Chicken Patties – & what I don’t like..



I love being able to recycle food into new dishes – mainly because I hate to waste food when I could provide one more delicious meal from it, and also because that is the way of my ancestors. Today I’m going to show you how to take leftover chicken and turn it into these delicious chicken patties. This is perfect if you have fried chicken (take off skin and shred it up!), rotisserie chicken, or even leftover chicken fingers. If you’ve had these before, though, you’ll know why a lot of people cook chicken just to be able to make them!

I guess these are kind of like Salmon patties. I could tell you better if I’d ever eaten a salmon patty but I generally avoid eating things that swim. Better folks might call these croquettes – but mine are just patties. Good, honest chicken has no need to put on airs and airs have no place in my kitchen. Now onto my rambling for the day….

I love writing Southern Plate. I love cooking for people, and I love getting to know all of you through the website and different events and things that I go to where you are kind enough to come see me. I love shopping for groceries and I love spending time in my kitchen. I love being able to put meals on a table with my family sitting around it and I dearly love knowing that you trust me enough to bring my recipes into your home and onto your tables.

In fact, I pretty much love every aspect of Southern plate, with one exception. I don’t love food photography. Not in the least. We might oughta keep this between ourselves, though. Entire industries are devoted to people just luh-huh-huv taking photos of food on a plate. I have friends who make their living at it (and produce amazing work), magazines and television networks rely on it, some people get so excited they stay awake at night just thinking about it. I think they’re amazing folks. I respect and admire all of them.

Me though? I’d just as soon eat it as to play with it. I seriously doubt I could manage to care less about taking a photograph of food and I’m pretty sure I’m not supposed to publicly admit that because so many folks do take such pleasure in it. But hey, admiring someone doesn’t meant we have to emulate them. Good thing, too, because if that was the case I’d have to go work for a mission in Calcutta or move to Prague and write depressing poetry about the mysteries and loneliness of life.  

I do a little better now than I used to because I have a nicer camera. But I tell myself every now and then that I should go back to my earlier posts, back when I was using a camera I had dropped into chocolate cake batter (that was a fun  post), and re-take the photographs in order to update them.

Then I answer myself by saying that those pictures help preserve the evolution of Southern Plate and let people see how far I’ve come in my little unintentional photographic oddesy. Like most folks, I’m 100% on board with historical preservation when it means avoiding something I really don’t want to do anyway.

I do enjoy the photographs after the fact, especially when I’ve fussed with them and gotten them so pretty that my mother or a friend will call and tell me I’ve done a good job. But I can’t help but fall back on that voice in my head that drowns out all the others, the little practical side of me who rolls her eyes whenever I work on drizzling syrup just right or trying to position a strawberry so it doesn’t have a shadow and says “Look, you cooked it to eat, not to build a shrine to it.” By the time I’m supposed to be putting food on a plate to make it pretty my attention span is lost and I really just wanna call the kids into supper.

I did hang in there with these pictures but by the end you’ll see I was hungry and these amazing chicken patties were getting the best of me…

So now you know my secret.

Well, one of them anyway.

I hate food photography.

There are more but they’re not nearly as interesting.

You’ll need: Shredded Chicken*, Milk, Saltine crackers, poultry seasoning, onion, 2 eggs, salt, and pepper.


Take hot cooked chicken, with no bones, and place in the bowl of your stand mixer. Using the paddle attachment, turn it on low for a minute, then turn it up to medium or so for another minute. The result? Perfectly shredded chicken! That is how I shredded the chicken pictured here!

Place Saltines in a large ziplock bag and roll over them really good with a rolling pin.

This is just one of many ways to crush them. I usually get them started being crushed in the sleeve.

Do you have some clever way of doing this? Food processor perhaps? Get the kids involved? Run over them with your car?

Toss the ziplock bag onto the floor in a room full of flamenco dancers? Use them to line the floor of an elephant performance ring? Share your suggestions below!

Chop up your onion really well.

In a small bowl, combine eggs, seasonings, and milk.

Oh! I got to meet Dolly Parton last Friday! Seriously!

If you look to the right, you’ll see a play button and you can click that to hear all about where I was and what I was doing on this week’s Southern Fried Radio Show :)

Mix them up really well with a fork.

In a separate bowl place your chicken, cracker crumbs, and onion.

Stir that up well.

Pour in your liquid ingredients

(That dark stuff is the poultry seasoning floating on the top. I know it’s kinda ugly and I apologize. I started to put a soft focus on it or photo shop it to make it look better but then I thought “Get a grip, It’s poultry seasoning.“)

Stir that up really well.

Now cover this with a towel and let it sit for about five minutes.

