This is my first Portuguese post and I am so excited! I grew up in a Canadian, Italian and Portuguese household. My mom is Italian and since she did all the cooking, growing up I ate mostly Italian dishes. However, the amazing wife that she is, she would attempt to make my dads favourite childhood dishes. Side note, my dad tried pasta for the first time when he married my mom. He was 26, how crazy is that?! The food my dad grew up eating was mostly meat and potatoes. Ask my dad for a recipe and expect a response like “there is something white, and green”. So my mom had to ask his mother for the family recipes. With the recipes in hand my mom set forth and added these Portuguese dishes to her repertoire but with her Italian twist. And this was one of them. Traditionally its made with beef or pork. However my family is trying to stay away from red meat and substituting chicken in works perfectly. It’s extremely flavourful and not a dish that everyone knows about, so if you want to make it at home here’s our family recipe!
The main flavouring comes from a pepper paste, we call it “mass piment”, slang for massa de pimentão, and we put it on everything!!! On salmon, chicken, beef, pork…its good on literally anything. If you find yourself in a Portuguese grocery store pick up one of these jars. I feel like one day this will be the new sriracha, a staple in everyones pantry.
If you’re new to Portuguese cooking or are curious about it, dive in by trying this recipe. It’s a great introduction to the flavours of Portugal, and highlights the main points of Portuguese cuisine; meat, potatoes and seafood.
2-4 chicken breasts depending on the size, cubed
2 chicken thighs, cubed
2 tbs paprika
1/2 cup pasta de pimento picante, or pepper paste
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 large onion, chopped
2 tbs extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 cup tomato sauce
1 can of whole clams
Salt and pepper
Marinate the chicken in paprika, pasta de pimento picante, 1/4 cup white wine and garlic. Let it marinate for at least 4h. In a pan on medium high heat sauté onion and the meat in olive oil, then add the wine. My moms Italian twist is to add in about a cup of tomato sauce and let it simmer on low until the meat is tender. If you don’t have tomato sauce, water works too. At the end add in clams from a can (no juice)…and if you like shrimp throw those in too! Et voila! Serve it over roasted potato wedges or with some crispy bread. Enjoy.