Sautéed Chicken Cakes

Sautéed Chicken Cakes

4 boned and skinned chicken breast halves, finely chopped

3 T. unsalted butter

1 C. chopped red sweet pepper

1/2 C. chopped celery

6 green onions, chopped

2 C. unseasoned fine dry bread crumbs

2 eggs, slightly beaten

1/2 C. half-and-half light cream

2 T. Dijon mustard

1/4 C. minced parsley

2 T. minced fresh tarragon

salt and freshly ground black pepper

vegetable oil for sautéing and fresh tarragon sprigs for garnish

Heat butter in skillet over medium heat. Add sweet pepper, celery and green onions, and cook until vegetables are tender, 5 to 6 minutes. Transfer to mixing bowl. Add chopped chicken, bread crumbs, eggs, cream, mustard, parsley, tarragon, salt and pepper to taste. Chill for at least 2 hours or as long as overnight.

Preheat oven to 400°F. For appetizer-sized cakes, shape about 1 tablespoon of the chicken mixture into round patties about 1/2-inch thick. Use 4 T. for main dish sized patties.

Heat about 2 T. vegetable oil in skillet over medium-high heat, carefully add fragile chicken patties, a few at a time, turning once, until golden, about 3 to 4 minutes total cooking time. Add oil as needed. Transfer patties to ovenproof dish, bake until done, about 6 minutes. Drain on paper towels.

To serve, place 2 or 3 cakes on individual plates with tomato sauce alongside. Garnish with fresh tarragon sprigs.

Note: Alternately, spoon a dollop of the sauce on top of each appetizer-sized cake, garnish with a leaflet of tarragon, pass on tray.

Serves 8 to 12 as appetizer, or 4 to 6 as main course.

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