How to Make Cuban Croquetas (Croquettes)

by Felicia Gustin

This recipe for tasty croquetas uses chicken but ham is really popular too. You can also use fish, potato or cheese.

Supplies

  • 4 Tablespoons Butter for white sauce
  • ⅓ Cups Flour for white sauce (more or less)
  • 1 ¼ Cups Milk for white sauce (more or less)
  • 4 Cups Ground chicken (or ham, fish, potato or cheese)
  • ½ Cups Finely Chopped Onion (sautéd in butter)
  • 1 Tablespoon Chopped parsley
  • 1 Teaspoon Salt
  • ½ Teaspoons Pepper
  • 1 Tablespoon Dry sherry
  • 2 Eggs
  • 2 Cups Bread Crumbs
  • Canola or other vegetable oil
  • ¼ Teaspoons Nutmeg (optional)
  • 4 Garlic cloves (optional)
  • Instructions

    Step 1

    Croquetas are found at Cuban food stands as well as birthday partes, weddings and quinceñeras. There are countless versions so feel free to adapt to your own tastes. (This is a photo of Old Havana.)

    Step 2

    Confession: I decided to make croquetas because I had some left over chicken. But I wasn't going to make a Snapguide because I didn't have exact measurements for the ingredients.

    Step 3

    But then my daughter (who is away at college) begged me to make a guide so she could make them too. So this is for her and all of my Snapguide friends. This is her leaping for joy!

    Step 4

    First you want to make a basic white/ bechamel sauce. Use your own recipe or follow mine. In a large, deep skillet, melt butter.

    Step 5

    All melted!

    Step 6

    Add flour and whisk until smooth.

    Step 7

    Gradually add milk, whisking constantly to avoid lumps.

    Step 8

    Simmer until mixture is thickened.

    Step 9

    Like this!

    Step 10

    Meanwhile finely chop the onion. Or finely chop it with a knife on the cutting board.

    Step 11

    Then in another pan, sauté the finely chopped onions and garlic (optional) in butter.

    Step 12

    Meanwhile put your pieces of chicken in a food processor ( you can also use a meat grinder or blender) and grind it until it is finely chopped.

    Step 13

    Like this. You can also use cooked ham, fish, potato or cheese. Whatever you use, you want it this consistency.

    Step 14

    Finely chop the parsley in the food processor.

    Step 15

    If you don't have a food processor, you can chop the parsley with a knife. Just make sure it's really finely chopped.

    Step 16

    Now put the chicken, parsley, onions, garlic, nutmeg, salt and pepper into the white sauce and mix it all together. Cook for a few more minutes until mixture is thick.

    Step 17

    Remove mixture from heat. Let cool. Then cover and put in the refrigerator for 2 to 3 hours or overnight. The mixture will get really firm which makes it easy for you to make the shapes.

    Step 18

    Next, shape the chilled, firm mixture into the croquettes (about 3 inches long, 3/4 inch in diameter).

    Step 19

    A close-up shot. You can actually put these back in the refrigerator to firm up again. Or you can go to the next step which is to coat with egg and breadcrumbs.

    Step 20

    Roll each croqueta in beaten egg.

    Step 21

    Roll around until it's completely covered in egg.

    Step 22

    Next put it into the breadcrumb bowl. (Check out my guide on how to make homemade breadcrumbs too!)

    Step 23

    Thoroughly coat the croquettes with the breadcrumbs

    Step 24

    Pat the breadcrumbs so the croqueta is thoroughly covered and be sure to shake off any excess breadcrumbs.

    Step 25

    Here are the breaded croquetas ready to be fried.

    Step 26

    To firm them up first, I'm putting them back in the refrigerator for a while. Croquettes can even be refrigerated overnight until ready to fry. Or frozen for a later date.

    Step 27

    When you're ready to go, fry the croquetas in hot oil until golden brown. Remove when done and drain on paper towel.

    Step 28

    You did it! Now enjoy!