Homemade Chicken Croquettes with pot pie sauce

Tonight I made homemade Chicken Croquettes. I modified the recipe to suit my preferences and they were freakin’ delicious.

I love chicken croquettes but had no clue how exactly they were made.  All the recipes I found online used a can of cream of something soup (blech). I didn’t want to use a canned cream of soup as I think they taste gross. (I’m not a soup snob, I just don’t think they taste good)

I like to find recipes that I can use as my starting point. I can be a picky eater so this is what works for me. This is the recipe I based my chicken croquettes off of:

Best Easy Chicken Croquettes from allrecipes.com

1 (10.75 ounce) can condensed cream of chicken soup

1 1/2 cups finely chopped, cooked chicken meat

1/4 cup Italian-style dry bread crumbs

2 tablespoons minced celery

1 tablespoon minced onion

1/4 teaspoon poultry seasoning

1 tablespoon shortening

1/2 cup milk

1/8 tablespoon poultry seasoning

1/2 cup Italian-style dry bread crumbs, for rolling

My Ingredients:

(I usually leave out most/all the salt until the end when I cook with broth/stock. I find that sometimes stock/broth can be salty enough on it’s own so I taste everything and add salt if it needs it later on)

The first thing I decided was that instead of using a canned cream of something soup, I decided to use the filling from Ina Garten’s Chicken Pot Pie recipe (which I love). It has cream in it, and is the right texture/flavor. I made a basic pot pie “sauce” using butter, flour, chicken broth and cream.

I made the croquettes with baked, boneless chicken breasts, homemade unseasoned bread crumbs, left out the celery and used onion powder not minced onion. I cut the chicken breast into pieces and ran it through my food processor until it was very finely chopped/minced. I did not have any poultry seasoning, so I used some thyme and onion powder instead.

I added about 1/2 of the pot pie sauce I made to the croquette mix, and thinned the other half with milk to use as the sauce for the croquettes.

I chilled the croquette mix in the fridge for approx. an hour, melted butter in a nonstick skillet and formed the croquette mixture into small patties. I made them about big meatball sized and then pressed flat. They start to fall apart if you make them too big. Coat them on both sides with the bread crumbs.

Fry them on each side until they are golden brown and crispy. You can serve them at this point, but I needed to heat up the sauce so I put them on a baking sheet in the oven to keep warm.(the oven was already on to cook the stuffing)

I served them with stuffing since I had most of the ingredients that I use for stuffing out already using my favorite stuffing recipe(which I modify to my tastes)

I served the croquettes with the pot pie sauce and stuffing and it was yummy, my husband went back for seconds.. This is a very rich/hearty meal, but it was perfect on a night when it’s really cold out and we are waiting for yet another snow storm.

 

Homemade Bread Baking book

Found this book recently being thrown out.
Homemade Bread by the Food Editors of Farm Journal. I flipped through it and this book is amazing. The recipes are easy and very homey. There is a simple doughnut recipe, corn bread,, muffins, brioche and a ton more.
I looked it up on Amazon and it got glowing reviews, many from people who have been using it since it came out in 1969! Now that we are heading into cooler weather I can’t wait to get baking using some of the recipes in this book.
bread

Homemade Chicken Pot Pie

I love chicken pot pie. It was one of my favorite meals growing up (they were always the store bought kind).  As an adult I would sometimes buy the pre-made ones at the grocery store.

My favorite pre-made brand is Mrs. Budd’s white meat chicken pie. Back in the day as a young married couple paying close to $8.00 for a chicken pie that fed us one meal with no leftovers was a bit of a luxury. I searched around and found a recipe for chicken pot pie from Ina Garten.  I find it to be easy to make and delicious. I usually make the dough and cook the chicken in the oven a day or two beforehand. Then on the day I am ready to make the chicken pie all I have to do is put together the filling and roll out the dough.

I modify the recipe to suit our tastes and what ingredients we have on hand.

Taste as you go along as sometimes it starts to get too salty if you aren’t careful.

Ingredients:

(I only included what I use. Ina’s original recipe has more ingredients)
  • 3 whole (6 split) chicken breasts, bone-in, skin-on(I use boneless breast, whatever I have on hand or that is on sale. I often only use two chicken breasts depending on how many servings I want to make)
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt
  • 5 cups chicken stock, preferably homemade (I use canned/boxed, and use canned broth if I don’t have any stock)
  • 2 chicken bouillon cubes(I like to use Better Than Bouillon)
  • 12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 2 cups medium-diced carrots, blanched for 2 minutes( I use frozen if I don’t have fresh)
  • 1 (10-ounce) package frozen peas (2 cups) (I use less as my husband hates peas)
  • Sometimes I dice up potatoes if I have some that need to be used up.

    Chicken pie filling cooking in my Dutch oven

For the pastry:

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 cup vegetable shortening
  • 1/4 pound cold unsalted butter, diced
  • 1/2 to 2/3 cup ice water
  • 1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon water, for egg wash
  • Flaked sea salt                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               

 

You can read the directions on how to cook and assemble it here – Ina Garten Chicken Pot Pie Recipe

In this recipe Ina makes individual pot pies which is nice but not necessary. I take a large oven safe bowl or baking dish, put in the filling and then lay the pastry over the top in a sheet.

