Celebrate the Rio Games in true Brazilian style with this street food classic. Originating in Sao Paulo, Coxinhas (pronounced koh-shee-nya) consist of shredded chicken fried in batter, molded into a shape resembling a chicken leg or a pear.
The story behind Coxinhas is believed to have started back in the late 1800s when the son of Isabel, Princess Imperial of Brazil and Prince Gaston, Count of Eu, favoured chicken but would only eat the thigh. Not having enough thigh one day, the cook chose to turn the whole chicken into a ‘thigh’, consisting of a flour dough, and the rest is history.
This Olympics, let your Britannia range cooker help you conjure up Brazilian flair from the comfort of your own home, by cooking this tasty treat the whole family will enjoy.
Ingredients (to make 30)
4 chicken breast fillets
480ml chicken stock
2 small onions, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
2 bay leaves
225g cream cheese
1 lime, juiced
2 tablespoons of butter
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
360g plain flour
350g bread crumbs
2 litres vegetable oil, for frying
Preparing the coxinhas
Start by frying the carrot and one onion in a frying pan, on medium heat for around 3 minutes. Add the chicken stock, bay leaves and chicken breasts to the pan, and simmer for a further 15-20 minutes.
Remove the chicken from the broth, then strain the broth using a sieve, reserving the liquid. Once the chicken has cooled, shred the fillets into small pieces and place into a mixing bowl.
In the bowl, mix the lime juice and the cream cheese into the shredded chicken. Finely chop the second onion, and add to a small frying pan with the butter for 3 minutes. Stir in the shredded chicken mix and season with salt and pepper.
Returning back to your broth, measure out 360ml and bring to the boil in a saucepan. Gradually stir in flour and cook for 2-3 minutes, continuing to stir throughout. Once the mix becomes a stiff dough, continue to cook for a further 5 minutes, constantly moving the dough around the pan and then remove from heat. Leave the dough to chill in the refrigerator for 1 hour.
Forming the coxinhas
Now you’ve made your mixture, it’s time to form the coxinhas. Coat your hands in flour and take a golf ball sized piece and roll it into a ball - hollowing out the middle for the filling. Press 1 ½ teaspoons of your chicken filling into each ball and then carefully press the dough around so it is closed.
Flour your hands again and gently roll the dough to create a pear shape and then stand on a baking sheet, pointed end upwards. Continue until you run out of dough and filling.
Place the breadcrumbs into a bowl before whisking together your eggs in another bowl. Dip each of your coxinhas into the egg mixture and then the breadcrumbs to coat. Once all coxinhas are coated, set aside in the fridge for an hour to chill.
Fill a saucepan with enough oil to cover the coxinhas and heat at 160°C/320°F until golden brown all over.
Serve warm and enjoy.
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