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Coxinha Brazilian Chicken Croquettes Recipe

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Brazilian coxinha is a deep-fried croquette made of shredded chicken and cheese covered in a soft dough, which after breaded and deep-fried, becomes a crunchy crust. Will you resist?

Coxinha recipe Pinterest graphic

Coxinha, also known as coxinha de frango (English: chicken’s little thigh), is a popular food in Brazil that you can find anywhere you go. It is served in parties, celebrations, and cafes, to name a few.

You can also find it in many sizes, from tiny cocktail bites to large street food snacks.

In fact, after pastel, coxinha is by far the most consumed street food in the country. We really love it!

And just so you know, my grandma, who used to sell coxinhas for a living, sent me this recipe from Brazil. Who doesn’t love a good ol grandma recipe? I know I do!

Also, you can scroll down to the recipe card straight away. Still, I suggest you read the whole article as I give many handy tips and answer essential questions about this coxinha recipe.

Coxinha, the Brazilian chicken croquette

Coxinha means literally little thigh, and it makes reference to chicken drumsticks.

The legend has it that centuries ago, a young Brazilian prince only ate chicken drumsticks and no other chicken pieces.

And one day, there were no drumsticks for the little prince, so the cook had to be creative, otherwise he wouldn’t eat his meal.

She then made croquettes filled with chicken that resembled drumsticks.

Whether that’s true or not, I guess we will never know. But we can all agree we are glad someone created this tasty Brazilian street food.

Coxinha, Brazilian street food
Your coxinha recipe from Brazil

Coxinha ingredients

You probably have most of the ingredients you will use for this traditional Brazilian chicken recipe in your pantry.

Meaning this coxinha recipe is budget-friendly, and it turns out it fills up really well!

Can you freeze raw coxinhas?

Absolutely! As I said above, making coxinhas takes a little time, so we always make about 50 snacks at a time and freeze most of them.

Next time we want to eat coxinhas, we simply put them in the fridge a few hours before frying the snacks. Yes, it’s that easy!

This Coxinha recipe is authentic Brazilian
Coxinha, my all-time favorite Brazilian snack

How long can you store the coxinhas?

You can keep raw coxinhas for up to 3 months in the freezer and fried coxinhas for up to 2-3 days in the fridge.

How to store coxinhas?

This recipe has eggs and chicken in it, so you’ll want to make sure to leave any leftovers in the fridge.

Uncooked

In a Pyrex dish, place the breaded and raw coxinhas next to each other and cover them with plastic wrap. Put it in the freezer.

After 2 hours, transfer them to freezer bags and put them back in the freezer.

By doing this, you preserve the shape of the snacks and save space in your freezer.

Alternatively, you could simply put them in freezer bags, but keep in mind the snacks might break or become a little misshapen.

Cooked

Fried coxinhas should be kept in a container in the fridge for up to 2-3 days at most.

Deep-fried coxinha
Your Brazilian chicken balls recipe

How to unthaw coxinhas?

That’s easy! You don’t have to. You can simply fry them frozen, just keep them in the oil for a minute longer than normal.

Keep in mind that they might become a bit darker than freshly assembled coxinhas.

What can I serve with coxinhas?

If you’re cooking this Brazilian chicken croquette at home, you might be wondering what you can serve with it. There are a lot of different options!

Homemade coxinhas are the best snacks to serve during parties. Still, these are also delicious Brazilian appetizers for during the holidays or at barbecues with friends.

They are perfect with this homemade Brazilian hot sauce. Beyond that, I know caipirinha, a drink made with cachaça, is Brazilian’s favorite cocktail. Still, coxinha tastes much better when accompanied by an ice-cold beer.

Guests will love it!

Other Brazilian snacks worth trying

Coxinha recipe from Brazil
Coxinha recipe from Brazil

Tips for making the perfect coxinhas

  • You can make your coxinha as little or as big as you want, according to the occasion.
  • When flattening the dough to assemble the snacks, don’t make the disc on your hand too thin, otherwise they will break.
  • When assembling the croquettes, don’t add too much filling in the dough, or it won’t close. After a few snacks, you get a feeling for the right amounts.
  • You can also air-fry them at 392 degrees Fahrenheit (200 degrees Celsius) for 10 minutes, or until golden brown. It might differ a little depending on your air-fryer. Open it now and then to check.

