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Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Chicken Potato Patties

Basic Information on the Recipe:
I found this fabulous cook-book at the library - The Best Recipes in the World - while it's a mammoth cook-book, it looks really good. The author is a real cook, though, and expects one to have cheesecloth laying about. When I get my own home, I'll have those items around. Right now, I don't. :-D So after cutting many recipes out because I'd have to buy too many unnecessary ingredients that wouldn't be used, I found this one. While this is a North African recipe, it's an American cookbook. So the measurements are American.

I made it tonight, with a few changes. First, I couldn't get it form patties, and it was a LOT of oil anyway. The potatoes weren't cooked throughly as well. I ended up dumping all of it into a skillet with a half-cup of flour and 12 ounces of stock (chicken broth), simmered for about 30 minutes, and it worked out perfectly. Makes quite a lot of food, is incredibly filling, and fairly good for you.

Chicken Potato Patties - North Africa
These are chicken croquettes with North Africa Flavors. Leftover mashed potatoes and chicken are absolutely acceptable (and will make it far easier to mash - siri) and you can use cooked cod or other white-fleshed fish in place of chicken.

1.5 lbs potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks (or at least 2 cups of left-over mashed potatoes)
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1 inch pieces
2 garlic cloves, minced. (Or be like me and add twice as much. ;-)
1 onion, finely chopped
1 egg, lightly beaten
3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley or cilantro leaves, plus more for garnish
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground turmeric
Pinch of cayenne, or to taste
black pepper
Flour, as needed
Neutral oil, like corn or grapeseed, for shallow frying

1) Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add salt. Cook the potatoes until easily pierced with a knife, 10 to 15 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon, then add the chicken; cook until it is done, 5 to 10 minutes. Remove the chicken (reserve some of the cooking water), cool it, then dice it finely.
2) Use a fork to mash the potatoes - they should remain a little chunky - in a bowl with the garlic, onion, and egg, then the chicken, parsley, cinnamon, turmeric, cayenne and salt and black pepper to taste. If the mixture seems dry, add a little of the cooking liquid; then add enough flour to enable you to shape the mixture into patties. (If you chill it first, this will be easier, but it isn't necessary)
3) Wet or flour your hands and shape the mixture into patties of any size, or simply scoop large spoonfuls of the batter into the pan, flattening them with the back of a spatula.
4) In a heavy skillet, heat about 1/2 inch of oil to 350 degrees (Fahrenheit! 176 degrees Celsius!) when the oil is ready - a pinch of flour will sizzle, and the oil will thin and start to shimmer (don't let it smoke) - slide in the chicken -potatoe patties and cook until golden brown, 3 to 5 minutes per side. Do not crowd the pan; work in batches if necessary. Drain on paper towels and serve immediately, garnished with the parsley or cilantro.

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