Galinha Guisada – AKA Portuguese chicken stew

As mentioned before, my husband and his family are all 100% Portuguese, coming from the Azores Islands. Since I had first starting dating my now-husband, some 9 years ago, I have had several Portuguese dishes. These meals I would categorize as “comfort foods.” Most meals feature meat and potatoes. Every Christmas Eve we have bocalao, at BBQ’s we have Portuguese baked beans, and every once in awhile we may have Galinha Guisada for a family lunch.

Galinha Guisada is quite easy to make and inexpensive. Made with chicken legs or thighs and chicken stock, you get the important nutrients and collagen from the bone marrow. Want to learn more about the benefits of stock and how to make it? Visit Weston A. Price Foundation’s article on broth.

Instead of using your homemade chicken broth for chicken soup, save it for Galinha Guisada!

The following recipe has been Americanized a bit (I use Italian seasonings and garlic powder and skip the bay leaf).


  • 1 white or yellow onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, diced
  • 2-3 carrots, cut into thick discs or spears
  • 1-2 cups red, yukon gold, or sweet potatoes, cut into thick pieces
  • 6-8 drumsticks or thighs
  • 8 oz can tomato sauce
  • 3-5+ cups chicken broth or water (or a combination of both)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp Italian seasoning
  • Olive oil for pan


  • Season chicken pieces with garlic powder, Italian seasoning, and salt and pepper
  • In a large sauce pot, saute onions and garlic with a little olive oil until they start to become fragrant and translucent
  • Meanwhile, in a skillet, heat olive oil and brown chicken pieces
  • Place chicken pieces in pot with onions and garlic and saute for an additional two minutes
  • Add tomato sauce and enough liquid to cover chicken
  • Cover and simmer about 15-20 minutes
  • Add carrots and potatoes and more liquid if needed, simmer another 20 or so minutes until potatoes and carrots are fork tender
  • Serve in a bowl and enjoy! (My husband loves this dish served with a crusty Portuguese Roll – Papo Seco)

Alternative Crockpot Recipe without root vegetables:

  • Brown seasoned chicken with onions and garlic and place in crock pot
  • Add tomato sauce and about 1-2 cups of broth
  • Let cook on low for 6-8 hours




Be a Food Renegade! Support REAL food!


8 thoughts on “Galinha Guisada – AKA Portuguese chicken stew

  1. Yummy! I’ll be trying this one this week! My grandfather’s family came over from Portugal, so I feel a special connection to that culture, although not as close as your family, I’m sure.

  2. My family taught me different. My family is primarily from Sao miguel and teceira. Mine you get the stick pot heat olive oil and the garlic and onions in that, with that cook your chicken legs ( my Vava cuts the ends of the drum stick off using shears) then once the chicken have browned remove them and replace with water and wine ( melot works well approx 3:1 ratio) add salt,Paprika, 2-3 bay leaves and let’s cook until reddish in color. Once the color turns and whine scent has left add your carrots potatoes chicken and peas. You may holdoff on the chicken if you like cook until potatoes are soft. You may also add chourico to this recipe if your heart and family desires. Don’t add the chicken or potatoes in too early simply because they will turn purple. Serve with paposecos and enjoy.

  3. Pingback: Grocery Savings Challenge: Week 3 « thelifeoflulubelle

  4. I tried the recipe and my family loved it. I tend to always modify recipes. I made a point to put a comment by this one, so I would remember not to change anything about it. However, I am going to try it in the slow cooker. Thanks for sharing.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s