This post has been a loooong time coming.
It was 2014 and the World Cup was being held in Brazil when I heard about coxhina for the first time. The teardrop-shaped street food typically consists of a fried potato dough exterior and creamy, shredded chicken filling. It’s extremely popular in Brazil, and extremely delicious. Or so I’d heard.
And so I sought them out, which was surprisingly easy while everyone was riding the World Cup wave. My first thought after taking a bite into the Brazilian croquettes? “Maaaaaan, this is even better than I imagined!” My second? “I have got to make a buffalo and ranch version of this.”
That idea has stuck with me for the past 2 1/2 years, but I’ve been waiting for the perfect time to give them a go. And, well, with another big game just around the corner (though this time it’s football, not futebol), I’m feeling like the time for Buffalo Chicken & Ranch Potato Croquettes is right now.
If you want to go big on game day, there’s really no better way to do it than to pack popular party flavors and fun textures into grabbable appetizers. And that’s what makes these Buffalo Chicken & Ranch Potato Croquettes so perfect: they feature a cheesy, buffalo chicken dip center that’s encased in tender, ranch mashed potato dough, which is then coated in breadcrumbs and fried until crunchy on the outside.
Can you imagine your favorite football fans being able to keep their hands off of these bad boys? There’s no way.
You might be thinking, “That’s all great, Morgan, but I don’t have time to make the filling, make the dough, fry, and serve ’em warm when I’ve got a whole party to throw.” And to that I say, “Do it ahead of time.” You can fully prepare these guys– from forming them to frying them– and then store them in a big sealable plastic bag and freeze them for weeks! When you’re ready to serve the Buffalo Chicken & Ranch Potato Croquettes, simply pop them into a 350 degree oven until they’re crisp and reheated. They’ll taste just as good as they did fresh out of the oil.
Not only can you make the croquettes ahead of time, but the recipe also employs some (much appreciated) shortcuts. I use grocery-store rotisserie chicken, which shreds extremely easily, instead of cooking up my own shredded chicken. You can use leftovers, too, if you happen to have some on hand.
I also use Idaho® Spuds Creamy Ranch Mashed Potato flakes to whip the dough together in mere minutes rather than having to peel, boil, mash, and season my own potatoes. The flakes dissolve right into the dough ingredients– talk about easy! Idaho Spuds Mashed Potatoes save me so much time, and you honestly would never be able to tell that I didn’t use from-scratch mashed potatoes.
To make the croquettes into the signature coxinha shape (which is supposed to resemble a chicken leg, though I think it’s much more like a raindrop), I create a ball out of a piece of ranch mashed potato dough and press my thumb into the center and around the edges to create a small, bowl-like shape. Then I fill it with the buffalo chicken dip filling that I quickly pulse together in my food processor. Gently, I seal the dough around the filling, starting at the top, which will become the pointy side.
As you seal, you’ll wind up pushing more and more of the filling toward the bottom, so it actually creates the drop shape on its own. However, you can use your hands to mold the croquette into a smoother, more even shape is fully covered. Wetting your fingers a bit will help smooth out any imperfections.
The water also has another purpose– it helps adhere the breadcrumbs to the potato dough. Once they’re coated with crumbs, they’re ready to fry. Told you it was surprisingly simple.
You don’t need to own a deep-fryer for this recipe– a high-walled, heavy-bottomed pot will do. Heat up a couple of inches of oil, add the Buffalo Chicken & Ranch Potato Croquettes, and fry them until golden and crisp. Transfer them to a wire rack and let them cool before you dig in.
I like to serve mine with extra buffalo sauce and ranch dressing (or maybe even some blue cheese on the side), but they’re full of flavor even without them. Big flavor for the big game, right?
And since we’re on the subject of “big stuff”, how would you like to go on a big adventure?
Idaho Spuds is currently holding a Game Day Sweepstakes for a trip to Boise, Idaho. It includes airfare for 2 and a 3-night stay at the Modern Hotel in Boise, Idaho, PLUS rental car, gas and spending money, and a year supply of Idaho Spuds Flavored Mash. You can enter by clicking here and picking your favorite game day recipe using Idaho Spuds Mashed Potatoes. I’ve got my fingers crossed for you to win!
Wouldn’t that be fun? I’ve never been to Boise, (in fact, I’ve barely been off of the east coast), but I’d love to get out there and see what Idaho has to offer. And I’d eat a massive amount of potatoes while there, of course. You’ve gotta take advantage of the local crops, right?
Okay back to the Buffalo Chicken & Ranch Potato Croquettes. These are sure to score you some major points with your friends and family. They’re gonna fly off of the plate the second you set them out, so before you do, be sure to take a picture and tag #hostthetoast on Instagram. That way they’ll be immortalized on the You Made It page, for all to see.
Enjoy the food and enjoy the game!
- 3½ cups shredded chicken (poached, leftover, or from rotisserie)
- 3 green onions, chopped
- 3 cloves of garlic, chopped
- ½ cup buffalo sauce, plus more to taste
- 2 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
- 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 3 cups chicken broth
- 2 tablespoons buffalo sauce
- 1 (3.74 ounce) pouch Idaho Spuds Creamy Ranch Mashed Potato flakes
- 2½ cups all purpose flour
- 1½ cups breadcrumbs
- Vegetable oil, for frying
- Additional green onion, buffalo sauce, and ranch or blue cheese dressing, for serving
- In the bowl of a food processor, combine the cheesy buffalo chicken filling ingredients and pulse until the chicken is finely shredded and the mixture is well-combined. Set aside.
- Melt the butter in a pot over medium heat. Pour in the chicken broth and buffalo sauce, and bring to a light boil. Add the Idaho Spuds Creamy Ranch Mashed Potato flakes and cook, stirring often, until the mixture begins to boil again. Slowly mix in the flour, a bit at a time, until a dough forms. Be sure to stir constantly to prevent the dough from burning on the bottom. The dough should be tacky but hold together well.
- Allow the dough to cool just slightly, until it can be safely handled. While still warm, knead the dough until smooth.
- Remove a piece of the dough and roll it into a ball, about the size of a golf ball. Use your fingers to press down and outward from the center of the ball, forming it into a bowl-like shape. Place a tablespoon of the buffalo chicken filling inside of the dough bowl and mold the dough around the filling in a teardrop shape. Repeat until all of the croquettes have been shaped and no dough remains.
- Fill a bowl with very cold water, and place the breadcrumbs in a second bowl. Working one croquette at a time, dip your fingers in the water and run them over the croquettes to help smooth and seal the dough. Wet the croquette well, and then dip it in the breadcrumbs, turning to fully coat. Set aside and repeat to coat all of the croquettes.
- In a large, heavy bottomed pot, heat 2 inches of oil to 350°F. Fry the croquettes, a few at a time, turning occasionally, until browned on all sides-- about 3-4 minutes. Using tongs, remove the croquettes from the oil and place on a paper towel lined plate or baking rack to drain of excess oil and cool.
- Serve warm, with additional buffalo sauce, ranch or blue cheese dressing, and sliced green onion, if desired.
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of CLEVER and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.
Get recipes delivered hot & fresh to your inbox!