The Versatile Chicken Patty
By Payal Shetty
With kids soon returning to be back in school, there are only so many goofy, non-stop cartoon reruns I can take. This also means we are back to the grind – packing lunches, stocking up on ready to eat treats and make ahead meals. As mom to young children, I like food that is versatile, and to me, this chicken patty is one of them. You can serve it up in so many different ways – a quick snack, a side dish, or a weekday dinner with some added vegetables. It’s simple, protein packed and light. It also freezes well, which is an absolute bonus for those days when you are completely rushed off your feet, or just don’t feel like cooking.
I have here, a recipe that is delicately spiced and with only a handful of ingredients. Play around with the spices, from rosemary and thyme to cumin powder and garam masala to create your own version. I prefer making patties from shredded chicken just because I like to control what goes into my patty, and I love the texture of shredded chicken. You can use ground chicken, if you prefer.
Time: 30 minutes
Makes about 12 patties
- 2 chicken breast halves (about 1 pound), skinned, boned and coarsely chopped
- 1 medium potato, peeled and chopped into chunks
- 1 tablespoon butter, melted
- 1 ½ teaspoons lemon juice
- Salt and black pepper, to taste
- Olive oil, for pan-frying
- Place the chicken and potato in a saucepan with a generous sprinkling of salt. Add about 2 cups of water. Bring to a boil on medium heat.
- Reduce heat, partially cover your pan and simmer till chicken is tender. Chicken breasts are quick to cook so shouldn’t take more than 12-15 minutes. Lift the chicken out of the water. Check potatoes. If potatoes are not completely cook, continue to boil them for a few more minutes, until tender. (Alternatively, put the chicken, potato, water and salt in a pressure cooker. Cook on high till it whistles on you. Perfect cue to turn the stove off.)
- Let the chicken and potatoes cool.
- Use your fingers to shred the chicken. Add the potatoes, butter and lemon juice. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Lightly knead the softened potato, shredded meat and added flavors into a dough-like mixture.
- Divide the mixture into equal pieces and shape each into a flat patty. I size them larger than a meatball but smaller than a burger patty. Perfect for tiny fingers. (At this point, you can either freeze them, or continue cooking. See tips for freezing below.)
- Fry the patties with a little bit of olive oil on a skillet till they are a beautiful, golden brown (about 3-4 minutes on each side). Drain on paper towels.
- Serve hot. Once cooled, they can be stored in the refrigerator for up to three days.
- Serve patties with some cherry tomatoes and strips of cucumber for a quick after school snack. Simple ketchup will also do.
- These patties go really well with cheesy broccoli. Sauté cooked, tender broccoli in some butter till its nicely coated. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Sprinkle grated cheese. Perfect for lunchboxes.
- Make chicken sliders – Grill the patty with a slice of cheese and place it between slider buns with a slice of tomato and some lettuce.
- Pair it with a side of rice and peas seasoned with ghee, cumin seeds and salt. Add a dollop of yoghurt and you have a simple dinner meal.
- Break the patty up and mix into pasta sauce.
Parchment paper is perfect for non-stick food storage. Separate each patty with parchment paper, divide evenly between Ziploc bags and freeze.
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