Coxinha de Frango (Chicken Fritters) and Rioja Wine: A Match Made in Heaven!


Disclosure: This is a sponsored post, brought to you by RIOJA WINE in collaboration with Honest Cooking (#matchmadeinheaven).  The opinions herein are from the author. 

Have you ever heard about, or perhaps even gotten a chance to experience, a coxinha? “Hum? Come again!!!” Coxinha — a “little drumstick” that is actually a fritter molded into a shape resembling a chicken leg…  Well, if you haven’t, now is your chance… I would like to introduce to you a fave of mine (and ten out of ten people), a real star among Brazilian salgados or appetizers: Coxinha de Frango or Brazilian Chicken Fritters

Coxinha de Frango ou Coxinha de Galinha (Brazilian Chicken Fritters)

Coxinha de frango ( pronounced like koh-SHEEN-ya dee FRAHN-goo), also known as coxinha de galinha,  originated in São Paulo about 2 centuries ago, having now become one of the most popular appetizers in the country.  It consists of dough, originally made with wheat flour and chicken broth, which is filled with seasoned shredded chicken,  shaped into a little chicken drumstick, and then deep-fried.

Coxinha de frango is a street food, although common  in snack bars, bakeries, and cafés.  It is also served at birthday parties and many other events as an appetizer. I have been a fan of coxinha de frango for as long as I can remember, just like everyone else who has taken a bite.  The thing is unforgettable!!!!! 

Well, as if this weren’t enough, I am pairing this savory beauty with another star: Rioja Wine, of course!

Coxinha and Rioja Wine

I know, I know… Rioja wine is not from Brazil (unfortunately)!  But it doesn’t have to be in order to pair well with coxinha de frango, our Brazilian tapas this time around.  In fact, Rioja wine is so food-friendly that can perfectly complement a huge range of dishes from different cuisines — not just those from Spain and other Mediterranean countries. If you didn’t know, Rioja reds, whites, and rosés are beautifully balanced in their alcohol content and acidity — complementing everything from fish to veggies, meats, and cheeses… most of the time without you even having to order different wines.  How about that?!

Rioja wines are also “aged for you”! This means that Rioja winemakers age the wine for you in their cellars. When you pick up a bottle of Rioja, you can be sure it will taste great right away.

Here comes a real fave of mine: its price!!!!!!!!!!!! Rioja offers terrific value for everyday pours and special occasions.  Most Rioja wines are priced around $15 a bottle, and you can even find a 2004 vintage for less than $30. Would you believe that for a great 2012 Marqués de Cáceres I only paid about $8 bucks?  I know… I had to pinch myself in order to convince myself I wasn’t day-dreaming…

2012 Marqués de Cáceres is a dry, crisp, clean, and citrusy white wine from Rioha Alta, Spain. It goes well with our Brazilian tapas  for at least 3 reasons:

1. Its clean acidity complements chicken, seafood, pastas, rice, hors d’óeuvres, sushi, fresh salads, etc.

2. This Rioja has both a long length, and lasting flavors that are not carried away by the intensity of garlic and spices in our coxinhas or chicken fritters.

3. This is a light wine that contrasts well with our heavy (fried) Brazilian tapas dish.  Yes, its acidity cuts through the fat in fried foods!!!

To make sure you buy wine from the Rioja region in Spain, don’t forget to double-check that your bottle carries one of these quality seals

Both our coxinha(s) and Rioja wine are perfect for your next get together… Enjoy our coxinhas, and cheers to a great time!

P.S.: For a chance to WIN A PRIZE, CLICK on the banner ad at the bottom of this post… And good luck!!!!

 Coxinha de Galinha (Chicken Fritters) and Rioja Wine - A match made in heaven!

