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Italian Chicken Croquettes

Italian Chicken Croquettes

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Makes about 3 dozen.
By Dennis W. Viau; modified from a recipe in The Fine Art of Italian Cooking by Biuliano Bugialli.

The flavor of these Chicken Croquettes is light and delicate, perfect for a luncheon, appetizer, or side dish. I think they would be excellent on a buffet table, kept warm in a chafing dish. I have served them as a main course, with other sides, and they worked well.

Ingredients:

2 large potatoes (12 to 14 ounces (340 to 400 grams) each)
Salt for the potato boiling water
4 slices of bread; crusts removed
1 cup (240ml) cold milk
10 sprigs Italian (flat leaf) parsley; leaves only
¾ pound (340g) boneless chicken meat (light or dark)
1 medium clove garlic; minced
2 large eggs (mine are about 2 ounces (55g) each, in the shell)
¼ cup (28g) freshly grated Parmesan or Romano cheese
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 cup (115g) unseasoned bread crumbs
8 cups (2 liters) vegetable oil for frying
Lemon wedges for garnish

Directions:

Peel, coarsely chop, and boil the potatoes in salted water until tender when pierced with a fork, 20 to 30 minutes. Drain and push through a potato ricer, or mash with nothing added. Set aside until needed.

Place the bread slices in a bowl and add the milk. Turn the bread occasionally to soak up the milk evenly. Set aside until needed.

Chop the parsley fine. Coarsely chop the chicken and mince in a food processor to a fine texture.

Combine the chicken, parsley, garlic, eggs, and cheese in a bowl. Season with freshly ground black pepper. Squeeze excess milk from the bread and break up the bread well. Add it to the chicken mixture with the riced potatoes. Combine well. If the mixture seems too wet, add some bread crumbs, a tablespoon or two at a time, until the mixture is stiff enough to hold a shape. It should still be moist.

Heat the oil in a saucepan to 375°F (190°C). Taste mixture for salt by cooking a dab on a fork, and adjust.

Arrange the bread crumbs on a plate. Using two tablespoons, shape a heaping tablespoon of mixture to form an oval, like a small egg, and roll gently in the bread crumbs. Fry in the hot oil, a few at a time, to a rich golden brown. Drain on paper towels.

Serve warm with lemon wedges for garnish.