Growing up in New Jersey I learned to love "Diner Food" and I could always count on Turkey or Chicken Croquettes to be on the menu. This is my recreation of that classic diner dish.
Old Fashioned Turkey Croquettes-
It never fails that every time I roast a turkey, I always have more turkey than we can eat before we get tired of it. I re-use the leftovers just about every way you can think of, but a good portion always ends up in the freezer and never gets used.
And that’s why I started making Turkey Croquettes!
What is a Croquette?
“A Croquette is a small breadcrumbed fried food roll containing, usually as main ingredients, ground meat (veal, beef, chicken, or turkey), shellfish, fish, ham, cheese, mashed potatoes or vegetables, and mixed with béchamel or brown sauce, and soaked white bread, egg, onion, spices and herbs, wine, milk, beer, or some combination, sometimes with a filling, such as sautéed onions, mushrooms, or boiled eggs.
The croquette is usually shaped into a cylinder, disk, or oval shape, and then deep-fried. The croquette (from the French croquer, “to crunch”) has gained worldwide popularity, both as a delicacy and as fast food.”
While I wasn’t born in New Jersey, we moved here when I was pretty young and at the height of New Jersey’s love affair with Diners.
I remember reading that pretty much all the diners in the country were made in New Jersey. Of course, those were the days of the shiny aluminum sided diners with the Formica tabletops, and jukebox players at every table…….sigh, those were the days.
It didn’t matter what you got, the portion was huge and it was homemade and just plain delicious, and you could always find Turkey Croquettes on the menu. Even the shape was different then, more like a cone with a flat top.
So what do you do with leftover Turkey? You make croquettes, and enjoy a taste of the past.
Not only is this a great way to use up leftover turkey, but it’s also a wonderful way to introduce a new generation to the joys of true Diner Food. Enjoy these croquettes with a salad, soup or indulge with a side of mashed potatoes and lots of turkey gravy!
You’ll find different views on how to make croquettes, some folks use mashed potatoes and others use stuffing.
I’ve always found that stuffing makes a lighter tastier croquette that doesn’t sink like a lead weight in your stomach. I promise you’ll like my stuffing version better!
But any way you make them you’re making a New Jersey Diner Classic!
If you’re looking for more ways to enjoy your leftover turkey, you’re going to love these recipes!
Old Fashioned Turkey Croquettes
- 2 cups finely chopped turkey use food processor
- 2 cups potato bread stuffing or use your favortie brand of stuffing mix
- 1/2 cup finely minced celery
- 1/2 cup finely minced onion
- 1/2 cup finely minced carrots
- 4 oz butter
- 2 cups chicken stock
- 1 tbsp poultry seasoning or ground sage
- black pepper and sea salt to taste
- 2 large eggs lightly beaten
- 1 cup seasoned bread crumbs
- 1 cup flour
- 1/2 cup milk
- 4 oz olive oil to saute croquettes
- In your food processor add celery, carrots and onion and pulse till finely minced
- In a saute pan melt butter and add finely minced celery, carrots, and onion. Saute until softened (3-5 minutes) Allow to cool.
- In the food processor add your turkey and pulse until finely chopped. (use a mix of dark and white meat)
- In a large mixing bowl, add turkey, stuffing cubes, sauteed celery, onions, carrots, and poultry seasoning. Mix all the ingredients together.
- Add 1 cup of chicken stock and two lightly beaten eggs and mix together. Gradually add more chicken stock as needed. You want the mixture to resemble stuffing consistency. **Don't let it get too wet. It will continue to absorb the liquid as it sits in your refrigerator setting up but it still needs to be shaped so it needs to have a formable consistency.
- Season to taste with sea salt and black pepper.
- After mixing all ingredients together fully, refrigerate for 2-3 hours to allow mix to set up .
- After the mix has set up form into cone-shaped croquettes
- Dust croquettes in flour seasoned with salt and pepper, then into the egg wash (egg and milk) and then into the seasoned bread crumbs. (this is a typical breading station)
- Saute croquettes in olive oil, turning until all sides have been lightly browned.
- Place croquettes you are going to serve into a 350-degree oven for 15-20 minutes until fully heated. (minimum 165 degrees)
- Freeze the remainder to use another day!
- Serve Croquettes with sides of your choice and your favorite turkey gravy and enjoy!