Canja is the Portuguese equivalent to chicken noodle soup. This soup is believed to have originated in India, and is now eaten in variations across Asia. Perfect served on a cold day or as a warming treat to someone who isn’t feeling well.
Canja | Portuguese Chicken Soup
- 1-1½ gallons water
- 4-6 lbs whole chicken
- 5-8 bay leaves
- 1½ tbsp salt
- 1 cup rice
- 2 onions diced
- 2 turnips peeled and diced
- 4 carrots, large diced
- 2 tomatoes diced, peeled if desired
- 6 cloves garlic minced
- 2 juice from 2 lemons
- piri piri hot sauce to taste
- ½ cup parsley chopped
- 6 egg yolks for Azorean style
- Bring 1 gallon of water in a large stock pot to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and add the whole chicken, salt and bay leaves. Cook at a simmer for 2-4 hours, or until the meat is falling off the bone. Once the meat is easily peeled off the bone with two forks, remove all of the chicken and bones from the pot. Set chicken aside and let cool for about 30 minutes.
- If desired, use a ladle to remove the chicken fat which will be floating in a layer at the top of the pot. The fat does add flavor and richness and it is not necessary to remove it.
- Either just before the chicken finishes cooking or after you remove it, drop whole eggs into the soup for about 10 minutes to achieve a soft boiled yolk. Remove immediately from broth and place in an ice bath.
- While the chicken is cooling, add the rice and all the vegetables to the stock, reserving only the tomatoes. Let cook for about 20-40 minutes, until they reached your desired tenderness. During this time shred the chicken. Add it back into the pot once the vegetables are tender. At the same time add in the tomatoes.
- Season with the juice of two lemons and piri piri hot sauce to taste. This recipe varies by region, and in some areas they add in mint or cinnamon and cloves. Add these in now if that is your preference. Let the soup cook for an additional 10 minutes to allow all the flavors to merry. Garnish with chopped parsley.
- AZOREAN STYLE: Either just before the chicken finishes cooking or after you remove it, drop whole eggs into the soup for about 10 minutes to achieve a boiled yolk. Remove immediately from broth and place in an ice bath. When the soup has just finished cooking, separate and egg yolk into a small bowl. Add a ladle full of warm broth and lightly whisk the yolk with the broth to temper the egg yolk. Then add this egg yolk mixture back into the soup. Stir to incorporate. To serve top with the hard boiled egg yolks and chopped parsley.