Cabana The Cookbook
Martin Poole

Coxinha means ‘little drumstick’, and refers to the shape of these tasty chicken croquettes. If you asked twenty Brasilians for their recipe, you’d receive a different one every time: some are made with potato, some with cheese, and some with a real chicken drumstick encased in batter. Ours are made with shredded chicken and spices, and are delicious on their own or dipped in molho vinagrete or our chilli mayonnaise.


Quantity Ingredient
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
450g floury potatoes, quartered
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
4 tablespoons Spicy malagueta marinade
100g plain flour
2 eggs, lightly beaten
100g panko breadcrumbs
vegetable oil, for deep-frying
few sprigs flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper


  1. Bring a small pan of salted water to the boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer. Add the chicken and poach very gently for 10 minutes (only a few bubbles should break the surface). Remove from the heat, cover and leave to continue cooking in the residual heat for 10–15 minutes, until cooked through and firm when lightly squeezed. Remove from the liquid and leave to cool, reserving the poaching liquid.
  2. Bring the poaching liquid to the boil and add the potatoes. Simmer for 10–15 minutes, until just tender. Drain well, then leave in the pan to dry out before mashing. Season with salt and pepper.
  3. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a small pan, add the onion and cook gently, stirring, over a medium-low heat for 8–10 minutes, until soft and translucent.
  4. To assemble, shred the chicken into small pieces and place in a large bowl. Add the mashed potatoes, onions and spicy malagueta marinade. Mix well, then taste and season with salt and pepper. With damp hands, shape about 50 g of the mixture into a drumstick shape, like a teardrop with a rounded base and pointed top. Set it upright on a plate and repeat with the rest of the mixture. Coat each one in flour, then egg, then breadcrumbs. Cover with clingfilm and chill for at least an hour to firm up.
  5. Heat the oil in a deep-fryer to 170°C. Fry in batches for 3–4 minutes, turning once or twice, until golden brown. Remove and drain on kitchen paper. Serve warm, sprinkled with chopped parsley and a little more sea salt, if you like.
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