Brazilian Snack - Coxinha

Coxinhas are a very popular snack or appetizers in Brazil. They are served in majority of bars and cafes to accompany drinks or as a quick snack. Or simply as a savoury treat, food on the go or street food. At parties they are presented in bite sizes as canapes. Home-made coxinhas are the best. There are a few variations on the recipe, specially the dough. Some people make with rice flour others with potatoes. I keep it very simple and light. Using chicken stock and flour and a very well seasoned filling. They are presented in chicken drumstick shape (or some similar). They are a bit fiddly to assemble to start with but practise makes perfect! Lovely way to impress your family and friends.

750gr chicken breasts (about 4 halves)
4-5 cups of chicken broth
1 small cubes or grated carrot
diced red pepper
2 onions
2 bay leaves
2 tablespoons butter
2 cloves garlic
handful of parsley
spring onion
Juice of 1 lime
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
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 completely covered.
Add the carrot and one of the onions (peeled and halved) as well as the bay leaves.
Bring liquid to a gentle simmer, and cook for 15-20 minutes, or until chicken is just cooked through.
Set chicken aside to cool, and strain the broth. Reserve broth.
Finely chop the second onion, the garlic and the red pepper. Sauté them in 2 tablespoons of butter until golden and soft.

Add the hot onions and garlic to the chicken mixture and stir until everything is well mixed. Stir lime juice into the shredded chicken.

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).
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. It will make quite a few bite size coxinhas or about 20 medium size ones (about 8cm tall).
Whisk the eggs together in a bowl. Place the bread crumbs in a separate plate and season with salt and pepper.
Dip the coxinhas in the egg, then in the breadcrumbs to coat. Chill the breaded coxinhas for 1 hour.
Fill a heavy-bottomed pot with enough oil to cover the coxinhas. Fry the coxinhas in batches until deep golden brown.
Serve them warm.
Bom appetite!

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