Brazilian chicken coxinha

  • medium
  • makes 30
  • 2 hours 30 minutes
Not yet rated

Marcello Tully's coxinha recipe stays true to the Sao Paulo street food classic - mixing shredded chicken breast with cream cheese, coating in a simple batter and breadcrumbs and shaping to resemble chicken drumsticks. Marcello recommends using Brazilian Catupiry cheese, but regular cream cheese will do if you can't get hold of it.

First published in 2015




  • 750g of chicken breast
  • 480ml of chicken stock
  • 1 carrot, finely chopped
  • 2 onions, finely diced
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 225g of cream cheese, preferably Brazilian Catupiry
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 2 tbsp of butter
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 360g of plain flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 2 eggs
  • 350g of breadcrumbs, seasoned with salt and pepper
  • dende oil, for frying
  • salt
  • pepper


  • Deep fat fryer


Add a splash of oil to a frying pan and place over a medium heat. Once hot, add the carrot and half of the diced onion and sweat for 2-3 minutes
  • dende oil, for frying
  • 1 carrot, finely chopped
  • 1 onion, finely diced
Add the bay leaves, cold chicken stock and chicken breasts to the pan and bring to the boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook for 15-20 minutes
Remove from the liquor and allow to cool. Once cool enough to handle, shred into pieces using your hands and place in a mixing bowl. Pass the cooking liquor through a sieve and reserve
Add the lime juice and cream cheese to the mixing bowl. In a small frying pan, add the butter and sweat the remaining diced onion for 2-3 minutes, then add the garlic and sweat for a further 1-2 minutes. Tip into the chicken mix, stir to combine and season to taste
Measure out 360ml of the strained chicken liquor - top up with water if you don't have enough. Bring the liquid to the boil, gradually stir in the flour and cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring vigorously as you go
  • 360g of plain flour
Once the mix resembles a stiff dough, cook for a further 5 minutes, constantly moving the dough around the pan. Remove from the pan, then set aside in the fridge for 1 hour
To form the coxinhas, coat your hands in flour and roll the chilled dough into golfball-sized balls. Hollow out the middle of each and press 1 1/2 teaspoons of chicken filling into each ball. Carefully press the dough around the filling so it is totally encased
Flour your hands again and gently roll the balls between your fingers to create the distinctive pear shape. Add the eggs to a bowl and the breadcrumbs to another, then dip each coxinha into the egg mix, followed by the breadcrumbs to coat. Once they are all coated, set aside in the fridge for 1 hour to chill
  • 2 eggs
  • 350g of breadcrumbs, seasoned with salt and pepper
Deep-fry the coxinhas in batches at 160°C until golden brown all over. Serve warm
First published in 2015

When Brazilian-born chef Marcello Tully started his career at fourteen, he may not have anticipated working on the starkly beautiful island of Skye – but then he probably didn’t expect to be crafting some of the most exquisitely refined Scottish-influenced food on the planet, either.

Get in touch

Please sign in or register to send a comment to Great British Chefs.