The collection of islands off the coast of West Africa known as Cape Verde was colonized by the Portuguese from the Age of Exploration well into the 20th Century, from 1462 until the islands gained their independence in 1975. Today’s Cape Verdean diaspora is rediscovering its Jewish roots. Worked by forced labor from West Africa, the Cape Verdean people are a mixture of Africa, Iberia, and all the worlds in between, including Jews who sought refuge from the Inquisition. When adapted to feature kosher cuts of meat, cachopa, one of the island nation’s signature dishes, makes an excellent Shabbat stew or replacement for cholent. (This recipe from writer Michael Twitty also works well as a slow cooker supper for Shabbat afternoon.) Many kosher butchers and farmers markets offer “bacon” made from beef brisket or lamb. For the kosher sausage, use an all-beef version, chicken sausage, or a mix.
Adapted from KOSHERSOUL by Michael Twitty. Reprinted with permission of the publisher, AMISTAD, an imprint of HarperCollins. Copyright © 2022 by Michael Twitty.
- 3 Tbsp. olive oil, divided, plus more as needed
- 1 medium yellow onion, coarsely chopped (1½ cups)
- 4 garlic cloves
- 2 bay leaves
- 6–8 cups chicken or vegetable broth
- One 15-oz. can white hominy, drained
- One 14.5-oz. can light kidney beans, drained
- ½ cup frozen lima beans
- 1 lb. kosher sausage, sliced ½-in. thick
- ¼ lb. kosher beef or lamb bacon, cut into small cubes
- 2 cups coarsely chopped green cabbage or kale
- 1 large russet potato, peeled and cut into 1–in. cubes (2 cups)
- 1 large sweet potato, peeled and cut into 1-in. cubes (2 cups)
- 1 medium plantain, peeled and thinly sliced into ½-in. thick rounds (1 cup)
- ½ medium butternut squash (or other winter squash), peeled and cut into 1-in. cubes (1 cup)
- ¼ cup green beans, sliced lengthwise
- One 5½-lb. chicken, cut into 8 pieces
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 medium plum tomatoes, quartered
- ½ cup store-bought sofrito
- Coarsely chopped cilantro, for garnish
- To a large pot over medium-high heat, add 2 tablespoons of the oil, the onion, garlic, and bay leaves. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is translucent and fragrant, 5–7 minutes. Add 6 cups of broth, then stir in the hominy, kidney beans, and lima beans. Bring to a boil, then turn the heat down to low and cook at a simmer until the beans are very tender and the flavors have mingled together, about 45 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside.
- To a large skillet over medium heat, add the sausage and bacon and cook, stirring occasionally, until they have rendered a little of their fat, 5–6 minutes. Add the cabbage, potatoes, plantain, squash, and green beans and cook, stirring occasionally, until the cabbage has wilted, about 12 minutes. Transfer the contents of the skillet to the pot, wipe the skillet clean and return it to the stove.
- Season the chicken all over with salt and black pepper. Set the skillet over medium heat and add the remaining oil. Once the oil is hot and shimmering, add the chicken pieces in batches and cook, turning occasionally, until lightly browned all over, about 14 minutes per batch.
- Transfer the browned chicken to the pot, and add the tomatoes. If necessary to submerge the chicken, add more broth to the pot, then set over low heat and cook, stirring occasionally and skimming any foam off the surface, until the chicken is cooked through, about 1 hour.
- Stir in the sofrito and continue cooking until the chicken is very tender and the broth is flavorful and concentrated, about 20 minutes. Remove from the heat, cover, and set aside until the juices have cooled slightly and thickened about 30 minutes. Ladle the cachopa into wide bowls, sprinkle with cilantro, and serve warm or at room temperature.