I decided it was about time that hubby the Casa Valhal chef cooked a traditional Portuguese recipe for our 6th wedding anniversary celebration meal at home. Hopefully one day in the near future we will be able to visit one of the many amazing restaurants in Portugal, fingers crossed. We have enjoyed a tasty steak dinner for our last two special occasion meals. I love steak and as I’m on a healthy eating plan it’s a great special simple meal to prepare. Last year for our anniversary we cooked a bacalhau recipe which was actually not that bad. We are not huge fish lovers except from salmon and tuna. We wanted a nice dish to compliment a fantastic white wine we purchased when we were in the Douro Valley last year so decided upon a chicken and rice recipe which made a nice refreshing change from red meat and red wine celebration meals. It translates to chicken stew but it’s kind of a risotto. I chose this meal as it looked very healthy so hopefully won’t affect my weight loss journey, it also only took 15 minutes to prepare and 1 hour to cook. It serves 2 people so I knew I wouldn’t be tempted with leftovers (or so I thought) as most recipes feed 4-6 people. There are so many traditional Portuguese recipes to choose from it was hard to decide what to make. As well as salted cod fish, sardines, octopus, most seafood is very popular here. Pork is a very common meat which is not a favourite of mine. Piri piri chicken is one of my favourite meals but to be cooked to perfection it needs to be cooked over a charcoal grill and we could not be bothered with cleaning the BBQ.

I used this recipe: https://www.cawineclub.com/Portuguese-Galinha-Estufada_RP223.html

Ingredients (Serves 2 but actually it made enough for 4 or in our case a second helping for 2 greedy adults!):

  • 1 medium sweet yellow or white onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 14.5 ounce can whole peeled tomatoes
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 Tbsp paprika
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine (I think hubby consumed the rest of the bottle whilst cooking)
  • 1 cut-up frying hen or 6-8 chicken thighs or other parts (I used breasts as healthier and adjusted the cooking time accordingly)
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 cup rice
  • salt
  • black pepper
  • 1/2 cup fresh shelled or frozen peas (we used frozen)
  • 1 Tbsp chopped parsley


1. Peel and chop the onions; peel and mince the garlic. Cook them in the olive oil in a heavy dutch oven until translucent. I am still laughing about the dutch oven as I know this as a slang phrase for a person lying in bed with another person and pulling the covers over the person’s head while flatuating, thereby creating an unpleasant situation in an enclosed space. This is done as a prank or by accident to one’s sleeping partner. Hubby is very familiar with this phrase (ha ha). A dutch oven is also a special pan which helps to retain heat. We don’t own a dutch oven so hubby used a regular pan instead.

2. Chop the tomatoes and put them and their juice into the dutch oven with the bay leaf and paprika. Cover tightly and simmer over low heat for 5 or 10 minutes. I am a little confused as to why the tomatoes have to be whole if you chop them so I would say buy a tin of chopped tomatoes instead.

3. Pour in the wine, add the chicken pieces and the water, bring back to a boil, cover, and simmer for 20 minutes.

4. Stir in the uncooked rice and add salt and pepper to taste. Cover, simmer for 20 minutes or until the rice is just cooked.

5. Stir in the peas and the chopped parsley, cover, and simmer for 5 minutes more.

The rice should absorb all the liquid, and the chicken should be falling off the bone. If you prefer crispy chicken, you can take the chicken pieces out before adding the rice or potatoes to the pot, then crisp the chicken in a 350F oven while the rice cooks on the stovetop, bringing the meat and the rest of the dish back together on a serving platter.


We really enjoyed this meal and as I said it made a huge pot, enough to feed 4 but we ate it all between us and had seconds. It was very tasty, filling and such a quick and easy meal to prepare and cook. I would definitely get hubby to cook this meal again in the future, a great success. For dessert we shared a small Hussel candy cake. 6 year traditional marriage gifts are candy (for sweetness) or iron (for strength). The Contemporary/Modern gift is wood which signifies a long-lasting solid marriage. I am delighted hubby decided upon the candy cake.

I would like to apologise about the lack of preparation photos. Hubby prepared and cooked the meal and I think he forgot to take photos along the way, he blames the vinho branco!