5.0 from 4 reviews
Brazilian Chicken Fritters (Coxinha de Frango)
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Coxinha de Frango (Brazilian Chicken Fritters), also known as Coxinha de Galinha, consist on a dough made with wheat flour and chicken broth, which is filled with spiced chicken meat, shaped into a chicken little drumstick, and deep-fried. It is one of the most popular appetizers in Brazil!
Recipe type: Appetizer
Cuisine: Brazilian
Serves: 34
  • For the coxinha filling:
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • ½ cup white onion, finely minced
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely minced
  • 3 cups cooked (or rotisserie) chicken, finely shredded
  • Salt and ground black pepper to taste
  • A pinch of red pepper flakes (optional and only if you enjoy heat)
  • 3 Tablespoons mayonnaise (or if desired, Catupiry cheese spread - also called requeijão)
  • 3 Tablespoons minced green onions or chives
  • For the coxinha dough:
  • 3-1/3 cup chicken stock (liquid)
  • A pinch of salt (enough to taste)
  • ¼ teaspoon annatto or turmeric (optional)
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 3 cups sifted all-purpose flour
  • For dredging:
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 8 large egg whites, divided
  • 2-3 cups breadcrumbs, divided
  • For frying:
  • Enough vegetable oil to fully immerse the coxinhas for deep frying
  1. Prepare the filling: In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the white onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft and translucent (about 2 minutes). Add the garlic and cook for about 1 minute.
  2. In a large bowl, place the finely shredded chicken and stir in the cooked onion and garlic mixture, salt, pepper, red pepper flakes (optional) , the mayonnaise or Catupiry cheese, and green onions or chives. Set aside. NOTE: If desired, the coxinha filling can be prepared 1 or 2 days ahead and refrigerated in an airtight plastic container.
  3. Prepare the coxinha dough: In a large, non-stick saucepan, place the chicken stock (liquid), salt, annatto or turmeric (optional), and olive oil, and bring to a simmer over medium-low heat. When the stock is hot, add the sifted flour all at once while stirring very well. It will get more and more difficult to stir but continue to stir vigorously for about 1 minute or so until obtaining a uniformly lumpy dough.
  4. Remove from heat and transfer the coxinha dough to an electric mixer fitted with a hook attachment. Knead dough at speed "2" for about 5 minutes or until it becomes soft and smooth (NOTE: If you don't have a mixer with a hook attachment, let dough cool enough to handle and knead by hand very well).
  5. Scrape dough from mixing bowl onto a well-floured surface with a dough scraper or spatula, and knead a little bit more by hand. Shape the coxinha dough into a flat disk and let rest for 5 to 8 minutes at room temperature.
  6. Using a rolling pin, roll out the dough onto a well-floured surface until it is about ¼ to ⅛-inch thick. Using a 3-1/4-inch round cookie cutter, cut out disks of dough and place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper (a metal spatula can be useful to help pry the disks from the rolling surface). Aggregate the dough leftovers, re-roll, and cut out more disks. With ⅛-inch thick dough, I was able to cut about 34 disks.
  7. Scoop about 1 tablespoon of the chicken filling onto the center of each disk.
  8. Lightly oil your hands and shape the filled disks into drumsticks by folding the dough up and around the filling into a beggar's purse shape, forming the neck of the coxinha between your encircled index finger and thumb, and gently press the filling down into the center as you close. Pinch and seal the edges. Pull the dough at the top out slightly so that it resembles a drumstick.
  9. Use a moist towel to clean your fingers off each time they touch the filling. Make sure the dough has no cracks; if it does crack, wet your fingers in water and pinch the dough together. Flatten the rounded bottom of the coxinhas very minimally with the palm of your hand (just enough that they will be able to rest upright), and placed shaped coxinhas on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  10. Dredge coxinhas: Prepare three separate bowls for the all-purpose flour, half of the egg whites (i.e. 4 egg whites mixed with 1 teaspoon of water), and half of the breadcrumbs (i.e. about 1-1/2 cups of breadcrumbs). Pass the fritters through each bowl (flour, egg whites, and then breadcrumbs), shaking off any excess. The egg whites and breadcrumbs are divided for use in half-quantities because eventually the bowl of whites will accumulate excess of flour and the crumbs will accumulate excess whites. Both will need to be replaced in order to maintain effective coating of the coxinhas as they are dredged.
  11. Fry coxinhas: Pour enough vegetable oil into a frying machine or heavy-bottomed pot. Heat to 350 degrees F. If you don't have a thermometer to measure the temperature, dip a small piece of the dough into the heated oil. If you hear a sizzling sound, the oil is ready. Fry the fritters in batches. Please, do not place too many coxinhas or chicken fritters in at the same time because this will lower the temperature, making the fritters oily. Make sure to turn all sides while frying the fritters so that they will brown evenly.
  12. Transfer coxinhas or fritters to a baking sheet lined with a double sheet of paper towels to absorb any excess oil. To serve coxinhas warm, keep the finished batches in a warm oven until serving.
  13. Coxinha can be served by itself or accompanied by ketchup, lime wedges, rosé sauce, or chimichurri sauce. Serve coxinha (s) with a chilled (and authentic) Rioja Dry White Wine, such as 2012 Marqués de Cáceres.
After frying coxinhas and let them cooling down, place into ziploc bags (small batches) and freeze them for up to 3 months. Before eating them, place frozen coxinhas onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake them at 350 degrees F for about 8-10 minutes or until thoroughly heated.


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49 Responses to Coxinha de Frango (Chicken Fritters) and Rioja Wine: A Match Made in Heaven!

