Who doesn’t love a good salgadinho? Roughly translated, “tasty little salty things” (tasty was my own literary addition, because they’re delicious), salgadinhos are indispensable at any children’s birthday bash, wedding or post-party munch fest.
I remember Laurena and I navigating our way through the salgadinho counter at the Brazilian bakery in Marlborough, Massachusetts, trying to figure out which golden, breadcrumb coated, meat and cheese filled pastry would be worth the 3 mile jog to follow. I settled on a coxinha and I believe Laurena went for a pastel de carne. Ever since then I dreamed about coxinhas, ate them at every opportunity I could find. If you were to ask me why I love Brazil, I swear to you that coxinhas would be in my top 10, and probably 4 places before my husband.
So when my husband told me that his mother, who used to own and operate a lanchonete, makes coxinhas on the reg., it was a done deal. I didn’t even know people made coxinhas. To me they just appeared in paper-lined, plastic food baskets, perfect and delicious, like Smiley Face Potatoes or Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. They just are. People make coxinhas?
And when she finally offered to teach me how to make coxinhas I was apprehensive at first. Did I really want to spoil the magic? I imagined it would be as if the children with the Golden Ticket had entered Willy Wonka’s factory only to find an assembly line of white-coated figures lifting and placing balls of chocolate with their plastic wrapped fingers. But then Renato painted an image of us two sitting in our little kitchen surrounded by bowls of recently fried, sizzling coxinhas full of shredded chicken and catupiry, and I was game.
To make the dough:
If you have homemade chicken stock, use that! If not, a few bouillon cubes in hot water works, or a box of store bought chicken stock is fine as well. Using half a liter of chicken stock, add half a liter of milk and allow the mixture to boil. Good massa is seasoned- taste for salt. Once the liquid is boiling add about 1 cup of flour (these things are always estimated) and stir until the dough forms. If it is too sticky, add some more flour. The dough should be thick and malleable but should not stick to your hands. Hate to say it, it should be playdough-esque.
To make the filling:
First, boil chicken. You can use any part you like, but chicken breast is always good, I’d use about 1 kilo
Once the meat is boiled, remove it from the liquid (reserve this liquid) and with your hands, shred finely.
In a skillet, heat the oil and add chopped onions and garlic. Give it a good stir and add the chicken, more salt and pepper.
Now here, the seasoning is up to you: some people add saffron and cumin and paprika (very Bahia), while some will add a dollop of tomato paste and some garlic powder. If the chicken dries out, add a ladle-full of the reserved chicken broth.
Assembling the coxinha:
Start by taking a small piece of dough and forming a ball. Flatten the ball and in the middle place a small portion of the shredded chicken. Don’t overfill, but don’t skimp out, either…a coxinha lacking in filling is really sem graça. Now, fold the dough in half and then, pinch the two ends together…use your hands to mold and roll the dough into a teardrop (coxinha means “little thigh”) shape. Roll in breadcrumb and fry in hot oil until golden brown.
Escolher as férias ideal é uma decisão importante. Escolher o agente certo é uma decisão ainda maior. Não deixe suas férias ao acaso. Insista no melhor serviço de viagens com atendimento profissionalizado e com anos de experiência.
Seja a trabalho ou a lazer, Brasil-USA Receptivo é sua opção segura e garantida. Com mais de 18 anos de [...]