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Coxinha - Brazilian Chicken Croquettes

User Rating 4 Star Rating (3 Reviews)



Coxinha are a Brazilian treat - delicious balls of chicken salad that have been shaped into a drumstick, battered and fried. I didn't quite what to make of them the first time I tried them, but they really are an ingenious street food. They're easy to eat on the go, they're a meal unto themselves, they have a unique appearance (simulated drumstick), and most importantly, they are deep fried and delicious!

Coxinha are fun to make too, and economical. They are best if you start them the day before you fry them. If you're lucky enough to find Brazilian catupiry cheese, use it in place of the cream cheese.

Prep Time: 1 hour, 20 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 50 minutes


  • 1.5 pounds chicken breasts (about 4 halves)
  • 4-5 cups of chicken broth
  • 1 carrot
  • 2 onions
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1 8-ounce package of cream cheese, softened
  • 2-3 cups of flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 2-3 cups of very finely grated bread crumbs
  • Vegetable oil for frying
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Place the chicken breasts in a large shallow pot. Cover them with the chicken broth, adding water if necessary to make sure the chicken breasts are covered by at least 1/2" of liquid.

  2. Add the carrot and one of the onions (peeled and halved) as well as the bay leaves.

  3. Bring liquid to a gentle simmer, and cook for 15-20 minutes, or until chicken is just cooked through (barely pink in the middle of the thickest part). It's necessary to cut into the chicken to tell when it is done. If some of the breasts cook more quickly, you can remove them earlier.

  4. Set chicken aside to cool, and strain the broth. Reserve broth.

  5. Shred the chicken into very small pieces. I use a food processor fitted with the plastic blade for this step, but you can also use your fingers.

  6. Stir the softened cream cheese and lime juice into the shredded chicken.

  7. Finely chop the second onion and the garlic. Sauté the onion and garlic in 2 tablespoons of butter until golden and soft.

  8. Add the hot onions and garlic to the chicken mixture and stir until everything is well mixed.

  9. Measure the chicken broth (you will probably have about 3 1/2 cups). If you have less than three cups, add more canned chicken broth to make 3 cups. Bring the chicken broth to a boil in a saucepan, and gradually stir in the same amount of flour as you have broth (so if you have 3 1/2 cups broth, add 3 1/2 cups flour).

  10. Stir vigorously and cook for 2-3 minutes. Mixture will become a stiff dough. Remove from heat and chill in the refrigerator for 1 hour.

  11. At this point, you can chill the chicken mixture and the dough for several hours or overnight.

  12. To shape the coxinhas, take a piece of the dough about the size of a golf ball with floured hands. Roll it into a ball, then hollow out the middle for the filling.

  13. Press a golfball size (about 1 1/2 tablespoons) piece of the chicken filling inside the ball of dough, and press the dough closed around the filling. Shape into an approximate drumstick shape, flouring hands as necessary. Stand the coxinhas on a baking sheet, so that the pointed end sticks upwards. Continue until you run out of dough or filling.

  14. Whisk the eggs together in a bowl. Place the bread crumbs in a shallow pan (like a cake pan) and season with salt and pepper.

  15. Dip the coxinhas in the egg, then in the breadcrumbs to coat. Chill the breaded coxinhas for 1 hour.

  16. Fill a heavy-bottomed pot with enough oil to cover the coxinhas. Heat the oil to 360 degrees. Fry the coxinhas in batches until deep golden brown.

  17. Serve warm.
Makes about 24 3-4 inch tall coxinhas.
User Reviews

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 5 out of 5
, Member anexos

In the book Stories & Recipes, Nadir Cavazin says that the son of Princess Isabel and the Count D'Eu, a child who lived in seclusion for having mental problems had a favorite dish, chicken, but only ate the thigh. One day, not having enough thigh, the cook decided to turn a whole chicken into thighs, shredding it and making the filling for a flour dough shaped into a drumstick. The child endorsed the results and Empress Teresa Cristina when she was visiting him, could not resist the tasty delicacy, she liked it so much she requested that the master of the imperial kitchen learn how to prepare the snack. So coxinha won the nobility and became history.

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