Don’t you just love flour sack towels? That’s what people used in the old days, literally the sacks that flour came in, repurposed into towels. They were also repurposed into a lot of clothing, specifically undies and bloomers. Little girls would be outside playing and the wind would blow their dresses a bit and you’d see what brand of flour their Mama’s used :)

Form into patties with your hands, pressing together really well as you form them.

I make big old patties for sandwiches and usually end up with about five but you can easily make smaller ones and get seven or eight.

Now put about a tablespoon or so of oil in a skillet, heat it on medium heat for a minute or two, and pop those puppies in there.

Cook until browned on both sides, flipping once (or twice if you need to, ain’t nobody gonna judge here)

I needed a better pic so I took my skillet with the finished chicken patties out to the sunroom.

They did a good job posing, didn’t they? They were probably thinking “If we’re really still, maybe she’ll hurry up and get us out of this hot skillet!”

So at this point, It was closing in on afternoon when I as taking this shot, which means the sun was in a great position to cast shadows on the plate – which is exactly what you don’t want…..

But I don’t always want to cook supper at two o clock in the afternoon and reheat it when we’re ready to eat. Today, I was being a rebel and cooked supper when I wanted — with no regard to the lighting. As a result, this is the best photo. ~sighs~

Now I have remorse. but I whenever I feel guilty at the time – my stomach overrides it.

Here is another shot with shadows and obvious signs of me wanting to eat more than I wanted a good photo. Maybe I’ll make up for it by including a casserole in this year’s family Christmas picture or something…

Those are sweet and sour green beans by the way. Green beans with bacon and some other delicious seasonings. Click here for that recipe. I make a huge batch of them about once a month and then freeze them in quart sized zipper seal bags to heat up whenever we need a quick side. They microwave well and you can’t ever tell they weren’t freshly made. Good stuff right there.

As are these chicken patties. Goodness gracious are they ever good!


This is what it looks like inside. Incredibly tender and flavorful. These also freeze very well! You can cook and then freeze or freeze and then cook.

Life and recipes are far more versatile than we realize :).

Put a big smile on, bring your best attitude, and dive in head first!

Chicken Patties
  • 2 cups chopped cooked chicken
  • 1 sleeve saltine crackers
  • ¾ cup milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped onion
  • 1 tablespoon poultry seasoning (can use less if you like)
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ⅛ tsp pepper
  1. In a large bowl, stir together chicken and cracker crumbs. In a separate bowl, whisk together all other ingredients. Pour wet mixture into bowl with chicken and stir until well combined. Cover with dish towel and allow to sit for five minutes. Form into 5-7 patties. Can freeze at this time and cook them later.
  2. To cook: Place about 2 tablespoons oil in large skillet and heat over medium high heat for a few minutes. Reduce heat to medium and add patties. Cook until well browned on both sides, flipping once. To cook from frozen, follow same instructions but allow longer cooking time. Remove from heat once hot through.
  3. Serve on their own or on buns, mayo (if you like it), lettuce, and fresh tomato.



“It is one of the blessings of old friends that you can afford to be stupid with them.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Submitted by Angela Lewis. Submit your quote by clicking here. 



Now tell me, what is the most creative and/or elaborate way you can think of to crush saltine crackers?  


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  1. Ellen says

    My mom made Salmon puffs (similar to the patties) and I did not like them because I’m not a fan of salmon. These shredded chicken patties look amazing and I’m going to try the recipe soon. I’m always looking for new chicken recipes. I’ve been sitting here for over an hour reading your different recipes and stories…I’m officially ADDICTED!!! Thanks so much for all you do and all the amazing recipes!! I love your quick and shortcut recipes and also the crock pot recipes because I’m disabled and cannot stand for more than a couple minutes at a time, so they sure help a lot. I used to wake up thinking of new ways to cook things but since my spinal injury I still think about it but just can’t do it!! I used to be very adventurous in the kitchen…I once made homemade bagels with a baby and a toddler nipping at my heels!! Those were the days!!! I can’t wait to read more of your recipes!!!

  2. Patricia CREWS says

    Thank you Christy !! My 8 yr old helped me make this recipe and then he actually ate it and loved “his Chicken burger” he did add cheese to his. I was very surprised as he is a very picky eater. PS hubby and I liked them too.

  3. Danielle Morrison says

    Ok, 1.) I can not wait to try this. It looks yummy and I’m dying for a non-chicken salad recycle for my chicken meat. 2.) you met Dolly!? That’s awesome! You must be really famous!

