I have no idea when I may have first had chicken cakes. All I know is that, just like their crabby cousins, one bite was enough to sell me. For years my favorite brunch item was the Zippy Cake (image above) served by a local restaurant — a delicious meal made up of a crispy polenta and chicken cake, tangy tomato sauce, and a poached egg, topped with micro greens. It was the kind of meal I took a picture of every time I ate it, just to fondly remember it by. Sadly the Zippy Cake is no longer made and it lives on only in those photos and in my longing taste-buds.
When I came across a recipe for chicken corn cakes in Janice Cole’s cookbook+memoir, Chicken and Egg, I jotted down the recipe for a craving day. While her cakes aren’t the Zippy of my dreams, the recipe makes a great base to make a variety of chicken cakes. The recipe below is modified from Ms. Cole’s but stands alone as it’s very own patty of chicken goodness. So on this day, the last one of 2012, I think back in fond remembrance of all the Zippy Cakes of years past and look forward to all the new cakes to come. Cheers!
–1/2 cup mayo
–2 cloves garlic, minced
–2 TBSP lemon juice
–1 tsp sriracha
–pinch of salt
–pinch of fresh cracked pepper
–1 TBSP paprika
–1 small shallot, minced
—1/2 bell pepper, finely diced
–1 1/2 cups cooked chicken, shredded
–1/4 cup fresh sage, diced
–10 saltine crackers, coarsely crushed
Whisk together the mayo, egg, lemon juice, sriracha, salt and pepper, and paprika in a large bowl until smooth. Stir in the chicken, pepper, shallot, and sage. Gently stir in crackers.
Place 6-8 mounds onto a baking sheet and form into patties of equal thickness. Cole’s recipe says to cover and refrigerate for 1 ½ – 2 hours or until firm. I didn’t have that kind of time so I stuck mine, uncovered, in the freezer for 40 minutes until they firmed up.
Heat 1/4″ canola oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Cook the chicken cakes in batches until browned, carefully turning once and adding new oil as needed.
Dammit Jim, I’m not a doctor…
Time: 70 minutes
Serves: 6-8 cakes
Calories: 250 per cake