Portuguese Chicken Stew

My mother came to Canada from her native São Miguel, Azores (Portuguese island), when she was 13 years old. Cooking was always a big part of our lives and remains so to this day. One of my favourite recipes was one she would make from a cookbook called Portuguese Homestyle Cooking by Ana Patuleia Ortins.


It's a chicken stew that truly embodies the definition of comfort cooking. The kitchen is enveloped in delightful aromas created by the onions, garlic, tomatoes, bay leaf, and of course the chicken itself.

Whenever I'm feeling nostalgic and want to bring back a little bit of my childhood and heritage into my home, I make this one pot wonder.  

Portuguese Chicken Stew


* 4 tablespoon olive oil
* 1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
* 1 large very ripe tomato, peeled, seeded and coarsely chopped
* 1/2 tablespoon sweet paprika
* 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
* 1 bay leaf
* 1/2 cup white wine (optional)
* one 2 1/2 to 3 pound (1,1 kg to 1,4kg) chicken, cut up
* 3 1/2 cups water
* 1 1/2 cups converted rice or other long-grain rice (I've used basmati)
* 2 teaspoons coarse salt or to taste
* 1/4 teaspoons black pepper to taste
* 1/2 cup peas, frozen or fresh, shelled (I've also used broccoli) 
* 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley



1. Heat the oil in a 5-quart Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add and then sauté the onions until they become a light golden colour. 

2. Put in the tomatoes, paprika, garlic and bay leaf. Reduce the heat, cover, and simmer until the tomatoes are soft and partially dissolved, about 15 minutes.

3. Pour in the wine, if using, and simmer for 2 more minutes. Add the chicken and water, adding extra water if needed to just cover the chicken. Recover the pot tightly and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat and simmer the chicken for 15 minutes.

4. Toss in the rice, salt and pepper. Stir, recover, and continue to simmer for another 20 minutes. Stir in the peas and 1 tablespoon of the parsley. Simmer for 5 minutes more or until the meat is nearly falling off the bone. 

5. Remove the pan from the heat. Let the stew stand for 10 minutes before serving. Garnish with additional parsley. The rice should be tender and the liquid should be absorbed. 


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Submitted by Liz Marques Kogan, a famiizuu member and
 mother of two children. Her blog is OrchidaForever. 

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