Wednesday, December 15, 2010
Brazilian Chicken Soup (Canja de Galinha)
The Thais have Tom Kha Gai, the Malays Sup Ayam, the Serbians Kokosja Supa and my little, half-Brazilian kiddos often savor one of my homeland specialties, “Cangela”.
My mom has been making Brazilian chicken soup for my kids since they started eating solids and they love it! In Brazil, chicken soup is called Canja but in my kids "Portu-English" it became “Cangela”. But don’t be fooled, the Brazilian chicken soup served in my house is the real thing despite my kids cute nickname for it.
I want to leave you with some tips for recognizing if a proclaimed Brazilian recipe is the real thing or not. In Brazil, avocado is considered a fruit eaten as dessert. Any savory dish that asks for avocado is most likely from somewhere else. Cilantro is mainly used with fish and seafood dishes, for other dishes parsley is preferred. Coconut is popular but (non sweetened) coconut milk is used for savory dishes and coconut flakes are left for desserts. These tips have helped steer my friend in a truer direction. I hope this entry helps you fellow-foodies remember to be careful of where you get your "authentic" recipes from on the Internet.
As I leave you with my mother's recipe for “cangela”, I am headed to my summer-filled Brazilian kitchen where I will be spending a few weeks. If there are any recipes I can get you while in Brazil, let me know here or e-mail: email@example.com.
Canja de Galinha (Brazilian Chicken Soup)
This is actually a light version of “canja” done for my children with skinless organic chicken breast. If you prefer to use whole chicken go ahead and adjust the remaining ingredients for your quantity. Real Brazilian chicken soup has rice as an ingredient and most often carrots and potatoes as well.
Serves my four kids well!
About ½ chicken breast, cut in small cubes or strips
½ cup rice
½ onion, diced small
2 carrots, peeled and diced small
1 large potato, peeled and diced small
Extra virgin olive oil
1 parsley bouquet* (optional)
1 Halal chicken bouillon (optional)
About 6 to 7 cups of water (if using bouillon) or same amount of chicken stock
Salt and Pepper to taste
Heat oil in pressure cooker, add onion, chicken, rice, carrots, potato and Halal chicken bouillon if using. Sauté for about 2 minutes stirring frequently.
Add parsley bouquet (optional) and about 6 cups of water. Lock lid in place and bring to high pressure over high heat. Cook for 8 minutes. Release pressure according to manufacturer's directions. Remove lid.
Add salt, pepper to taste and if needed 1 more cup of water. Cook for a couple of minutes more.
* Parsley bouquet = After washing some parsley branches, tie them with a piece of cooking string.