So Friday, one of my coworkers introduced me to Brazillian Coxinhas, something kinda akin to a chicken nugget, only awesome. The things were fantastic, and the answer to “What should we have for dinner tonight, Dylan?” is almost always “Chicken nuggets!” these days, so I thought I’d have a go at reproducing them.
It didn’t work out. Any resemblance between what I made and Brazillian Coxhina is pretty much coincidental. This is in part because of my lack of skill, in part because I wanted to use the new pressure cooker, and in part because the recipes I found on the internet diverged from what the aforementioned coworker had said. But when all was said and done, what came out was actually pretty delicious.
- 1.5 lb chicken breasts
- 1 liter lemon-lime soda
- 1/2 onion, cut into large pieces
- A Few Sprigs of fresh cilantro, coarsely chopped
- A Handful of Baby Carrots
- 2 cups chicken broth
- 6 oz cream cheese, softened
- 2 oz goat cheese, softened
- Cumin, Ground Coriander, Chili Powder, Garlic Powder, Salt to taste
- 4-5 potatoes
- 2 tbsp evaporated milk
- 2 tbsp butter or butter-like substance
- 1 egg
- Oil for frying
In a slow cooker, cover the chicken breasts in soda and chicken broth, and add the carrots, onion and cilantro. Slow cook on low heat 3-4 hours or until the chicken is cooked. Shred the chicken with a pair of forks and mix with the cheese and spices. Coxinha doesn’t call for any extra seasoning on the chicken, but I thought that the filling reminded me so much of Buffalo Chicken Spread that I reckoned that spicing it up would be delicious. Roll the chicken mixture into little balls about the size of… Um… I dunno. Eyeballs?
Boil the potatoes in the braising liquid from the chicken. If your slow cooker was big enough, you probably could have cooked the potatoes and chicken together. Me, I flipped the knob on the slow cooker over to “Pressure Cooker” mode and pressure cooked them for 20 minutes.
Mash the potatoes. If you cooked them the way I did, they’ll basically crumble into mush if you look at them the wrong way. Add the milk and butter. I did it with the skin on, but your mileage may vary.
This next bit was problematic. You basically want to wrap the chicken balls in a thick coating of potatoes. If you know how to make some kind of quickbread-type dough out of mashed potatoes do that. I didn’t, so I just balled them up as best I could.
Fill a deep, heavy-bottomed pot with enough oil to cover the “Coxinha”. I used my dutch oven and it worked out pretty well for me. Heat it up to, I’m going to say 300 degrees, but that’s just me shooting in the dark since it’s not like I actually measured the temperature.
Whisk an egg in a shallow dish, and put the breadcrumbs in a second shallow dish. You should know where I’m going with this: dredge the potato-covered balls in the egg, then in the breadcrumbs, so that they’re coated. I ran out of breadcrumbs halfway through and, in a bind for time, finished the batch by pulverizing some pretzels in the food processor. Surprisingly tasty.
Deep fry in batches. Just leave them in until they turn golden-brown. It only takes 2-3 minutes. Be ginger with them when you take them out, placing them on a couple of layers of paper towel to soak up the grease. Sprinkle with salt.