Chicken in broth

This a family style meal. I’m sure it has Italian influences, but it’s very common in Brazil. I usually remember more of my gramma’s food, but this one is so my mom.
I love this dish, the tasty broth, the creamy polenta, the fall off the bone chicken… hum!

I like to eat this dish with creamy polenta but if you can’t find it, use corn meal. Adding cheese to the polenta or corn meal makes them even better…

In Brazil we all use pressure cook, and I used to make this dish in the pressure cooker over there. But here, I don’t know why, they are not very popular. Not mentioning the not so popular price either. So in the pressure cooker or not, this dish is worth the wait. And if you are doing in the pressure cooker, the chicken will be ready in half the time.

For some kick, add chili or red pepper flacks (my favorite) to the broth.

To cook listening to Chico Buarque

Chicken in broth
Serves two

4 Chicken thighs
2 Carrots
1 Onion
2 Garlic gloves
1/2 Cup of white wine
2 Tablespoons of tomato sauce
1/4 Cup of fresh parsley
Chicken broth
Olive oil
Salt and pepper

Preps: Cut the carrot, the onion, garlic, and parsley in big pieces. And set two pan in the range.

Start heating the chicken broth in one pan. In another medium pan heat some olive oil.

Salt and pepper the tights and then sear the chicken in the pan with the oil. Fry both sides until golden color, seat aside.
In the same pan, stir fry the onion until translucent, then add the garlic until you can smell it and then add the carrot and the parsley and fry for a minute.
Place the thighs back in the pan and add the white wine. After the wine evaporates, add the tomato sauce and enough broth to cover the thighs.
Cover and reduce heat and let it simmer for about 50 minutes. Transfer to a serving dish, sprinkle some parsley on top and bom apetite.

Published in: on December 11, 2009 at 4:57 am  Leave a Comment  

Little hidden

It’s been over a week since I published here, but that doesn’t mean that I haven’t been cooking… I actually have been cooking a lot, but nothing Brazilian inspired. Like all other Americans responsible for the Thanksgiving dinner, I made turkey, green beans, potatoes and pecan pie for some friends. But I had a lot of help of my friend Lalita, she is an great cook also. Aaahh, I love to cook with friends and a beer in my hands… And everything was amazing, the food, the mountains and specially the weather at Lake Tahoe where I spent my holiday, where the snow came in the perfect day and time.

Drinking and eating a lot last week made me try to go easy on the food this week. That’s why I thought about showing you another very popular Brazilian dish, that can also be made in the lighter side.

The dish is called escondinho, which literally means “little hidden”. The reason behind the name is because the meat gets hidden underneath purée or mashed potatoes. Cute, right?

This became very popular in bars in Brazil, it’s kinda like an individual appetizer plate. They come in a small bowl and in a diverse variety of flavors: meat with pumpkin purée, chicken with mashed potatoes, fish with cassava purée, etc.. My favorite is carne seca com mandioquinha or dried meat with arracacha, two ingredients very important and largely used in Brazilian culinary, but almost impossible to find here. So that’s why I’m making the chicken and potato version, also delicious, lighter and very easy to find the ingredients over here.

Other ingredient in this dish, the brie spread, is a substitute for the requeijão. Requeijão is the Brazilian cream cheese. It’s a cheese spread but it doesn’t have the sourness of the cream cheese, and it’s a lot more creamy. It’s used here to make the chicken more moist and flavorful. Here in the US a friend of mine found the brie spread that looks and tastes pretty much like the requeijão. Actually I think that tastes better, but don’t let any of my Brazilians friend know that I said that. The recipe would work just fine with regular brie (and a splash of milk), cream cheese, or bèchamel sauce.

Little hidden

Ingredients (for two)

To cook listening to Marisa Monte

Chicken filling

1 Chicken breast

1 Bay leaf

1 Cube of chicken bouillon or 1 liter of chicken broth

2 Shallots or 1/2 small onion

1 Garlic clove

1 Tomato

1/2 Cup of pea

1/2 Brie spread

1/2 cup of Grated Parmesan cheese

Olive oil


Mashed potato

1 Potato

1 Tablespoon of butter

Splash of milk

Salt or Garlic salt

Preheat the oven at 350F degrees.

Cook the chicken in the boiling broth with the bay leaf for 20 minutes or until the meat starts falling apart. Strain the meat and toss the bay leaf, let it cool.

In the meanwhile, peel the potato and cut in pieces and boil for 10 minutes or until the potato is cooked all the way. To know if the potato is ready, stick a fork in it and if it falls out the fork, that means it is all cooked. Strain the water and add the butter, splash the milk and salt, mash the potato and set aside.

If you don’t like the tomato peel like me, remove the peel before cutting the tomato. To do so, place the tomato in boiling water for about 2 minutes, or until the peel starts to fall out. Let it cool down. Remove the peel and the seeds and cut the tomato in small pieces.

Cut the shallots and garlic in small pieces. Shred the chicken.

Heat the olive oil in a pan, add the shallots and stir fry for a minute, then add the garlic for another minute. Add the shredded chicken. Add the brie spread and stir until it liquefy and gets absorbed by the chicken. Then add the tomato, peas and parsley. Stir and set aside. Adjust salt and pepper.

Divide the chicken filling between two oven safe bowls, just until half way of the bowl. Than cover the chicken with the mashed potato, top with Parmesan cheese and place in the oven on top of a baking sheet for 40 minutes, or until the cheese starts to melt. And bom apetite.

Published in: on December 3, 2009 at 6:36 am  Leave a Comment  

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)