Former ‘Top Chef’ winner shares her favorite KFC-inspired croquettes recipe: ‘It's golden and it's gorgeous’

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Chef and co-host of TruTV’s “Fast FoodiesKristen Kish has been passionate about food ever since she was a little girl. Kish tells Yahoo Life that she started watching cooking shows at 5 years old. “It was the one thing that could really hold my attention when I was a kid,” she shares.

Kish, who won Season 10 of “Top Chef” in 2013, says that the show opened “so many opportunities and doors.” In 2018, Kish became chef at her new restaurant, Arlo Grey in Austin, Texas. She shares that it’s been “very challenging and really interesting to navigate” her business over the past year because of the coronavirus pandemic — something many business owners can relate to — but adds: “I certainly live in a state of gratitude every day.”

Chef Kristen Kish co-hosts TruTV's
Chef Kristen Kish co-hosts TruTV's "Fast Foodies" where she remixes fast food favorites. (Photo: Warner Media)

Most recently, Kish became one of three chefs on TruTV's cooking competition show “Fast Foodies,” where celebrities share their favorite fast food dish and the chefs first try to duplicate the food exactly and then reimagine it as haute-cuisine.

Kish says her favorite dish that she’s made on the show is a remix of the popular KFC family bucket sides of mashed potatoes and corn: a crispy croquette. “It’s golden and it’s gorgeous,” Kish says. She likes to finish it off with a pinch of salt and freshly chopped chives, along with a dollop of crème fraîche drizzled with honey for a touch of sweetness. The good news? You can easily make this delicious dish at home.

Chef Kish's crispy croquette is inspired by KFC. (Photo: Warner Media)
Chef Kish's crispy croquette is inspired by KFC. (Photo: Warner Media)

Kristen Kish’s KFC-inspired croquette recipe

Croquette ingredients:

2 cups mashed potatoes, ideally made from russet potatoes (freshly mashed and chilled, or instant mashed potatoes)

½ cup fresh corn off the cob (or frozen corn)

1 tsp chopped rosemary

1 tsp chopped thyme

1 tbsp chopped parsley

2 tbsp all purpose flour

½ tsp garlic powder

3 tbsp chopped caramelized onion (optional)

½ cup grated white cheddar cheese or any favorite melting cheese (e.g. fontina, Swiss)

¼ low moisture grated mozzarella or any other favorite cheese (e.g. Comté, Gruyère; avoid fresh mozzarella, which leads to a mushy mixture)

Salt and black pepper to taste

Zest of 1 lemon

3-step breading ingredients:

3 eggs

1 cup all-purpose flour

2 tsp salt

4 cups fine panko breadcrumbs

Canola, vegetable or grapeseed oil

Garnish (optional):

Whipped crème fraiche, plain sour cream or Greek yogurt

Chives, finely chopped

Caviar or trout roe

1 tbsp Maldon salt or sea salt of your choosing

Honey, drizzle


Mix all croquette ingredients together. Hand form into patties – any desired size or shape. Pro tip: If the mix is too soft to form into patties, refrigerate for a bit, or freeze patties before breading for easier handling.

Next, make the 3-step breading. In a bowl, mix together 3 eggs and 3 tbsp water for the egg wash. In a second bowl, add 1 cup all purpose flour seasoned with 2 tsp salt. In the third bowl, add 4 cups fine panko breadcrumbs. Crush breadcrumbs between your hands or use a food processor to resemble medium grain sand and then mix with 1 tbsp kosher salt or pink salt and a few turns of black pepper. Place potato cakes in egg wash, flour and then breadcrumbs.

Fry croquettes in pot with canola, vegetable, or grapeseed oil at 350 degrees F until golden. Kish recommends using these oils rather than olive oil since they have a higher smoke point. Place croquettes on paper towels to drain excess oil. Lightly season with kosher salt immediately. Garnish is optional, but Kish says it “certainly elevates the dish.”

Video produced by Kat Vasquez.

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