Growing up, I looked forward to Thanksgiving every year for one reason alone, turkey croquettes. After my Brady Bunch of a family had our fill of turkey, my mother would take the leftovers and turn it into pure unadulterated awesomeness. This year I decided that I would take the leftovers from my own Thanksgiving and continue the delectable tradition.
After poking and prodding my mother (‘s memory) I got my hands on her secret recipe. And before she could remember my name I was out the door and back in my kitchen. Which is where you should be.
Before we begin you’re going to need a few things and a bit of hardware. Get ’em and proceed to the good part.
A Few Things
1 cup Thick White Sauce (below)
2 cups ground or finely chopped cooked turkey
1 tablespoon minced onion
1 teaspoon parsley
2 tablespoons water
3/4 cup fine bread crumbs (plain or seasoned)
Enough oil to fill your deep fryer up 3″ to 4″
For 1 cup of Thick White Sauce
1/4 cup butter (don’t you dare use margarine)
1/4 cup flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1 cup milk
*FYI, make sure you have these last few things b/c you’re gonna need ’em for the secret sauce.
Bit of Hardware
Slotted spoon (that won’t melt)
Square or rectangular glass baking dish
Some other things I’m probably forgetting
The Good Part
1. When my mother made this, she would use her very ancient, but still in working order, Oster meat grinder. I do not own such a device, and I would have to go venture back out into the wild to borrow it so I’m just going to finely chop the turkey.
2. Set the turkey aside and proceed to making the white sauce. In a saucepan, melt the butter over low heat. Whisk in flour, salt, and pepper. Cook over low heat and stir until the mixture is smooth and bubbly. Remove from heat and stir in milk.
5. Take the mixture and put into a square or rectangular dish. Cover and chill for 2 to 3 hours. Overnight works too. After a few hours (or eight), remove the mixture from the fridge and move on to the part that will take you closer to awesomeness.
8. Dip each ball into the egg mixture then roll it in the breadcrumbs. Set the egged and breaded ball on a plate and repeat the process until you have used all of the mixture. Personally, I put the balls back into the dish I used before and then placed them back into the fridge for another 2 hours to let the flavors mingle.
9. Pour 3″-4″ of oil into the deep fryer and heat to 365°. As you wait, heat your oven to 350°. When the oil is ready, carefully place the croquettes in the hot oil and fry until they are delicately browned; ~ 1 1/2 to 2 minutes. Remove them from the fryer (being careful not to break the croquette’s crust) and place them on paper towels to drain (this is where I used the plate I had out before). After they’ve drained for a few minutes slide ’em in the oven to keep ’em warm until you’re ready to serve ’em.
With the croquettes waiting in the oven it’s time to make the best part. For this I must give a shout out to my mom for sharing her secret recipe with the world. When you’re ready, gather the last few things then proceed to the best part.
2 tablespoons butter or margarine (again just use butter)
2 tablespoons flour
1 cup chicken broth (you can use a bouillon cube and dissolve it in one cup of boiling water to make the broth)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
The Best Part
Melt the butter over low heat and blend in the flour. Continue to cook over low heat until it is smooth and bubbly. Remove from heat and add in the chicken broth. Return to heat and bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Boil for one minute and continue to stir while it boils. Stir in seasonings. Count to 20. Bam! Velouté sauce is done. Now, just plop your croquettes on a plate and pour on the velouté sauce.
From the Chef
Honestly, this really is my favorite part of Thanksgiving. Sure family is nice, but when you bite into a velouté-covered turkey croquette there is simply nothing like it. Now go and start making these and be sure to invite me over because I love these things and I’ll eat 8 or 10 of them in one sitting. So make extra. Go! Now!
Prep Time: 20-25 minutes to prep turkey and white sauce; 15-20 minutes to prep croquettes; 5 hours chilling time
Cook Time: 15 to 20 minutes (based on 28 croquettes and velouté sauce)
Cost: $10-$20 (cost will increase if you don’t have leftover turkey)