  1. Juliana 14 July, 2014 at 6:38 pm #

    Oh Denise…que saudades de comer uma coxinha…now you got me craving for it. Yours look delicious, I so wish to live next door to you so I could enjoy all this treats…
    Have a beautiful week dear 😀

    • Denise Browning 14 July, 2014 at 6:58 pm #

      Juliana: It would be a pleasure to share with you this and many other Brazilian dishes. I hope you can try to make this recipe at home. It is easier than it looks. 🙂

      Wishing you an awesome week!

  2. Lady Lilith 14 July, 2014 at 10:37 pm #

    The chicken looks so crispy and delicious.

    • Denise Browning 15 July, 2014 at 8:25 am #

      Thanks, Lady Lilith! They are not actually fried chicken drumsticks but chicken fritters made from a dough and shaped into drumsticks.

  3. Thalia @ butter and brioche 15 July, 2014 at 1:13 am #

    yum.. these look so interesting! never heard of them before – i always discover something new when i visit your website. thanks for sharing denise!

    • Denise Browning 15 July, 2014 at 8:27 am #

      Thank you, Thalia, for visiting my site! I hope you try them one day. These are a fave of many, many people — both Brazilians and other people who have tried these.

  4. Little Cooking Tips 15 July, 2014 at 7:49 am #

    Yummy yummy yummy! Delicious work Denise! Loved the pics with the how-to instructions as well:) You can totally transform leftover chicken this way.

    We’re also very sorry for the Brazilian team, the last two games where a disaster…This isn’t a sports blog of course, but Panos says Scolari with his choices of Fred, Hulk etc is to blame:) Anyway, what’s done is done, and the future will surely be brighter for Brazil! Great hosting of the tournament though!

    Have a beautiful, sunny, joyful week Denise!

    • Denise Browning 15 July, 2014 at 8:34 am #

      Thank you, Mirella!
      Brazil will be okay. We will pick up our pieces as we always have done, and will persist. The future will bring new opportunities to win. Germany played well and they deserved to win for their hard work.
      I am so sorry for Greece as well. But this the world of the sports.
      Wishing you a wonderful week as well. Please, say hi to Panos for me.

  5. Shashi @ runninsrilankan 15 July, 2014 at 8:26 am #

    Wow – I’ve never heard of coxinha de frango but am drolling here – so much deliciousness!
    In Sri Lanka I used to eat something very similar – called Chinese rolls (not sure why they were called Chinese rolls -seeing we were in Sri Lanka) but they were a slightly thinner dough , filled with meat and veggies and dredged in flour before frying.

    • Denise Browning 15 July, 2014 at 8:37 am #

      How interesting, Shashi! I would love to try your version…

  6. SallyBR 15 July, 2014 at 9:52 am #

    Another great trip through memory lane! I only attempted to make coxinhas once, with pathetic results that made a complete mess in my kitchen, and left me frustrated and feeling completely un-Brazilian…. it’s been many many years, so I should take a deep breath and try it again. I like your use of turmeric, nice yellow color it gave to the coxinhas.

    • Denise Browning 15 July, 2014 at 10:09 am #

      Thank you, Sally! You are not alone. I also have tried to make these many years ago and simply experienced a disaster and a lot of frustration. But we all should persist to eat what we love, right? 🙂 This is why I kept trying… This was the very first time that I finally got great results out of it. It took me a while to photograph and writing detailed instructions so no one else would wind up having a kitchen disaster making these. I hope this time you are successful as I was. This became my family cherished recipe! We made a bunch of those and they were eaten in a short time. My husband is already requesting these coxinhas again. I would be happy to answer any questions that you have. Have a great wee, my dear!

  7. Deb 15 July, 2014 at 11:05 am #

    What an amazing recipe! Coxinhas are new to me. How I would love to have you teach a cooking class with these on the menu! And we would have a glass of wine while we are learning your outstanding technique…..

    • Denise Browning 15 July, 2014 at 11:29 am #

      Thank you, Deb! I would love to cook with you this and other dishes from my home country. Cheers, my dear!

  8. Daniela 15 July, 2014 at 12:49 pm #

    This chicken fritters and a nice glass of Rioja wine looks like the perfect combination to me!
    Makes a great appetizer.

    • Denise Browning 15 July, 2014 at 4:47 pm #

      Thank you! they pair very well together. They are a real treat for a get together.

  9. Mi Vida en un Dulce 15 July, 2014 at 2:34 pm #

    Looks like not too complicate to make, right? and look fantastic…!!!

  10. Liz 15 July, 2014 at 8:47 pm #

    What marvelous fritters! I love the shape…sheer perfection!
    PS..I’m thrilled that you were named a top mom blogger!!! Well deserved, my friend!

