Back in the 80’s, when I was a daily connoisseur and critic of the elementary school lunch offerings, I learned that (1) chicken patty days were relatively safe days to buy lunch and (2) ham patty days were most certainly NOT. It’s not that the chicken patties were delicious, but they were ok. And really, it’s all relative. Deli Works day wasn’t offered till middle school, and the crust for school pizza was just really strange.
It’s not that I was actually being nostalgic when I developed this new chicken patty recipe, but it made me reminisce a bit. In fact, this version of the chicken patty is absolutely nothing like the breaded processed versions you get in cafeterias or the freezer section of the grocery store. This version was actually inspired by my frustration for not finding good quality seafood to buy. If you’ve been here before, you know I love crab cakes and salmon patties. Dave loves them too—and they’re pretty easy to make (they work well heated up for lunch at work the next day too). For a couple weeks, I’ve been imagining how I could make a non-seafood version of the little pucks we love so much…
Enter Not Your Mama’s Chicken Patties!
They are similar in recipe to both crab cakes and salmon patties, and you can play a bit with what you put in (Leftover cauliflower? Mince it and throw it in!). You can serve these with a dipping sauce like crab cakes, or throw them on a bun with whatever fixin’s you like.
Not Your Mama’s Chicken Patties
1lb chicken, cooked
2 medium carrots, diced
1/2 onion, diced
2 celery stalks, diced
1/2 cup mayonnaise (please use homemade!)
2 heaping Tbsp dijon mustard
2 tsp capers
2 tsp Old Bay seasoning
1/2 cup bread crumbs (optional)
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
Directions: Put your cooked chicken in the food processor and pulse to shred it. Saute your carrots, celery, and onion (I forgot to do this the first time I made it and it was still just as amazing–the veg just had a slight crunch, so if you’re feeling lazy, skip this step!). In a large bowl, mix all ingredients together. Add a bit more mayo or an extra egg if you need to (to get it to stick together—if your chicken is extra dry, you may need to do this). Heat your skillet to medium-high and add a couple tablespoons of butter. Form patties out of your chicken mixture and cook on each side until golden brown. Serve with dipping sauce or on a bun!
Dipping sauce: I usually wing this. Most of the time, I mix a bit of mayo with either lemon juice or, if I don’t have a lemon, I mix mayo with a bit of the liquid from the capers jar. Then I add chipotle powder for a little kick! It’d be good with dill or sweet relish too.