Chicken Potpie Fritters

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Put a farmer, a restaurateur, a butcher and a chef together to open a burger joint and the resulting food quality is several rungs higher than usual. At Farm Burger in Decatur, GA, meats used for the dry-aged, ground-fresh-every day burgers are from Moonshine Meats, a coop started by Farm Burger partner Jason Mann. Burger toppers from chef Terry Koval range from smoked grafton white cheddar with caramelized onion, to goat cheese with house-pickled beets and arugula–all without pretense or enormous price tags (specialty burgers $8; straight-up $6) The same goes for the snacks, from fresh Georgia boiled peanuts, to beet-pickled eggs to these crunchy chicken pot-pie fritters.

Koval got the idea for the fritters when working for chef Gary Mennie at Canoe in Atlanta. “Gary used to do pheasant croquettes,” says Koval. “But I always said I wanted to do a homier chicken version that tasted like potpie. He used to poke fun at me for that.” We guess Koval got over the teasing: His potpie fritters are a top-selling signature snack now at Farm Burger. Koval likes to serve them with apple butter, apple chutney or peach chutney. They’re also good with tangy mayo-mustard sauce. We’ve added a bastardized easy version of the recipe you can make to use up leftover roast chicken and vegetables too.

Makes 3 to 4 dozen fritters

For the chicken Ingredients

 

  • 4 lbs chicken leg quarters
  • 4 cups all-purpose unbleached flour
  • Salt & pepper
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 celery stalk
  • 1/2 onion
  • 1/2 cup smashed garlic
  • Fresh thyme bouquet
  • 3 cups white wine
  • 2 quarts chicken stock

For the veggies Ingredients

 

  • 1/2 cup small-diced carrot
  • 1/2 cup small-diced celery
  • 1/2 cup small-diced onion
  • 1/2 cup chopped parsley
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro

For egg wash and breading Ingredients

 

  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 2 cups all-purpose unbleached flour
  • 4 cups panko (Japanese bread crumbs)

Instructions

  1. Dredge chicken in flour seasoned with salt and fresh-ground pepper. Sear chicken in roasting pan until golden brown. Remove chicken from roasting pan and set aside.
  2. Caramelize your veggies from chicken recipe in same roasting pan. Add thyme. Deglaze pan with white wine. Add chicken stock and heat to boiling. add chicken back into roasting pan. Cool. Cover roasting pan with plastic wrap and aluminum foil. Roast at 325 for one hour. Remove cooked chicken from pan onto a separate sheet tray and set aside to cool. Strain liquid from pan through a fine sieve (china cap) in to a separate large sauce pot. Discard the veggies and reduce the stock by 85%. Pick chicken off the bones into medium sized pieces.
  3. Add diced raw vegetables from veggie recipe, along with picked chicken to the reduced liquid. Heat to simmering. Remove from heat and transfer to a sheet try to cool.
  4. Tear about six small sheets of foil into a stack. Spoon chicken/veggie mixture in a line across the bottom of the first sheet of foil and tightly pack and roll as if you were making a sushi roll. Roll should be about the circumference of a silver dollar. Twist one end of the foil packet and stand on end; use a wooden spoon handle to push/pack chicken mixture a bit more tightly inside the foil tube. Twist remaining end of tube. Set aside and repeat process until all of the chicken/veggie mixture has been packed into rolls. Refrigerate for three hours or overnight.
  5. Prepare egg wash and breading assembly line for fritters: Whisk together eggs and buttermilk and pour into a shallow bowl. Pour flour into another bowl. Pour 2 cups of panko into a third bowl (replenish as needed.)
  6. Bread and fry fritters: Remove the rolls from the fridge one at a time. (They slice and hold together better if they are very cold.) Remove foil from first roll and slice into thick coins 1 inch thick or so. Dip/roll fritter in flour; immerse in egg wash; roll in panko. Fry fritters about six at a time in deep fryer. Or, fry in olive oil in a cast iron skillet. Serve with apple butter, apple chutney or peach chutney of your choice.

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