Coxinha is a very famous Brazilian snack, almost a national treasure in Brazil. It's a delicious deep fried chicken croquette, crispy outside, with a creamy potato and flour dough, and traditionally filled with shredded chicken. It is also common to have cream cheese along with the chicken filling.
Why do Brazilians like coxinhas so much? Because it's a quick snack, rich in flavours and textures, found in every bakery, café or pub. It goes well with beers and other drinks, and it is commonly served freshly fried (warm and creamy inside), which makes it impossible to resist. This Brazilian number one snack is also common in Portugal. Recently people got creative and started preparing coxinhas with all sorts of flavours: shredded meat, chorizo, dulce de leche, etc.
Back to the original recipe, there are some steps to prepare a proper coxinha at home. I've tested some recipes but ended up with my mother's recipe. For that, it is necessary to season the chicken generously, as the broth used for the dough preparation will come from that. It is essential to sauté the chicken pieces until golden brown, as all the rich flavours come from that process. The dough is made with all-purpose flour and mash potatoes along with the broth saved from the chicken cooked previously. So it will become light, creamy and flavourful dough that will wrap the chicken filling. Coxinha has a teardrop shape (trying to resemble the chicken drumstick). After modelling, it is coated with egg wash and breadcrumbs and deep fried. It can be frozen after modelling and coating. I recorded a video you can watch below, along with the recipe details:
For the filling
1 and 1/2 kg chicken breast and thighs
2 tbsp salt
1 fresh chilli
4 cloves garlic minced
2 tbsp vinegar
1 pinch black pepper
1 tbsp olive oil
1 large onion diced
1 bay leaf
1 and 1/2 litres water
1 ripe tomato, skin off, diced
1/2 bunch parsley, finely chopped
For the dough
2 cups chicken broth (from the filling)
1 cup milk
1/2 cup mashed potatoes
1 tsp butter
2 and 1/2 cups all purpose flour sifted
For coating and deep fry
2 eggs beaten with a splash of water
2 cups breadcrumbs
1 litre vegetable oil for deep frying
For the filling
Prepare a paste with the minced garlic, salt, fresh chilli and black pepper. Add the vinegar to the paste and mix well. Place the chicken pieces in a bowl, spread the paste over the chicken pieces, cover it to marinate for 30 minutes to 1 hour.
Place the water to heat separately. Place a deep saucepan or a pressure cooker to heat over high heat. When it is very hot, add olive oil, and quickly saute the chopped onion with bay leaf, until soften the onions.
Add the chicken pieces and saute as well, until have a golden brown colour. Then, add the hot water and cook it for around 30-40 minutes, for the chicken becomes very soft.
Strain the chicken and save the broth for preparing the dough. Place the chicken in a large dish and let it cool. Remove the chicken skin and bones and set aside. Shred well the chicken, add the finely chopped tomato, parsley and chives, mix well and the filling is ready.
For the dough
Prepare 1/2 cup of mash potatoes. Sift the flour separately and set aside. Grease a dish with 1/2 tsp butter for placing the dough after cooking it.
In a high pot with a thick bottom, add the chicken broth, the milk, the potatoes and 1 tsp of butter. Place it to medium heat and when it starts to simmering, add the flour all at once, continuously mixing with a wooden spoon. When the dough turns a ball and loosens off from the pan, it will be ready.
Put the dough over into the greased dish and let it cool. Once it is lukewarm, knead it gently until smooth and flexible. Divide the dough into equal pieces (yield 20 medium-size or 30 small-size coxinhas).
Now it is time for shaping the coxinhas. Open the dough with your hands, forming a shell, arrange the filling in the middle of the shell. Close it and shape in teardrop form.
After modelling all the coxinhas, cover each with egg mixture, then with bread crumbs, pressing crumbs to coat. Heat the oil in deep pan over medium-high heat. Fry in hot oil until golden brown and drain on absorbent paper. Serve it when it is still warm. Enjoy it!