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Canja de galinha (Portuguese chicken soup)

Learn all about canja de galinha, a traditional Portuguese chicken soup that’s perfect for warming up on a chilly day.

by Maria
Canja de galinha (Portuguese chicken soup)

Canja de galinha, also known as Portuguese chicken soup, is a comforting and delicious dish that’s perfect for warming up on a chilly day. This traditional Portuguese soup is made with simple ingredients like chicken, rice, and vegetables, but it’s packed with flavor and nourishment.

If you’ve never tried canja de galinha before, you’re in for a treat. This soup is hearty and satisfying, with tender pieces of chicken and perfectly cooked rice in a flavorful broth. It’s the kind of dish that makes you feel good from the inside out.

But canja de galinha isn’t just a tasty meal – it’s also steeped in tradition and history. This soup has its roots in Portugal and Cape Verde, where it’s been enjoyed for generations. In Brazil, canja de galinha is often served as a home remedy for colds and flu, or as a comforting meal for someone who’s feeling under the weather.

The best part about canja de galinha is how easy it is to make. With just a few simple ingredients and some basic cooking skills, you can whip up a pot of this delicious soup in no time. And once you’ve tried it, you’ll see why it’s such a beloved dish in Brazilian culture.

One of the great things about canja de galinha is its versatility. You can make it with a whole chicken or just chicken breasts, depending on your preference. You can also add other ingredients like potatoes or herbs to customize the flavor to your liking.

Another wonderful thing about canja de galinha is how nourishing it is. This soup is packed with protein from the chicken and vitamins and minerals from the vegetables. It’s a complete meal in a bowl that will leave you feeling satisfied and energized.

So if you’re ready to try something new and delicious, let’s dive into the world of canja de galinha – Portuguese chicken soup at its finest. Whether you’re looking for a comforting meal on a cold day or a nourishing dish to help you feel your best, canja de galinha is sure to hit the spot.

Canja de galinha (Portuguese chicken soup)

Canja de galinha (Portuguese chicken soup)

Serves: 4 Prep Time: Cooking Time:
Nutrition facts: 233 calories 8 grams fat
Rating: 5.0/5
( 1 voted )


  • 1 whole chicken (3 to 4 pounds)
  • 8.5 cups of cold water
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and sliced
  • 2 celery stalks, sliced
  • 1 large yellow onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley leaves
  • 1 cup long-grain white rice or egg noodles (optional)


  1. In a large pot, combine chicken and water. Bring to a boil over high heat; reduce heat to low and simmer gently for 1 hour.
  2. Meanwhile, prepare the vegetables: peel and slice the carrots, slice the celery, dice the onion, and mince the garlic.
  3. Using tongs or a slotted spoon, transfer chicken to a large bowl. When cool enough to handle, remove meat from bones and shred into bite-size pieces; discard skin and bones.
  4. Return broth to a simmer; add carrots, celery, onion, and garlic. Cook until vegetables are tender, about 20 minutes.
  5. Stir in shredded chicken; season with salt and pepper. If desired, add rice or noodles and cook until tender.
  6. Serve hot, garnished with parsley.


  • You can add other ingredients to this recipe to make it your own. Some suggestions include adding diced potatoes, sliced mushrooms, chopped spinach or kale, or even some diced tomatoes for extra flavor.
  • You could also try adding some herbs such as thyme or rosemary, or a bay leaf for added depth of flavor. It’s all up to your personal taste and preferences.
  • You can use chicken breast instead of a whole chicken in this recipe. However, using a whole chicken will give the soup more flavor as the bones and skin add depth to the broth. If you do decide to use chicken breast, you may want to add some chicken stock or bouillon to the water to enhance the flavor of the soup.
  • Boiled eggs are a common addition to many soup recipes and can add extra protein and flavor to the dish. You can slice or chop the boiled eggs and add them to the soup just before serving.
  • In Brazil, canja de galinha is traditionally made with the whole chicken or with whole pieces of chicken such as wings or legs including the bone as well as the skin.
  • When prepared this way, this Brazilian soup is known as canja gorda (fat congee) because of all the fat from the chicken skin that dissolves into the soup.
  • The lighter version of this chicken and rice soup recipe is known as canja magra (skinny congee) and is made with boneless, skinless chicken breasts.
  • On the other hand, Portuguese Canja only requires five ingredients to make: water, chicken, onion, salt, and rice. It’s a simple yet delicious and comforting dish.
  • So while both Brazilian and Portuguese versions of canja are chicken and rice soups, they have their own unique variations in terms of ingredients and preparation methods.

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1 comment

Jenny August 19, 2023 - 10:03 pm

I am going to make this Canja soup just the way Maria on TV.


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