Creole Chicken Cakes

If you're like us, you eat a lot of chicken. Although it's versatile and can be cooked and seasoned so many ways, sometimes it just gets a little... boring. Here's a recipe that can spice up your plate when chicken is what's for dinner.

Creole Chicken Cakes (adapted from Southern Living)

1 TBS olive or canola oil
1/2 medium sized red bell pepper, small dice
4 green onions, thinly sliced
1 garlic clove, pressed
3 cups chopped cooked chicken
1 cup soft breadcrumbs
1 large egg, lightly beaten
2 TBS mayonnaise
1 TBS spicy brown mustard
2 tsp Creole seasoning
1/4 cup canola oil

Heat 1 TBS oil in large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add bell pepper, green onion and garlic. Saute until tender, 3-4 minutes.
Stir together bell pepper mixture, chicken and next 5 ingredients (through seasoning) in bowl. Shape into 3" patties.
Fry in 2 TBS hot oil in large skillet over medium heat, 3 minutes per side or until golden brown. Drain on paper towels. Repeat with remaining oil and patties. Serve immediately.

A lot of people equate Creole with tongue-burning spicy. But don't worry about these setting your mouth on fire, unless you use a very spicy Creole seasoning mix. (I like to make my own, mainly because I find the common grocery store brands to be incredibly salty. I'll share that recipe in a few days... I've got to get you to visit my blog again, right?) Creole Chicken Cakes are wonderful all by their lonesome, but we sometimes serve them with Ranch dressing or a dip made with yogurt, spicy brown mustard and just a drizzle of honey (made to taste, not measured).

Here's a little tip to make your finished product look like it came off the pages of Southern Living: Make sure the chicken pieces are small. Take the time to chop to a consistent size, around 1/2" pieces or just a bit smaller. This will result in cakes that hold together better, especially when transferring to/from the skillet and flipping. It also helps to chill them before cooking; in fact, you can make them up to 24 hours in advance and refrigerate until you're ready to cook. I've experimented with freezing the patties and seen mixed results. They must be completely thawed to cook evenly, but sometimes they weep and lose too much moisture while thawing, so I don't recommend it.

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