  4. Danielle Morrison says

    Oops! I guess #3 got cut off? I’m long winded sometimes. #3 was that I had an *aha!* moment reading this post. I have a bunch of old kitchen towels that were my great grandma’s that I couldn’t figure out, so to speak. After reading this I asked my grandma and she confirmed- old flour sacks! It makes me proud to use generations old kitchen gear. Swells my hear. Thanks, Christy!

  5. MARSHA G says

    Christy, here’s you an inexpensive photo tip. Photography is mine and my daughters hobby as it is free when you already have the equipment unless you print. Buy a solid white science fair project board. The ones that fold into thirds. With 2 kids I know you know all about them. Anyways when the shadows or lighting are not right set your food in front of the board and you can drape one of your pretty table cloths (lace is beautiful) across the board to hang behind the food or buy several pieces of vintage look fabric (just a yard all it takes) such as gingham, calico what ever floats your boat. You can also clip a small desk clip lap at the top and tilt it to give you the best lighting. I have used this to photograph my daughter also except put her in a chair in front of the table and move the board a little off the edge. What I like to photograph is the old white wooden churches, old steeples, stained glass windows, old barns even the ones falling down, and old farm equipment sitting in the fields with trees growing through the middle. I really just like to take shots of the older things time has forgotten. it’s amazing what you see when you drive the old dirt country roads. Hope these tips help you with your photos and being able to cook whenever you want.

  6. Chrybomb says

    Thank you for the wonderful recipe! I just made these, substituting Panko unseasoned bread crumbs for the crackers. Delicious cooked in a tiny bit of olive oil. I’m hiding leftovers so I don’t have to share with the family. Love that these are homemade and so
    much tastier and healthier than the frozen ones!

  7. Samantha says

    Christy, thank you for another terrific idea! I made these tonight to use up the last of my chicken from a roaster I made last Sunday. Mid-week, I shredded some of the leftover chicken and made the Chicken Divan recipe on your site (it was a guest blogger’s post from years ago). That was also very good, and made a completely different meal than just having leftover chicken.

    So, needing to use up the last of the chicken, I tried these patties rather then making chicken salad. I chopped my chicken up in the food processor, just like I do when I make chicken salad. This was a last minute idea, so I didn’t have any saltines in. Instead, I used some seasoned Panko breadcrumbs. They came out great! My husband decided to toast the rolls and melted a slice of hot pepper cheese on one side, (we love our hot stuff). Yum, so good.

    I made these with your mom’s recent recipe for scalloped potatoes (au gratin) because I had three large potatoes I had to use up. My goodness, what a fantastic recipe! My husband loved it so much and wants to make sure I make them regularly! I’m off to go leave a comment on that post because I really appreciate when people who have actually made the recipe provide some feedback in the comments.

    By the way, I love and appreciate all your photos! They really help me realize the recipe is something I can surely make. I’m thankful that you take your time to photograph the steps because it makes me feel like you’re walking me through the recipe. With you on my side, I can’t go wrong! Thanks, Christy!!

  8. Cindy says

    Christy, we started eating more chicken, as beef has gotten so high. I buy whole chickens at Walmart for .99 cents a pound. I cook them in a reynolds cooking bag. This makes them fall off the bone. Can use slow cooker. I keep the broth for other uses. I get so much more for my money doing this. This recipe will be added to my list of wonderful recipes using chicken. Thank you

  9. John says

    Wow, those sure look good. 😀 It looks like to me your using Chibatta bread as a bun? Christy do you have a preference or favorite bread or bun that you think makes them taste any better? Also I know its cheating and Probably not as good, but couldnt you do this with canned (already shredded) chicken ?

  10. Jen says

    I am making these for lunch today. I made your oven fried chicken this week too and it was yummy. I wanted to leave a comment here though and mention that I was out of eggs so I used tomato paste instead for the binder. Excited to see how these turn out. I had just cooked and shredded extra chicken the night I made the oven fried chicken recipe. I wanted to leave the suggestion about the tomato paste in case someone else has that situation going on. I found the idea when I looked up egg substitutions online and ran across some info on a vegan cooking site. I just think knowing tips like this is important because then you don’t have to run to the store if you run out of just one or two things. Also for me personally I don’t drive so going to the store less often is not just more economical its basically necessary. Hope this tip can help others and as always, Christy, thank you so much for all you do with this wonderful blog.

  11. Samantha says

    Holy Moly these are amazing! I found this recipe on Pinterest and had to leave a comment. I can’t have onion so I left that out, and I don’t know what’s in poultry seasoning. I used salt, garlic, a dash of cayenne and basil. We actually grilled ours using grill mats. My husband said it’s his favorite way of using shredded chicken now! This will become a staple in our house. Thanks for the recipe!!

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