Adapted from Il Talismano della Felicità by Ada Boni
Makes 10-12 croquettes
- 1 recipe béchamel sauce (you will use ¾ cups), cooled to room temperature
- 2 cups finely chopped roasted chicken (white and dark meat)
- 2–3 Tablespoons finely minced fresh parsley
- 2 Tablespoons grated Parmigiano-Reggiano (or Grana Padano)
- 1 egg, separated
- 1 cup breadcrumbs (Italian seasoned or plain)
- 2 cups vegetable oil, for frying
- Begin by making the béchamel sauce. Once it is finished, set it aside to cool to room temperature, about 1 hour. It will thicken considerably–this is what you want.
- Place the chicken, parsley, Parmigiano (or Grana), egg yolk, and ¾ cups béchamel sauce into a mixing bowl. Using a fork, mix the ingredients until thoroughly combined. The mixture should be thick. Refrigerate the mixture for 30 minutes.
Prepare the breading station:
- Place the egg white in a shallow dish and whisk with 1 tablespoon of cold water. Place the breadcrumbs in another shallow dish. Set aside a clean plate lined with wax paper.
- Using a large soup spoon (or a cookie scoop), scoop out about 2 generous tablespoons of the chicken mixture and form into a ball. Dip the ball lightly into the egg wash and then transfer it to the breadcrumbs and roll it around gently until it is completely coated, carefully patting it to form it into a compact round shape. Transfer the croquette to the wax paper-lined plate. Form the rest of the croquettes in the same manner.
Cook the croquettes:
- Line a baking sheet with 3 layers of paper towels. Heat the vegetable oil in a cast iron skillet or a heavy-bottomed frying pan (not non-stick). Fry the croquettes in batches, making sure not to crowd them in the pan. They should have space between them so they can crisp up properly. Fry the croquettes, turning once, until golden.
- Transfer the cooked croquettes to the paper towel-lined baking sheet and allow to cool slightly before transferring them to a serving platter. Serve warm with fresh lemon wedges.
Since the croquettes are delicate, use two forks to turn them while they fry and to transfer them out of the frying pan.