Portuguese chicken croquettes...

Chicken is a main meat in our home recently. As you all know it's one of the cheapest meat and as times are though we're trying to spend as little as possible - that applies to food as well. With the chicken we always try to buy only free range or if organic is 'on sale' that's out first preference - I try and avoid buying mass produce chicken as it taste of nothing to me and I don't really approve the way the are kept... As we have a small budget I tend to look into cook books more than usual, one of my favourites recently are John Torode's books and this recipe comes from one of them. I was slightly disappointed with this dish... I don't know if it was my fault, wrong ingredients, wrong way of doing it or maybe it's just not my taste... I'll definitely try to do this minimum one more time to give it (and myself) a chance to make it better (even John advices in his book to try each recipe few times, to try and 'perfect' it :) ) As it was this time - the croquettes almost fall apart during frying and after they were done the consistency was quite unusual (not to say weird...). Anyway - if you try it, please do let me know about your result!

How to make it...

- 2 large chicken breasts
- 50 g butter
- 1 tablespoon chopped onion
- 3 tablespoons plain flour, plus extra for coating
- 225 ml milk
- 150 g sliced ham, chopped
- 1 tablespoon English mustard (I used normal one)
- 1 tablespoon chopped parsley
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 200 g dry breadcrumbs, for coating
- vegetable oil for frying
- salt and pepper

Poach the chicken in enough salted water to cover for 10 minutes. Leave to cool in the liquid and then put into food processor, blend to a smooth paste.
In the saucepan heat the butter and fry the onion. Add the flour, stirring constantly until it browns. Gradually add the milk stirring for 10 minutes. Add the chicken, ham, mustard, parsley, salt and pepper to taste and mix well. Leave the mixture to cool and form a thick paste.
Shape into croquettes (I had to put it to the fridge for 1 hour before that step). Dust with flour, dip in the beaten egg and coat with breadcrumbs. Put the croquettes on tray and refrigerate for minimum 1 hour.
heat the oil in a wok or deep-fryer. Fry chicken croquettes for about 4-5 minutes until golden brown. Drain on paper towel and cool a little bit before serving.