Cabidela (Chicken in Rice)

Cabidela is a Portuguese meal that is typically served with chicken and is also known as arroz de cabidela (cabidela rice). It is typical of the Minho region’s north. The dish’s unique feature is that the hen’s blood, combined with vinegar while the rice is boiling, is added almost at the very end. When an animal is killed, its blood is collected, giving the food its brown color. The dish can occasionally be served with white rice, though this is uncommon. The practice of cooking with blood dates back to many ancient societies; in Portugal, Cabidela has been documented in writing since the 16th century. Though uncommon, Cabidela can also be made using other birds or animals (duck, turkey, hog, child, or game).





  • 1 cup Rice Jasmine
  • 1 1/2 cup Water
  • 1 - 2 Tbsp White Vinegar distilled
  • 1 cup Pig Blood
  • 1 Tbsp Lard
  • 2 cloves Garlic chopped
  • 1 1/2 cup Onion diced
  • 2 pieces Chicken Leg Quarter
  • 1 cup Wine White
  • 1 - 3 Tbsp Hot Sauce / Wing Sauce Tessemae's, to taste
  • 1 bunch Cilantro garnish


  • Cook rice (add more water if you like softer rice) 15-20 min.
  • Turn off heat then add blood and vinegar. Mix and set aside.
  • Saute onions and garlic in lard until softened. Add chicken, brown well then pour in wine and hot sauce.
  • Cover and simmer for 30min or until juices run clear.
  • When chicken is done add rice/blood mixture, cook until heated through (5-10 min).
  • Taste for salt, add more hot sauce (I did) if needed.
  • Typically the the chicken is mixed into the blood and rice.
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Nympha Nzeribe
Hi there! I'm Nympha Chinenye Nzeribe, a writer and lifestyle enthusiast. Food consumption, has since the inception of time, been an inevitable part of our lives. Here, I commit to highlighting the history, uniqueness, and cooking realities of several dishes. Stay with me.

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