Sunday Country Chicken in Minas Gerais


Frango caipira (frahn-goo kai-pee-rah) is cooked every Sunday at my friend Dharlen's house in northern Minas Gerais. This delicious dish is made of free-range chicken, manioc flour broth, potatoes and cornmeal mush. Like many Brazilian dishes, the chicken is the main dish and it is accompanied by many side dishes.

What tradition did I learn about?:

While visiting the family of my friend Dharlen in northern MInas Gerais, I got to try frango caipira. This is not just a delicious dish, but a family and state tradition in Minas Gerais. My friend's mom cooks it for him every Sunday when he visits.

Why does the community have this tradition?:

My friend's family lives in the city of Capelinha. This city is in northern Minas Gerais, about eight hours from the state capital. Legend has it that trappers during colonial times only ate dried beef and manioc flour on their journeys and craved something different when they came home on Sundays. This led to the creation of frango caipira. According to my friend, multiple generations in his family have always cooked this dish on Sundays and it continues to be a family favorite, passing from generation to generation.