For those who are thinking of visiting Braga, a historic town in the Minho region of Portugal, with the intention of savoring an authentic Braga Rice … think twice. In any restaurant in the city, if you ask for a Braga Rice, the waiter will probably not understand and will find it very funny in the request.
In spite of having become famous in Brazil as being a dish of Portuguese cuisine, “Arroz de Braga” is, in fact, a totally Brazilian invention, according to Olavo Rodrigues, author of the Almanac of Santos of 1969.
According to the author, it would have been invented by a Portuguese restaurant owner in the city of Santos, SP, on a weekend, for customers who arrived late at night when the kitchen was about to close. He then improvised using the available leftover ingredients: sausage, chicken, cabbage, and rice. The recipe was successful, entered the menu and was copied and adapted by other houses.
- 2 tablespoons oil
- 1 onion, chopped ½ lb chicken thighs, cut into pieces
- ½ lb chicken drumsticks, boned and cut into pieces
- 7 oz cubed cooked ham
- 2 smoked pork sausages, sliced
- 2 links pork sausage, casings removed and sliced
- 3 cups rice, rinsed and drained
- 4 tomatoes, chopped
- 1 red bell pepper, sliced
- 2 spring onions, chopped
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon chopped fresh parsley
- 6 cups of water
- 2 cubes chicken bouillon
- 3 leaves cabbage, sliced
- 1 tablespoon olive oil or to taste
Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion, chicken thighs, and drumsticks; cook and stir until starting to brown, about 10 minutes. Add ham, smoked sausages, and fresh sausages. Cook and stir until golden brown, about 10 minutes.
Stir rice, tomatoes, red bell pepper, spring onions, salt and parsley into the saucepan. Pour in water and add chicken bouillon cubes. Reduce heat and simmer, partially covered, until flavours are combined about 15 minutes. Stir in sliced cabbage. Continue to cook until rice is tender and water has been absorbed, about 15 minutes more.
Drizzle olive oil over rice before serving.