Brazilian Fried Chicken Pastries (Pastel de Frango com Catupiry)

The key ingredient in this recipe is requeijão cheese (often called Catupiry, a popular brand). It’s a soft, spreadable white cheese. American-style cream cheese makes a reasonable substitute, but you can find requeijão at Brazilian grocery stores.

Serves: 9Hands-on: 50 minutesTotal: 55 minutesDifficulty: Medium

Serves: 9


  • 3 1⁄4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 4 Tbsp. vegetable shortening
  • 1 3⁄4 tsp. salt, divided
  • 2 Tbsp. cachaça
  • 1 tsp. cider vinegar
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 Tbsp. plus 2 cups vegetable oil, divided
  • 1 medium onion, peeled and chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 1⁄2 cups shredded, cooked chicken breast
  • 1 tsp. paprika
  • 1 tsp. tomato paste
  • 1 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
  • 1⁄2 cup chicken broth
  • 1⁄2 cup fresh or frozen corn
  • 1⁄2 tsp. ground black pepper
  • 2 Tbsp. minced fresh parsley
  • 1 scallion, chopped
  • 4 oz. requeijão cheese


  • Place flour in a large bowl with shortening, 1 teaspoon salt, cachaça, vinegar, egg, and 10 tablespoons warm water. Mix everything together, kneading mixture with your hands until you have smooth dough. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate 30 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, heat 2 tablespoons oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until soft and fragrant, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add the shredded chicken, paprika, and tomato paste and stir until well mixed.
  • Add flour and cook for 1 to 2 minutes. Add chicken broth and corn and cook, stirring, until mixture thickens. Season with remaining salt and pepper. Stir in the parsley, scallions, and cheese. Remove from heat and let cool.
  • On a floured surface, roll out the dough into a 21-inch square about 1⁄4 inch thick. Let dough rest for 5 minutes. Cut 7-inch squares of dough (a pizza cutter works well for this). Place 2 tablespoons of filling on each. Brush a little water on the edges of the dough and fold dough in half diagonally, pressing the seal closed with a fork.
  • Heat 2 cups oil to 350°F in a deep skillet. Fry pastéis in batches, letting one side brown before flipping (about 2 minutes per side). Remove pastéis with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Serve warm.