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Galinhada Mineira (Brazilian Hen & Rice) Recipe

Why It Works

  • Utilizing parboiled rice, rinsing it to take away floor starches, and toasting it briefly within the sizzling oil to cut back starch gelling means all assist to make sure the completed rice is not gluey or clumpy.
  • It is a really easy and comforting chicken-and-rice dish, and success lies in correctly growing and layering flavors: browning the rooster nicely, blooming spices in oil, and making certain even seasoning of salt all through the dish.

The thought of stretching meals is thought to each delicacies on the planet. In Brazil, galinhada holds that concept proper in its identify. “Galinhada means a gaggle of chickens, however the dish itself is normally only one rooster,” my pal Tuzinho de Melo, who grew up within the Brazilian state of Minas Gerais the place this model of the dish comes from, tells me. That rooster—the galinha—will get stretched in a single pot, its taste infusing the ample rice and greens with which it cooks, to kind a dish that’s much more ample and filling than the chicken alone.

And that actually is the guts and soul of galinhada, to profit from a single rooster, whether or not to feed the farmhands coming in after a tough day within the fields, family and friends for a Sunday lunch, or to welcome a visitor with a beneficiant plate of plain consolation. As a result of it is a comparatively easy dish, success with galinhada depends on constructing layers of taste and seasoning correctly.

Severe Eats / Amanda Suarez


“I believe it is all concerning the salt, garlic, and onions,” Pedro Ávila, one other pal with roots in Minas, tells me. I’ve known as each him and Tuzinho to get their opinions on what makes a high quality galinhada, and in addition to verify I hadn’t misinterpreted a few of what I would picked up from my very own recipe analysis. It was good I did, as a result of I would wrongly assumed the açafrão (saffron) I noticed talked about in a number of recipes was the famously costly crocus threads, when in truth it was açafrão-da-terra—”earth saffron”—which is without doubt one of the methods of claiming turmeric in Portuguese. That turmeric, when you use it, is usually mixed with annatto powder to tint the rice a vibrant orange-yellow coloration.

Whereas these spices do not add a ton of taste, these aromatics like garlic and onions actually do, as does the essential first step of deeply browning the rooster to develop a roasted taste that infuses the rice whereas releasing flavorful rendered rooster fats to coat each grain. Different frequent substances one is prone to discover in a galinhada embrace diced carrot, peas, bell peppers, and corn (which, Tuzinho factors out, is just not the candy corn we are inclined to eat in the USA; I’ve it listed as optionally available within the recipe beneath, and did use candy corn in my very own testing since that is way more available right here).

Past these parts, correctly seasoning the rice is vital. For a lot of Brazilians, that features including flavor-enhancers like tempero, a variety of seasonings and condiments that carry out a perform just like sofrito or sazón. However since tempero would require both a visit to a Brazilian grocer or a sub-recipe, I’ve opted so as to add loads of garlic to my recipe, am recommending utilizing rooster inventory or broth as a substitute of the more-common water in Brazilian recipes, and pre-season that inventory with salt to make sure the rice is sufficiently and evenly seasoned. A little bit candy paprika in my recipe additionally provides some refined spicing, one other nod to the sorts of taste tempero helps add.

As for the rice, I am calling for parboiled grains, which have been par-cooked after which dried by the producer; when cooked (technically for the second time), the grains stay plump but agency and are much less prone to stick collectively into gluey clumps, one other vital high quality in a superb galinhada. “In case your rice sticks collectively—we name it barroso,” says Tuzinho. “That isn’t a superb factor.”

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