Canja de galinha

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Canja de galinha
Canja de galinha.jpg
Alternative namesCanja
TypeChicken soup
CourseEntrée or supper
Main ingredientschicken, rice or massa pevide

Canja de galinha (European Portuguese: [kɐ̃ʒɐ ðɨ ɣɐˈlĩɲɐ], Brazilian Portuguese: [kɐ̃ʒɐ dʒi gaˈlĩj̃ɐ], literally "chicken congee"), or simply canja, is a popular chicken soup of Portuguese, Cape Verdean, and Brazilian cuisine. The Portuguese term galinha literally means "hen", but became the generic name for the species, much like chicken in English. Portuguese chicken congee has the rice much more cooked than in most Western chicken soup recipes, but it is not disintegrated as in the Asian one.

General recipe[edit]


The basic ingredients include chicken, and rice or massa pevide. Common flavoring ingredients are olive oil, mint, salt and pepper. It is usually accompanied by slices of Portuguese broa bread (corn bread) on the side for dipping. This is only a variation of this recipe.


The Brazilian recipe for flu uses whole pieces of chicken from the areas with more bones, fried in a very light refogado using a sole smashed garlic clove (fried in vegetable oil until golden but never toasted), has the rice and vegetables (generally solely potato and carrots, in very small cubes; rarely peeled tomato) boiled in broth much more cooked than the usual, and might call for parsley and green onions along the mint. Generally no seasoning besides light use of salt, fried garlic (added before the boiling process), parsley, green onion and mint is allowed; onion bulbs should not be added because there is a belief that the use of garlic and onion together in a single recipe "cancels" the beneficial properties of both. Olive oil might be added to the soup of those who are already almost healed.

It is a common Brazilian food taboo that mixing rice and a gluten-possessing cereal or cereal-based food is not a good thing to be done, but some people still dip bread in the soup, as the Portuguese do. Corn-derived foodstuff, though, is regarded as too "heavy" to be eaten by sick people, much like legumes (peas, beans, etc.).


Canja de galinha is usually consumed by Brazilians, Portuguese and Cape Verdeans when they have a cold. In Portugal, Cape Verde and Brazil, canja de galinha is widely believed to help a person overcome colds, digestive problems, and other mild forms of sickness. In Cape Verde, canja is sometimes served after the funeral, at the home of the deceased, perhaps because it "soothes" the heart. It is also served in that country during special occasions, such as New Year's Eve, birthdays, and other special family events.

Since canja de galinha is very simple and light, it is often consumed before a main course meal as well as a late supper.

See also[edit]