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Portuguese Recipe: Bacalhau Cozido com Grão

Cooking 25 minutes Preparation 48 hours 4 easy
Recipe type: Fish Cuisine: Portugal

Bacalhau is more than just an iconic symbol of Portugal, whose fortunes were made exploring the seas — it is the single most important dish in Portugal. Made from dried, salted cod fished in the cold waters off the coast of Norway, it’s said there are enough recipes for bacalhau that you could cook one every day of the year and never make the same dish twice. Adapted from Chef Kate, this Boiled Saltcod with Chickpeas Recipe is a lovely dish to make alongside an older wine from the Douro Valley.


  • 1 lb salt cod fish
  • 2 cups onions, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 (14 ounce) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/3 cup white wine vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon piri-piri
  • salt and pepper
  • 10 kalamata olives, pitted and chopped
  • 3 eggs, hard-boiled, shelled and quartered
  • 1/3 cup parsley, chopped


  1. Soak the bacalhau in water for at least 24 hours and preferably 48 hours, changing the water 3 to 4 times per day. Drain the fish, rinse well and place in a saucepan with enough water to cover.
  2. Bring to a boil. Taste the water; if it is too salty, drain the fish, add fresh water and bring to a boil again. Lower the heat and simmer for 20 minutes. Drain and let cool. Remove any skin and bones and separate the fish into coarse flakes.
  3. Prepare the stew. In a heavy skillet, heat the olive oil and cook the onion slowly until it is golden. Stir in the Bacalhau and heat for two minutes. Add chickpeas, parsley, vinegar, garlic, piri-piri, salt and pepper and cook for another two minutes or until the mixture is completely warmed through.
  4. Serve garnished with the hard boiled eggs and olives.

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