Coxinha (pronounced koh-sheen-yah) are very popular in Brazil and South America, but I wrote about them in last week's post on Lisbon as a popular street food that I found in Portugal. They are basically chicken dumplings that are molded into "little thighs" and then deep-fried to succulent, crispy perfection. Below is my vegetarian version (which I'm sure can be made vegan with a bit of playing around), made with a mushroom filling and, of course, replacing the traditional chicken stock with vegetable stock or mushroom stock in the dough. They are slightly labor intensive, but with a few extra hands in the kitchen it goes by in a flash and they are fun to form and shape.
The most difficult part of making coxinha is really getting a feel for the dough - it's one of those things that can sometimes call for more or less flour depending on all kinds of factors, so you have to pay a bit of attention and trust your instincts. It shouldn't be wet and sticky, but it shouldn't be dry either.
Since I was taught to eat these with my favorite hot sauce, that's probably exactly what I'll do until the end of my days. However, I'm sure these would be just as tasty with mustard or your favorite dipping sauce... or even just by themselves!
I am also thrilled to share my friend Nivea Galloway's more traditional chicken coxinha recipe from São Paulo, Brasil, for those of you who might want to make both versions.