Galinhada Mineira (Brazilian Chicken & Rice) Recipe

Why It Works

  • Utilizing parboiled rice, rinsing it to take away floor starches, and toasting it briefly within the scorching oil to cut back starch gelling skill all assist to make sure the completed rice is not gluey or clumpy.
  • It is a actually easy and comforting chicken-and-rice dish, and success lies in correctly creating and layering flavors: browning the hen effectively, 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 earth. In Brazil, galinhada holds that concept proper in its title. “Galinhada means a gaggle of chickens, however the dish itself is often only one hen,” my buddy 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 hen—the galinha—will get stretched in a single pot, its taste infusing the ample rice and greens with which it cooks, to type a dish that’s way more ample and filling than the hen alone.

And that basically is the center and soul of galinhada, to profit from a single hen, 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 simple consolation. As a result of it is a comparatively easy dish, success with galinhada depends on constructing layers of taste and seasoning correctly.

Critical Eats / Amanda Suarez

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

Whereas these spices do not add a ton of taste, these aromatics like garlic and onions actually do, as does the vital first step of deeply browning the hen to develop a roasted taste that infuses the rice whereas releasing flavorful rendered hen fats to coat each grain. Different widespread substances one is more likely to discover in a galinhada embrace diced carrot, peas, bell peppers, and corn (which, Tuzinho factors out, shouldn’t be 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 rather more available right here).

Past these parts, correctly seasoning the rice is essential. For a lot of Brazilians, that features including flavor-enhancers like tempero, a variety of seasonings and condiments that carry out a operate 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 hen inventory or broth as an alternative 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. Slightly 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 more likely to stick collectively into gluey clumps, one other necessary high quality in a great galinhada. “In case your rice sticks collectively—we name it barroso,” says Tuzinho. “That’s not a great factor.”

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