the appetizer:

Brazil's culinary influences include not only Amerindian and Portuguese foods, but the cooking styles of immigrants from many other parts of Europe, Africa, the Middle East, and Asia. Each of the country's five geographic regions offer cuisines that are distinctly different yet recognizably Brazilian.

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(Mock chicken legs)

Makes about 15

One 3-pound chicken,
     cut into pieces
3 tablespoons olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium onion, chopped
1 bay leaf
Salt and pepper to taste
1 cup rice flour
2 cups milk
1 cup reserved chicken broth
3 egg yolks, beaten
1 tablespoon butter
1 malagueta pepper, finely chopped*
4 cups fine bread crumbs
2 eggs, beaten
Vegetable oil for frying

Sauté the chicken in olive oil. Add garlic, onion, bay leaf, salt and pepper to taste. Cover with water and simmer until done. Remove chicken and reserve 1 cup broth. Take the meat off the bones. Reserve 15 thin strips of chicken and finely chop the remainder.

Whisk together the flour, milk and reserved broth until smooth and cook over medium heat until thickened, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and stir in egg yolks, butter, chicken and malagueta pepper. Correct the seasonings. Return to heat and stir until quite thick. Completely cool mixture in refrigerator. Take an amount the size of a large egg and shape it around a reserved strip of chicken, forming a "drumstick." Roll in bread crumbs, dip into beaten eggs and cover with another layer of bread crumbs. Fry in hot oil until golden brown.

Note: a bone from the cooked chicken can be placed into each coxinha, along with the strip of chicken meat, providing a closer resemblance to a chicken leg.

*In the US, malagueta peppers are available bottled, not fresh. They are chilis and should be handled carefully because they contain oils that can irritate or burn the skin or eyes.


From Eat Smart In Brazil. Reprinted by permission of the publisher, Ginkgo Press.


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This page modified January 2007