Chicken Thigh Croquettes with Smoked Paprika Sour Cream

A crispy golden fried exterior enveloping a moist creamy center are a few of the many things that make croquettes the perfect finger food appetizer.

There are countless variations of croquettes; including fillings featuring mashed potatoes, cheese, seafood, pork, ground beef and in this case diced chicken thighs. Hormel has taken the labor and yield loss out of the equation with their Fire Braised Chicken Thighs, which we use in this recipe.

Serve 3 or 4 croquettes per order


For the Croquette:

  • 6 oz Hormel Fire Braised Chicken Thighs, chopped (Item #7777)
  • 1 cup Queso Blanco, shredded (mild cheddar is a good substitute)
  • 1/2 cup cream cheese, softened at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup red onion, fine dice
  • 1/2 cup celery, fine dice
  • 1/2 bunch fresh cilantro, rough chop
  • 1 oz white balsamic Vinegar
  • 2 oz Franks Red Hot sauce
  • 1 ea whole egg
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • Panko to tighten mix
  • For breading, flour, egg wash & panko

For the Sour Cream Dip:

  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 3 ea scallions, thin slice
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 lime zest & juice of
  • Salt & Pepper to taste


  1. In mixing bowl, incorporate all croquette ingredients except for panko, mix until all ingredients are well incorporated. Add Panko to the croquette mix to desired tightness of mix. Keep in mind that by adding too much Panko to your mix the finished product may be a bit dense and on the dry side.When using Panko to tighten I normally add in small quantities (for this recipe start with 1/2 cup) and allow to rest/absorb for 10 minutes before deciding weather or not to add more. Mix should be moist but tight enough to form and work through breading procedure.
  2. Form mix into small rounds, about 1.5 oz each, allow rounds to chill for at least 30 minutes; mix will tighten under refrigeration making for an easy flow when breading. Continue to bread croquettes.
  3. Mix all ingredients for sour cream dipping sauce. Adjust seasoning to your specifications.
  4. Fry at 300 until golden brown, season as desired and serve with smoked paprika sour cream for your dipping enjoyment.

Chef’s Note: 

  • Perfect for appetizer or bar bites menu. Make croquettes bite size (3/4 oz) for use a cocktail reception appetizer.
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