slotted spoon and lower gently into the hot oil. Do not over-crowd the pan, cook the croquettes in batches, turning once to ensure an even cooking on both sides. Watch the temperature of the oil and lower if you think the croquettes are cooking too quickly.
- When golden brown remove from the pan onto a plate lined with kitchen paper to absorb any excess oil. Serve immediately when still warm.
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