Little chicken drumstick

It’s really difficult to translate the name of this snack. Little chicken drumstick it’s a very literal translation that doesn’t sounds good, but coxinha is an a-m-a-z-i-n-g treat!

Another very traditional and easy to find snack in Brazil. There, unlike the US, when you go to a caffe or bakery, the amount of salty snacks are usually bigger or at least the same amount as the sweet goodies. And coxinha is the most popular.

This version that I did is the party version. In a small, finger food like size. But in caffes or bakeries around Brazil they are bigger and almost as satisfying as a full meal.

It’s not difficult to make, but it is hard work. You have to cook the chicken, shredding, then saute, then doing the dough, then rolling the coxinhas and finally frying them. But I can assure you, it’s worth the long working hours.

I also did some little cheese balls, known in Brazil as bolinhas de queijo, because it’s absolutely the same process, but instead of stuffing with chicken, you stuff it with cheese in a ball shape. Because I always like to have a vegetarian friendly snack in a party too.

This recipe makes about 100 units, but if you don’t have party plans for soon, do the whole thing (since it’s almost certain that you will going to get addicted too) and freeze the left over. For freezing it, go until just before frying (after dipping in the egg and rolling in the bread crumbs) and freeze the little chicken drumstick individually first then transfer to Ziploc or closed container. When ready for some more coxinha, fry it still frozen.

Little chicken drumstick

Adapted from “Entre panelas e tigelas” by Heloisa Bacelar

To cook listening to Vanessa da Mata

For the filling

600g of chicken meat (I like to mix thigh with breast meat)

1 Cube of chicken bouillon or 2 liters of chicken broth

1 Bay leaf

25g of Butter

1 Small onion

1 Garlic glove

3 Tomatoes

1/3 Cup of corn starch


Olive oil



For the dough

4 Cups of chicken broth (from the chicken cooking)

75g of Butter

1 Teaspoon of salt

4 Cups of all purpose flour

1 Teaspoon of paprika (just for the color, can be skipped)

For dipping and rolling

3 Cups of bread crumbs

3 Eggs

Cook the chicken in the broth or in water with the cubes and the bay leaf for 40 minutes, or until the meat is soft and falling out the bone. Strain the broth, and save the chicken broth for later. Let the meat cool down and shred it (to me it’s easier shredding with my own hands).

Stir fried the onion for a minute with the butter, then add the garlic. When the garlic is fragrant it’s time to add the meat, diced tomatoes, parsley, salt and pepper. Dissolve the corn starch in 1 cup of the chicken broth, from the chicken cooking, pour over the meat and stir until boil and the broth is thick. Take the pan out the stove and place in a cool water, to cool faster.

Heat the 4 cups of broth, butter, salt and pepper. When gets to a boil add the flour at once! So have all the 3 cups of flour together in one container before adding it. Without stopping mixing, cook the dough until becomes a big ball that gets totally loosen out the pan. And let it cool.

The fun starts! Beat the egg in a soup place, and place the bread crumbs in another soup plate. Butter your hands. Get a small portion of the dough and make a ball. With your thumb make a hole in the ball, put 1 teaspoon of the chicken filling in the hole and then work the dough making that format (see picture above). Dip the coxinha in the eggs mixture, and than roll it in the bread crumbs.

Congrats, you have one coxinha ready, just 99 more to go!

After all the coxinhas are ready, fry it in a hot oil (Between 200F Degrees and 210F Degrees) until golden crisp perfection! Bom apetite.

Published in: on November 23, 2009 at 7:53 pm  Comments (4)  

Cheese Bread

This is my single favorite thing to eat!

Very Brazilian, very delicious. I never found anything quite like it anywhere else, and I still don’t know why this isn’t a worldwide sensation by now.

In Brazil they are called pão de queijo, literally cheese bread, and you can find it at any Caffe or market. At markets you will find frozen versions or just the mix that you add egg and water or milk.

My name is Aline and I have cheese bread addiction. If I see one I have to eat it. If I smell one I have to find where the smell is coming from and eat it. If I dream about one, I have to bake it and eat it

It’s actually really easy to make, but one of the ingredients might be a little hard to find. If you live in a big city like me, you will find a Brazilian market around you for sure, and there you will look for polvilho azedo. I read that it works just fine with sour starch, also called cassava flour or tapioca starch, but I never tried neither of those options since in San Francisco there are many Brazilian markets and I can always can find the real thing. Other than that, everything else is pretty basic.

It’s a great finger food. Good for parties or afternoon snack, or as I like to do, bake even smaller breads and eat watching a movie, instead of popcorn…

To cook listening to Pato Fu

Cheese Bread

1/2 Teaspoon of salt

1/2 Cube of chicken flavor bouillon (not absolutely necessary, if skipping it, just add more salt)

300ml of Milk

150ml of Oil

500g of Sour starch

3 Eggs

2 Cups of grated mozzarella

2 Cups of grated Parmesan

Put the sour starch in a large bowl.

Boil the milk, salt, chicken cube and oil in the stop oven.  After boiling, pour the milk mixture over the sour starch and mix well until all the lumps disappear. Let it cool down.

After cooling down, add the eggs one by one alternating with the cheese, and mixing well after each addiction. Mix the dough with your hands until all the mixture is evenly mixed.

Preheat oven at 350F degrees.

Roll the balls and place it in a sprayed baking sheet leaving 1 inch around each ball because they will almost double in size. If the dough is a little sticky, oil your hands to be able to roll the balls.

Place the baking sheet in the preheated oven for 20 minutes, or until the breads are bigger and golden on top. Bom apetite.

*This recipe will make around 45 balls. Usually this is too much to eat in one day, even for me. It’s fine to freeze the cheese breads. To do so, place the balls in a sheet in the freezer, not touching one another. After they are frozen, transfer to a Ziploc or any container. It’s very important to frozen them individually first, because if you skip this process you will end up with a bunch of cheese breads all glued together and it will be impossible to separate them to bake. Bake them still frozen for 30 minutes at 35oF degrees.

Published in: on November 17, 2009 at 6:23 am  Leave a Comment