How to make coxinha

In an instant pot, add the chicken, the poultry bouillon cube, and cover it with water about 3 fingers above the chicken.

Select the Poultry function of your instant pot or manual and cook it for about 25 minutes.

If you have read my other Brazilian dishes, you know I’m crazy about this instant pot. It saves me so much time when cooking my favorite meals!

If you don’t have one, you can click here to buy yours too. You’ll love it!

Anyway, back to the instructions!

Shredded chicken
Shredded chicken

When the time has passed, carefully release the pan’s pressure, and only after that, you can open the pan.

Remove the chicken with tongs and shred it using a wooden spoon. Set aside.

Now, let’s work on the coxinha dough!

In a pot, add the chicken stock, butter, paprika powder, and salt. Bring it to boil.

In the meantime, butter and sprinkle the countertop or a clean surface with flour to knead the dough.

Coxinha dough

Once the water is boiling, add the sifted flour and stir continually with a wooden spoon until it peels off the pan.

Poke the dough with your index finger to feel if it is still sticky. If so, cook it a little longer.

The dough becomes hard, but that’s perfectly normal, and you won’t have to stir much more from this point on.

I’ve seen many recipes online where bloggers advise people to butter their hands because the dough is sticky. Still, it definitely shouldn’t be like that.

The secret is cooking it further after adding the flour until it reaches the right cooking point. As said, it might be heavy to stir it, but it is worth the hassle!

Once the dough is not sticking to your finger anymore, remove it from the heat, flatten it on the buttered countertop, and let it cool down.

Now let’s make the coxinha filling!

Filling coxinha

In a skillet, saute Brazilian sofrito or the onion and garlic over medium heat until the onion is translucent.

Then, lower the heat and add the shredded chicken, salt, ground pepper, and paprika powder and saute it for a few more minutes.

Remove it from the heat and add the parsley.

While you wait for the filling to cool down, knead the dough a bit, so it’s silky and smooth.

Smooth Coxinha dough
Silky and smooth!

Now, let’s get back to the filling!

It should be cooler by now, so you can add the cheese spread to it. Mix the filling well with a wooden spoon to incorporate.

Well done! Now we are going to assemble the coxinhas!

Set a large serving plate next to you so that you can put the coxinhas on it.

Get a golf ball amount of dough in your hands and roll it to form a little ball.

Coxinha dough

Then, flatten the dough with your thumbs, like a disc, hollowing the middle.

Flat disc Coxinha dough

With a teaspoon, add the filling in the center of the circle.

Filling coxinha

Close the coxinha with the help of the other hand shaping it into a drumstick or tear shape if you will.

Coxinha is a Brazilian appetizer

Put the assembled coxinha in the serving plate and repeat the last 3 steps with the rest of the dough.

Once you have shaped all your Brazilian chicken balls, as many people call it, it’s time to bread them!

Put the bread crumbs on a plate and set it next to you.

In a medium bowl, add the milk, egg, and salt and mix it well with a fork. Then, dip a coxinha in the liquid and bread it right away.

Breaded coxinhas

Put it on a plate with baking paper or directly in a container if you want to freeze it.

Repeat the last 2 steps until all coxinhas are coated with bread crumbs.

To fry your coxinhas, heat vegetal oil in a medium pot for about 4-5 minutes at high temperature. You should add enough oil to cover the coxinhas.

You don’t wanna start frying your coxinhas before your oil is hot enough, as they would get soggy and oily. You also don’t want the oil to be too hot as they would burn on the outside.

Coxinha de frango with chili sauce
Coxinha tastes great with chili sauce!

To be sure if the oil is at the right temperature, add a little dough ball to the oil. When it floats, it is the right temperature to fry your coxinhas.

In the meantime, cover a plate with kitchen paper and set aside.

Once the oil is hot enough, place about a few coxinhas in the saucepan and reduce the heat to medium.

Fry the coxinhas for about 3-4 minutes, turning them until golden brown. The exact time will depend on your stove, etc.

Transfer the coxinhas to the plate covered with kitchen paper.

Serve it warm, preferably with an ice-cold beer, and enjoy! Bom apetite!

Did you like these Brazilian chicken balls, aka coxinha de frango? Then share it with a friend who might like it too or save it to your Pinterest food board!

