/koh-SHEE-nya /
[Portuguese] plural coxhinas

Also known as Coxinha de frango or coxinha de galinha is a croquette/fritter, a very popular appetizer in Brazil and has been so for several 100 years and is believed to have been created in São Paulo.   Coxinha, a breaded chicken stuffed pastry shaped like little chicken legs and deep fried. Widely available as street food, the appetizer is served in cafes and bars and at holiday and anniversary gatherings.  See sample recipe below.

Coxinha de Frango


Chicken filling:

·         2 Tablespoons olive oil

·         ½ cup finely minced onion

·         2 cloves finely minced garlic

·         3 cups finely shredded cooked chicken

·         Salt and pepper to taste

·         A pinch of red pepper flakes

·         3 Tbsp Catupiry or requeijão cheese

·         3 Tbsp minced green onions


Coxinha pastry dough:

·         3-1/3 cup chicken stock

·         salt to taste (a pinch)

·         ¼ tsp turmeric

·         2 tsp olive oil

·         3 cups sifted all-purpose flour



·         2 cups all-purpose flour

·         8 large egg whites, divided

·         2-3 cups breadcrumbs

·         3 cups vegetable oil or sufficient oil to cover the coxinhas for deep frying 


1.    Chicken filling: In a large skillet, saute white onions in olive oil over medium high heat until translucent, then add garlic and cook until lightly browned and aromatic.

2.    Transfer the saute to large bowl and mix with the shredded chicken, salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, the Catupiry cheese, and green onions.

3.    Coxinha pastry dough: In a large saucepan, simmer over low heat chicken stock, salt, turmeric, and olive oil. Once stock is heated, add the flour at once and stir vigorously to incorporate quickly, about 1 to 2 minutes.  Transfer to mixer and beat with a dough hook until uniformly smooth or knead on a floured surface until smooth and elastic. Shape into flat disc and let rest for 5 to 6 minutes.

4.    Roll the dough to approximately ¼ to ⅛-inch thick. With a 3-1/4-inch round biscuit or cookie cutter.  Makes about 34 pastries.

5.    Fill the pastry rounds with 1 tblsp of chicken filling.  With hands lightly oiled, shape the rounds to enclose the filling by folding the dough up, over and around the filling to form a “Beggar’s Purse”/drumstick shape pressing the filling in and down to form the thick rounded bottom.  Roll between hands, pulling the dough up into a pointed top so that the pastry completely encloses the filling without any cracks. (To smooth and close any cracks, wet fingers, pinch the wetted dough either side of the crack together and smooth.)  Set the coxinhas aside on a baking sheet, bulbous end down.

6.    Dredge coxinhas: In three separate bowls, place separately, the all-purpose flour, half of the egg whites (i.e. 4 egg whites mixed with 1 teaspoon of water), and half of the breadcrumbs (i.e. about 1-1/2 cups of breadcrumbs). Pass the fritters through each bowl (flour, egg whites, and then breadcrumbs), shaking off any excess. If and when the egg whites and breadcrumbs become “muddied,” use the reserved whites and crumbs to replenish the bowls in order to maintain effective coating of the coxinhas.

7.    Fry coxinhas: In a thick, high-walled pot heat sufficient vegetable oil to cover coxinhas while frying.  Test readiness of oil by placing a small amount of dough in heated oil to hear it sizzle, the test to indicate readiness oil (about 350 degrees Fahrenheit). In small batches, fry the croquettes in batches to prevent the coxinhas from absorbing too much oil, turning the coxinhas occasionally to brown evenly.  As done, transfer coxinhas to a baking sheet lined with a double sheet of paper towels to absorb excess oil and serve coxinhas warm accompanied by lime wedges or chimichurri sauce.