Bacalhau (Salt Cod) With Chickpeas

"A Portuguese salt cod kind of stew meant to be eaten hot or at room temperature. Once you've prepared the salt cod (which takes one to two days), assembling this dish is simple and quick. If you don't have piri-piri (Portuguese-style chili oil), substitute a quarter teaspoon (or more if you like) of dried hot red pepper flakes. This makes a very hearty luncheon or brunch dish and is great with a glass of red wine."
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Ready In:
48hrs 30mins




  • Prepare Bacalhau.
  • Soak fish 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Serve garnished with the hard boiled eggs and olives.

Questions & Replies

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  1. This is a savoury dish, you can serve it hot in the winter, and serve it cold in the summer time. Have as a salad, I sometimes use blackeye peas as a substitute, it also goes very well and you can serve it the same way. Just wonderful in the summer, makes a lovely salad. Thanks Kate for posting.
  2. Awesomw recipe!!! Loved it. Thanks!
  3. Deliciously savoury and so different. I love salt cod and I love chickpeas, so I knew I was going to love this recipe and I was right. I soaked my fish for only a day (only because we consume a lot of salt cod in Greece so we have very fresh salted fillets and it doesn't take as long to de-salt - you may need to do longer). What I loved was the east of this recipe (it came together in literally no time at all) and the great savoury flavour - much enhanced by the addition of the vinegar. I suggest using an extra fillip of fresh parsley at the end. It added a very pleasant crunch and 'green' flavour to this dish. We enjoyed this at room-temperature. Thank you, Kate!


<p>I have always loved to cook. When I was little, I cooked with my Grandmother who had endless patience and extraordinary skill as a baker. And I cooked with my Mother, who had a set repertoire, but taught me many basics. Then I spent a summer with a French cousin who opened up a whole new world of cooking. And I grew up in New York City, which meant that I was surrounded by all varieties of wonderful food, from great bagels and white fish to all the wonders of Chinatown and Little Italy, from German to Spanish to Mexican to Puerto Rican to Cuban, not to mention Cuban-Chinese. And my parents loved good food, so I grew up eating things like roasted peppers, anchovies, cheeses, charcuterie, as well as burgers and the like. In my own cooking I try to use organics as much as possible; I never use canned soup or cake mix and, other than a cheese steak if I'm in Philly or pizza by the slice in New York, I don't eat fast food. So, while I think I eat and cook just about everything, I do have friends who think I'm picky--just because the only thing I've ever had from McDonald's is a diet Coke (and maybe a frie or two). I have collected literally hundreds of recipes, clipped from the Times or magazines, copied down from friends, cajoled out of restaurant chefs. Little by little, I am pulling out the ones I've made and loved and posting them here. Maybe someday, every drawer in my apartment won't crammed with recipes. (Of course, I'll always have those shelves crammed with cookbooks.) I'm still amazed and delighted by the friendliness and the incredible knowledge of the people here. 'Zaar has been a wonderful discovery for me.</p>
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