Croquetas de Jamón, Huevo y Pollo

Croquetas began as a way of combining leftovers with a béchamel sauce, to then be cleverly converted into another meal. The secret resides in a béchamel full of flavour!


2 tablespoons Spanish olive oil, plus extra for greasing

½ a white onion, chopped

250 g/9 oz. chicken breast

2 tablespoons fino sherry or 3 tablespoons white wine

2 boiled (cooked) eggs, grated 

50 g/1¾ oz. Serrano ham, chopped


60 ml/¼ cup chicken stock (optional)

1 litre/4 cups whole/full-fat milk

75 g/⅓ cup butter or light olive oil

100 g/¾ cup plain/all-purpose flour

Sea salt, to season


2 eggs

250 g/3 cups fine breadcrumbs sunflower oil, for frying*



Heat the olive oil in a frying pan and sauté the onion until soft. Add the chicken breast and sauté for a few minutes. Pour in the sherry or wine and cook until the liquid evaporates and the chicken has taken some colour all over. Set aside to cool. When cold, finely chop the chicken as if you were chopping parsley, then set aside.

To make the béchamel, first gently heat the stock and milk in a saucepan. In another saucepan melt the butter over a medium heat. Start adding the flour, little by little, until it becomes fully integrated with the melted butter (I use a wooden spoon). Start adding the warm milk and stock, little by little. To work the béchamel, change the spoon for a hand whisk, stirring almost continuously, until the taste of flour has disappeared completely and you have a smooth sauce - it will take at least 30–40 minutes.

Add the grated eggs, ham and chicken to the sauce and stir for a few minutes before checking and adjusting the seasoning. When ready, the béchamel should be creamy and very shiny with a light texture, but never too thin. It should be cold before frying, so pour the sauce onto a large plate, cover with clingfilm/plastic wrap and transfer to the fridge to chill.

In a bowl, beat the eggs very well (this is important) and place plenty of fine breadcrumbs in two large dishes.

To stop the soft béchamel getting stuck on your fingers, grease your hands first with olive oil. Take a small portion of the béchamel with your fingers or with a spoon and lightly shape into a ball. Place it in the first dish of breadcrumbs. Now it will be easier to shape the croquetas properly. Using a spoon, coat each croqueta in the beaten egg and then again in the breadcrumbs. Shape with your hands for the final time and repeat until all the béchamel has been used.

Heat the oil in a large frying pan/skillet or electric deep fat fryer to about 180°C/350°F. It is vital that this temperature is maintained to avoid the delicate croquetas splitting while they fry. Cook until crisp and golden. Serve the croquetas hot.


This recipe is from Cocina de Andalucía by María José Sevilla. To get more great blog posts like this one - direct to your inbox – be sure to sign up to our mailing list here.