recipe: frango português e arroz avó

There are not many recipes that were handed directly down to me from my parents or grandparents. Some were never written down. Some where and changed too much over the years as different ingredients were available. Some we all agree are fairly authentic. Some we all know are results of someone else’s personal preference interfering with authenticity but resulting in originality. Some we still stick to. Some, we don’t.

There’s an ongoing argument as to the original recipe of this family favorite. We all know it was something my Portuguese grandmother used to make quite frequently but since it never came with any real recipe there’s a grand dispute as to the origin of the recipe and how it developed over the years into the one we all love so dear. My mom swears by one version. The last time I made it with my grandma as she’d aged it was another. My sister swears by the fact that she has a third that is closest to what the memories were. My aunt and cousin feature yet another. So, today, I decided to take my knowledge of cooking, my love of Iberian ideas and put my experience cooking with grandma to the test to recreate ‘Chicken and Rice’ as I remember it using the rustic concepts that I’ve learned about the culture to this point.

A couple of notes on putting this together. First, as I prepped the dish I used the elements that go into it to help create the stock (the skin and such from hand trimmed chicken thighs, extra bones, veggies leftovers, etc.) which I boiled out in a second stock pot while putting the dish together. Fresh stock makes a huge difference in making a dish. It adds a lot of flavor, doesn’t require any extra salt apart from the small amount used to extract the flavor during the boil. Second, I used a large paella style dish, but mine is not authentic by any stretch (it’s an All Clad 14″ pan). If you had something stainless or a really nice iron or copper one that could hold previous cooking flavors that would be even better. Finally, I used all fresh. Yes, you can do the quick and dirty version using frozen aromatics, canned tomato, etc. and still get it to come out nice, as well as any large number of leftover combination, such as precooked chicken, existing saffron rice, etc… this dish lends itself to that kind of first dish for long leftover and throw together from existing foods you already have. I also alternate between being covered and not depending on how the cooking process feels, mostly, it is uncovered and i am adding liquids and spices slow and low, but it is quite possible to cover it and and reduce the cooking times (just ensure you reduce the temps so you don’t overcook and burn)

chicken thighs (hand trimmed, bone in)
bell pepper
piri piri (or jalapeno or other pepper or even red pepper flakes)
Chourico (portuguese chorizo otherwise know as charise, linguisa or other sausage is ok)
white wine (a Portuguese sparkling white is preferred such as lancers)
bay leaf
fresh rosemary
fresh cracked pepper (black and white)
olive oil
large pan / skillet
Stock pot *

* If you are doing stock fresh, save everything from this stage and boil it together as soon as you have it done in water

Roughly chop the garlic, onion, celery (and leaves), bell pepper, piri pepper, tomatoes*
Skin, de-fat and remove the excess the bones *
Slice the Charise *
Place all of the excess* into a stock pot and allow to begin to boil to create the stock *
Rub the chicken with black pepper and paprika
In the large pan place the chicken what was skin side down and add the garlic onion, celery stalks, peppers over medium heat
Allow them to begin to brown flipping the chicken one time letting it cook about 2/3 of the way through in the liquid from the veggies
Toss the rice and charise in a very little amount of oil and add to the pan as the liquid dissipates completely and let all continue to brown
Combine the wine and fresh stock * 1:1 about 1:1 rice to liquid to start
Once the whole thing is browned out add the combination of stock * and wine to the pan along with and bay leafs and re-season as necessary with the paprika and pepper
Bring the whole mixture up to a boil and back down to a simmer
Allow the whole thing to simmer for about 30-45 minutes checking as necessary and adding stock * to maintain the right amount of liquid, reseasoning as necessary with pepper, paprika and coriander
Check the rice and reseason with the paprika, add the fresh rosemary mix, any necessary liquid and once the rice is tender allow to sear over high heat
Let the rice and chicken begin to sear over the high heat to produce a browning on the bottom of the pan to the point where it bonds
Reduce the heat, add the collard leaves and cover for three minutes (allowing the remaining liquids to thicken covered

to serve place the collard leaves on the bottom of a bowl or a plate than scoop out the chicken and rice


About thedoormouse

I am I. That’s all that i am. my little mousehole in cyberspace of fiction, recipes, sacrasm, op-ed on music, sports, and other notations both grand and tiny:
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2 Responses to recipe: frango português e arroz avó

  1. Pingback: recipe: bacalhau d’estufado « doormouse’s declarations and personal attributions

  2. Pingback: afirmaiton: omnivore | doormouse's declarations & personal musings

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