Coxinhas recipe

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makes: 15 - 20
Skill: medium
Prep: 15 min
Cooking: 1 hr
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  • Coxinhas are chicken drumstick-shaped treats and favourite snack in Brazil. In this recipe, chicken and cheese are encased in a delicious dough which is covered in breadcrumbs then deep fried until they are golden brown and crispy. Equally delicious eaten hot or cold, they could be served as a snack as the Brazilians do or as part of a main meal with salad. This recipe uses chicken thigh meat which is juicy and full of flavour, but you could use chicken breast if you prefer. They take a little while to make but it’s well worth the effort.


    • 6 chicken thighs
    • 3tsp smokey paprika
    • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
    • Grated zest and juice of 1 lime
    • 2tbsp olive oil
    • 100g cream cheese
    • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
    • For the pastry:
    • 600ml chicken stock
    • 250g plain flour
    • Pinch salt
    • To coat:
    • 50g plain flour
    • 2 eggs, beaten
    • 100g dry breadcrumbs
    • Vegetable oil for deep frying


    • Preheat oven to 180°C/350°F/Fan 160°C/Gas Mark 4. Have ready a roasting tin and a baking tray lined with baking parchment.

    • Put the chicken thighs into the roasting tin and add the paprika, garlic, lime zest and juice and olive oil. Toss everything together so the chicken is evenly coated.

    • Cover the tin with foil and roast for about 45 minutes or until the chicken is fully cooked.

    • Remove the skin from the chicken then cut the meat into very small pieces and put into a bowl.

    • Allow to cool, then stir in the cream cheese, salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste. Cover the bowl and chill in the fridge.

    • For the pastry: Bring the stock to the boil in a large saucepan then gradually whisk in the flour. Cook on a low heat, stirring continuously, until the mixture forms a firm dough.

    • Spoon the dough into a bowl, cover with cling film and chill in the fridge for about an hour.

    • To shape the Coxinhas: Dust your hands with flour, take golf ball sized pieces of the dough and roll into a smooth ball. Flatten the dough in the palm of your hand – it should be about 5mm thick – then, using your thumbs, hollow out the centre.

    • Place a few teaspoons of the chicken filling into the hollow.

    • Close the dough around the filling then pinch and shape to make a chicken drumstick shape. Make sure there are no holes in the dough. Repeat with the remaining dough and filling.

    • To coat the Coxinhas: Have ready three bowls – put the flour in one, the eggs in another and breadcrumbs in the third bowl.

    • Coat each Coxinha in the flour, then dip in the egg and finally coat in breadcrumbs, shaking off the excess.

    • Place the Coxinhas on the baking tray and chill in the fridge until firm.

    • Heat the oil for deep frying to 160⁰C / 325⁰F.

    • Fry the Coxinhas in batches for 8-10 minutes until golden brown, lift out and drain.

    Top tip for making Coxinhas

    Different flavours can be added to the chicken filling - If you like hot spicy dishes try adding chilli flakes to the mixture. A handful of chopped parsley could be added to the breadcrumbs too.

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