Chef Paul Welburn gives the classic Caesar salad a fresh twist with his recipe for Caesar salad croquettes
Delightfully golden, crunchy coating reveals an unctuous chicken thigh centre – the perfect starter when matched with the zingy dressing.
For the croquettes:
• 100g of chicken thigh
• 500ml of chicken stock
• 10g of unsalted butter
• 50g of plain flour
• 25g of Parmesan
• 15g of anchovy, chopped
• 1 garlic clove, crushed
• 10g of parsley, chopped
• vegetable oil, for frying
For the Caesar dressing;
• 1 egg, soft boiled
• 1 tbsp of white wine vinegar
• 1 1/2 tbsp of Dijon mustard
• 1 anchovy
• 50ml of olive oil
• 75g of Parmesan, finely grated
• Worcestershire sauce, to taste
• lemon juice
To coat the croquettes:
• plain flour
• romaine lettuce, leaves only
• 200g of spinach
• Parmesan, shavings
1 For the croquette filling, pour the chicken stock into a small saucepan and season with salt. Add the chicken thighs, bring to a simmer and poach for 12–14 minutes until the chicken is just cooked. Leave to cool in the liquid. Once cool, remove the chicken and chop into small pieces. Reserve the stock for the béchamel.
2 Make a roux with the butter and flour, stirring all the time, and gradually add the stock until a thick béchamel is achieved. Add the Parmesan, anchovies and garlic, then transfer to a blender and blitz until smooth. Fold through the parsley and chopped chicken and season to taste with salt.
3 Transfer the mix to a tray and place in the fridge until set and firm. When the mixture is set, divide into 12 balls and retain in the fridge.
4 To make the Caesar dressing, blend the egg, vinegar and the mustard until smooth. Add the anchovy, then slowly add the olive oil in a steady stream while whisking, as if you were making a mayonnaise.
5 Once emulsified add the finely grated Parmesan, Worcestershire sauce and adjust the consistency with a touch of warm water and lemon juice. The dressing should be a little loose.
6 Prepare three bowls for crumbing: one with flour, one with egg wash and one with breadcrumbs. Roll the croquettes through each bowl, ensuring that the croquettes are completely covered in the breadcrumbs. Store in a tray of breadcrumbs until needed.
7 Bring a large pan of lightly salted water to the boil and blanch the lettuce and spinach for 2 minutes. Drain well and squeeze out any excess water before transferring to a blender. Blitz until smooth and pass through a fine sieve. Chill in a bowl over ice until needed.
8 Preheat the vegetable oil in a deep saucepan or deep fryer to 180°C
vegetable oil, for frying.
9 Once the oil is up to temperature, fry the croquettes for 2–3 minutes until golden
10 To serve, swirl the lettuce purée around the bottom of the plate, add 3 croquettes per portion and a dot of Caesar dressing. Garnish with lettuce leaves, shaved Parmesan, cress and anchovies.
Recipe courtesy of Paul Welburn, originally published for GreatBritishChefs.com