    • Denise Browning 16 July, 2014 at 9:48 am #

      Thank you a lot, Liz! I had to pinch myself to believe it… Hehe!
      These are very traditional fritters from my home country… A real fave of many!

    • Denise Browning 16 July, 2014 at 9:49 am #

      Thank you for stopping by, Nancy! Enjoy this popular Brazilian appetizer…

  11. Sugar et al 16 July, 2014 at 6:57 am #

    These chicken fritters are unique. I am loving the way they are shaped and the crispy coating is perfect. I am going to visit a Brazilian restaurant soon and look for all the wonderful treats you’ve shared. Or maybe I will move right next to you:-)

    • Denise Browning 16 July, 2014 at 9:52 am #

      I hope you enjoy the food of the Brazilian restaurant you are up to visit… It would be a pleasure to have you living next door so we both could share dishes from our cuisines. I would be quite happy to try yours!

  12. Kate @ ¡Hola! Jalapeño 16 July, 2014 at 12:07 pm #

    Um yum! I’ve never heard of these but they look killer! And that wine selection seems just the thing for a warm summer evening!

    • Denise Browning 16 July, 2014 at 1:41 pm #

      Thank you, Kate! Since this wine is served chilled and is quite refreshing, it makes perfect for a summer get together. It pairs well with this warm appetizer for sure.

    • Denise Browning 16 July, 2014 at 5:28 pm #

      LOL… Thanks, John!!!! I am glad that you enjoy both this tapa and also its pairing Rioja wine.

  13. Lail | With A Spin 17 July, 2014 at 1:52 pm #

    Utterly delicious. Love the Coxinha de Frango!

  14. Kumar's Kitchen 21 July, 2014 at 1:03 am #

    such a lovely way of making stuffed chicken fritters…the stuffing must taste awesome and the dough made with flour and broth must be flavorful too….can’t think of a better time to snack on these little drumsticks…than now cause its quite cloudy outside…will be making some now by substituting chicken with textured soy mince…thanks for sharing this delicacy 🙂

    • Denise Browning 21 July, 2014 at 9:17 am #

      My pleasure, Kumar!!!! Enjoy these stuffed with minced soy…Have a great week!

  15. Francesca 22 July, 2014 at 1:27 am #

    I have a serious love affair with cozinha!! I had them for the first time at a Brazilian girlfriend’s house a few years ago and immediately asked how she made them. To my sadness, she said she got them from a Brazilian cater (here, in Holland!) and assured me they were impossible to make.

    So now, naturally, I have to make some for her 🙂

    Thanks Denise!

    • Denise Browning 22 July, 2014 at 9:37 am #

      Thank you, Francesca! My husband and I are crazy for these coxinhas. Believe me: They are much easier to make than it looks. All the work involved pays off when one takes a bite. 🙂 After frying them and letting them cool down, you can freeze them in a ziploc bag. Before eating, place them onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper at 350 F for about 8 to 10 minutes or until they are completely heated. In general, I make a large batch to save me time.

  16. Raymund 22 July, 2014 at 3:27 pm #

    Another something new to me, love to learn all of this new food that I never heard or seen of now I am informed 🙂
    Looks like a dumpling but South American style, love to try this someday

    • Denise Browning 22 July, 2014 at 4:05 pm #

      You won’t regret, Raymund!
      These fritters are amazing!

  17. Kiran @ KiranTarun.com 23 July, 2014 at 4:03 pm #

    I’m a huge sucker for fritters and this is no exception!!

    • Denise Browning 24 July, 2014 at 8:16 am #

      How interesting, Dedy! It seems many different cultures have their own version of chicken fritters but there are a few similarities among them all.

  18. Carrie Pacini 11 August, 2014 at 7:28 am #

    Your Coxinha de Frango look Terrific.

    • Denise Browning 11 August, 2014 at 10:16 am #

      Thank you, Carrie!!!! This is a family fave. My husband is crazy for these fritters.

  19. Glenn Vanish 30 June, 2015 at 7:39 pm #

    I wonder is the dough(masa) for the coxinha is fully done on the inside after cooking/frying?

    • Denise Browning 30 June, 2015 at 7:59 pm #

      Hi, Glenn!
      Once coxinhas are deep-fried, they get fully cooked both inside and out. Inside is soft and outside is crispy — as any other fritter. I hope you try this recipe and enjoy. When I prepare them, I make enough to freeze… and even though, they disappear fast. These are my American husband fave fritters. Every time we travel to Brazil, he starts consuming them as soon as we arrive at the airport. 🙂


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