• 1/4 cup olive oil, plus extra for deep-frying
  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 small yellow onion, minced
  • 1/3 cup plain all-purpose unbleached flour
  • 2 1/2 cups milk
  • 1/4 lb serrano ham, chopped
  • Salt adn pepper to taste
  • Pinch of ground cinnamon
  • 1 egg, separated
  • Fine dried bread crumbs

In honor of Columbus Day, I thought I’d make one of the recipes in the beautiful cookbook by Williams-Sonoma Savoring Spain and Portugal. My parents gave me this cookbook filled with stories, history, beautiful pictures of landscapes, architecture and the people of Spain and Portugal. With so many recipes to choose from, I thought I’d try making these croquettes which turned out to be absolutely delightful!

Spaniards are very fond of Croquetas de Pollo y Jamon or Chicken and Ham Croquettes. These bite-sized morsels with a crunch, golden crust enclosing a creamy filling flavored with a delicious serrano ham will delight every member of your family.


In a frying pan over medium heat, warm the 1/4 cup olive oil. Add the chicken, cover and cook turning once, until opaque throughout, about 10 minutes total. Transfer to a plastic cutting board, let cook, and then chop finely.

Add the onion to the oil remaining in the pan and saute over medium heat until golden about 12 to 15 minutes. Add the flour and stir the mixture until it thickens, about 3 to 4 minutes. Slowly pour in the milk, stirring constantly until thick and creamy, about 5 minutes. Add the ham and chicken and season with salt, pepper and cinnamon.

Remove from the heat and let cool slightly. Lightly beat the egg yolk, then stir into the mixture. Let cool.

In a shallow bowl, beat the egg white until frothy. Place the bread crumbs in another shallow bowl. Using one or two spoons, scoop up an egg-shaped ball of the chicken mixture. Dip it the egg white and then into the bread crumbs, coating evenly each time. Place on a rack or on a baking sheet lined with parchment (baking) paper. Repeat until all of the mixture is used.

In a deep frying pan, pour in oil to a depth of 3 inches and heat oil to 375 degrees F working in batches, fry the croquettes until golden brown., about 4 minutes. Transfer to paper towels to drain; keep warm. Arrange on a platter and serve hot.