Simple & Easy Coxinhas (Brazilian Chicken Croquettes)

coxinhas-de-frango

Coxinha are a delicious Brazilian chicken dish that is simple to make and even more delicious to eat. They are filled with chicken and look like a drumstick. They are a very popular Brazilian treat to eat at any time by themselves or accompanying another dish. They are a great food to eat on the go and are very popular to sell on street food vendors. These are historically a very integral part of Brazilian cooking in the region where it was originally made and there has a deep root in the culture of the cuisine.

*Makes 24 coxinhas*
Ingredients:
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

Directions:
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 and enjoy!

This recipe was written by our friend Marian Blazes over at About.com so check them out as well for more delicious Brazilian recipes!

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