Coxinha recipe Pinterest graphic
Coxinha de frango with chili sauce

Coxinha - Brazilian Chicken Croquettes Recipe

Yield: About 30
Prep Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 50 minutes

Brazilian coxinha is a deep-fried croquette made of shredded chicken and cheese covered in a soft dough, which after breaded and deep-fried becomes a crunchy crust. Will you resist?

Ingredients

Dough

  • 4 cups (500 grams) all-purpose flour, sifted
  • 4.5 cups (1 liter) chicken stock (you will use the water where you cooked the chicken for the filling)
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 teaspoon paprika powder
  • 2 teaspoons salt

Filling

  • 0.8 pound (375 grams) chicken breast
  • 1 ⅔ cups (375 grams) cheese spread, softened (I prefer one with neutral flavor)
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • ½ cup (15 grams) parsley, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon paprika powder
  • 2 tablespoons vegetal oil
  • Salt and ground pepper to taste

Breading

  • 1 ½ cups (200 grams) bread crumbs
  • 3 cups (200 milliliters) milk, room temperature
  • 1 egg
  • Vegetal oil for frying

Instructions

  1. In an instant pot, add the chicken, the poultry bouillon cube, and cover it with water about 3 fingers above the chicken. Select the Poultry function of your instant pot or manual and cook it for about 25 minutes.
  2. When the time has passed, carefully release the pan's pressure, and only after that, you can open the pan. Remove the chicken with tongs and shred it using a wooden spoon. Set aside.
  3. In a pot, add the chicken stock, butter, paprika powder, and salt. Bring it to boil.
  4. In the meantime, butter and sprinkle the countertop or a clean surface with flour to knead the dough.
  5. Once the water is boiling, add the sifted flour and stir continually with a wooden spoon until it peels off the pan. Poke the dough with your index finger to feel if it is still sticky. If so, cook it a little longer.
  6. Once the dough is not sticking to your finger anymore, remove it from the heat, flatten it on the buttered countertop, and let it cool down.
  7. In a skillet, saute the onion and garlic over medium heat until the onion is translucent.
  8. Then, lower the heat and add the shredded chicken, salt, ground pepper, and paprika powder and saute it for a few more minutes.
  9. Remove it from the heat and add the parsley. Set aside.
  10. While you wait for the filling to cool down, knead the dough a bit so it’s silky and smooth.
  11. It should be cooler by now, so you can add the cheese spread. Mix the filling well with a wooden spoon to incorporate.
  12. Get a golf ball amount of dough in your hands and roll it to form a little ball.
  13. Flatten the dough with your thumbs, like a disc, hollowing out the middle. With a teaspoon, add the filling in the middle of the circle.
  14. Close the coxinha with the help of the other hand shaping it into a drumstick or tear shape, if you will.
  15. Put the assembled coxinha in the serving plate and repeat the last 3 steps with the rest of the dough.
  16. In a medium bowl, add the milk, egg, and salt, and mix it well with a fork. Then, dip a coxinha in the liquid and bread it right away.
  17. Repeat the last step until all coxinhas are coated with bread crumbs.
  18. To fry your coxinhas, heat vegetal oil in a medium pot for about 4-5 minutes at high temperature. You should add enough oil to cover the coxinhas.
  19. Once the oil is hot enough, place about a few coxinhas in the saucepan and reduce the heat to medium.
  20. Fry the coxinhas for about 3-4 minutes, turning them until golden brown.
  21. Transfer the coxinhas to the plate covered with kitchen paper.
  22. Serve them warm, preferably with an ice-cold beer and enjoy! Bom apetite!
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 30 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 192Total Fat: 8gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 34mgSodium: 321mgCarbohydrates: 21gFiber: 1gSugar: 2gProtein: 9g

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Tay

Monday 28th of September 2020

Can you give more detailed instructions on cooking the chicken pin the instant pot? I’m not too familiar with mine. Thank you!

Bruna

Thursday 1st of October 2020

Hi Tay! Yes, absolutely! In an instant pot, add the chicken, the poultry bouillon cube, and cover it with water about 3 fingers above the chicken. Select the Poultry function of your instant pot or manual and cook it for about 25 minutes. When the time has passed, carefully release the pan's pressure, and only after that, you can open the pan. Remove the chicken with tongs and shred it using a wooden spoon. Let me know if you have any questions!