I made this for the first time for my dad and he kept commenting on how good it was and now he keeps saying that he wants me to make it again so I guess it was a hit.

Sirloin Tips from Sirloint tip roast

This is either really smart of me or I’m dumb and just figuring out what other people already know.

I love sirloin tips. I usually buy a sirloin tip steak and cut it up into pieces and make sirloin tips from that. A few weeks back my grocery store had sirloin tip roasts on sale. I have no idea what a sirloin tip roast is but thought I could make sirloin tips from it.

“round tip roast = tip roast = sirloin tip roast = tip sirloin roast     Notes:   This roast is just a cut away from the sirloin, so it’s tender enough to be oven roasted or cut up into kabobs.  If the roast is trimmed of some fat and muscle, it’s called a trimmed tip roast = ball tip roast.    Substitutes:  tri-tip roast OR rump roast

 

After much Googling..I determined that a lot of other people had the same question and that some said yes and some said no to making sirloin tips from sirloin roast.

My husband even looked it up and he wasn’t sure either. What I do now is that a Sirloin tip roast cost almost less than half per pound that sirloin steak or sirloin tips.

We cut the roast into tip sized pieces. We got two meals worth of meat and froze one.

I used our Dutch oven on the stove top and first browned the meat on all sides in olive oil. I took the meat out and sauteed mushrooms and some onion. Once that was cooked down I added back in the meat and about 3/4 of a can of beef broth and some teriyaki sauce. I simmered on medium low for about 1/2 an hour (until the meat was tender).

I removed some of the liquid and cooked the rest down until it was the consistency I preferred(which is probably drier than most people like). Once it was cooked down to my liking I added the liquid back in cooked for another minute or two and served over rice pilaf.

It was delicious. Sirloin Roasts are supposedly tasty also cooked as roasts, but don’t be afraid to cut one up for sirloin tips if you find one on sale.  Was it officially sirloin tips? I’m still not 100% sure on that but it tasted just as good and the price was right so I don’t really care.

 

Home Made Stuffing Recipe

Seeing as how Thanksgiving is fast approaching here in the United States, I thought I would share my favorite Stuffing Recipe.
I love stuffing. I always have. I actually prefer it over whatever else is being served.
It works great in my house as I prefer more stuffing versus chicken and my husband prefers more chicken versus stuffing.
For years I would buy the bagged stuffing and never really be happy with it.
I tried making it from scratch a few times and it was always terrible. Then I found this recipe. I can’t believe how simple it is to make and how delicious it turns out.

I’m also a fuss budget and like my stuffing super plain, so add in more ingredients to modify it to your tastes. I hate anything crunchy like celery in my stuffing so I leave those out. Any way you like stuffing this recipe is a good starting point.

Old Fashioned Stuffing
30 slices white bread, lightly toasted
2 tablespoons butter
1 large onion, finely chopped
2 stalks celery, finely chopped
2 eggs, lightly beaten

2 cups chicken broth
2 teaspoons rubbed sage
1 teaspoon garlic powder
salt and pepper to taste

image

Starting to add the liquid to my dry bread.

Directions:
1.Allow the toasted bread to sit approximately 24 hours, until hard.
2. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Lightly grease a 9×13 inch baking dish.
3. Crush the bread into crumbs with a rolling pin. Place the crumbs in a large bowl.
4. Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the onion and celery and slowly cook until soft. Remove from heat and drain.
5. Mix the eggs and chicken broth into the bread crumbs. The mixture should be moist, but not mushy. Use water, if necessary, to attain desired consistency. Mix in the onion, celery, rubbed sage, garlic powder, salt and pepper.
6. Press the mixture into the baking dish. Bake 1 hour in the preheated oven, or until the top is brown and crisp.

You can also scale this recipe up or down, you don’t have to use 30 pieces of bread. You can also use different breads. I have used muffins and sandwich rolls that were going stale.
Definitely leave the toasted bread out as long as you can to let it harden up. You can microwave it if in a hurry but I left bread in too long once and the smell is horrific when it burns.
We like more butter so I use more butter in mine. I also saute the onions in the butter but I do NOT drain them. I add the chicken broth to the butter/onions so that everything gets incorporated. I usually use a small to medium onion and not a large one.
I leave out the celery and the garlic powder and add in Thyme to the Sage. I don’t measure the spices I add them to my taste. I use powdered spices when I don’t have fresh spices available from my garden.

You don’t have to use a rolling pin to break up the bread, you can use a food processor or even your hands to break it up into chunks. I have tried all three ways and it all comes out well.
I cook mine in a separate pan.

** A tip**
Watch the liquid when you start initially. Especially if you are making a larger/smaller batch. Adjust the liquid to make it moist but not mushy. Also check on it while it is cooking as I have had to add more liquid to moisten it.
I would NOT add in water to moisten it as it says in the recipe. I would use chicken broth.