Dive Into a Hot Stew Summer and Make Cataplana

Justin Chapple makes the Portuguese stew on this week’s episode of Mad Genius.

While fresh seafood can be enjoyed year-round, there's something particularly magical about having it in the summertime — and we've got the perfect recipe on this week's episode of Mad Genius. Food & Wine Culinary Director-at-Large Justin Chapple shares his recipe for Cataplana (Portuguese Fish Stew), a Portuguese seafood-and-pork stew named for the vessel that it's cooked and served in. Like most beloved regional dishes, it can vary depending on factors like the season and who is making the stew. Justin's version is prepared in a Dutch oven instead of a cataplana, and features rich linguiça and four different kinds of seafood — clams, shrimp, squid, and mussels — as well as some kale for a pop of green, and plenty of other flavorful ingredients, too. Everything comes together in the one pot, and the stew is ready in just under an hour. Served with warmed Portuguese rolls on the side, it's so good you'll want to swim in it.

Read on for Justin's method and follow along with the video above.

Render and Soften

First, heat some extra-virgin olive oil in a large Dutch oven (or cataplana, if you have one) over medium-high and add the sliced linguiça. Stir often and let the sausage cook until the fat just starts to render; then, throw in the thinly sliced yellow onion, sliced Cubanelle chiles, and sliced garlic cloves. Continue to stir often and let the mixture cook until the vegetables have just softened.

Deglaze and Simmer

Next, pour some dry white wine into the pot to deglaze the bottom of the Dutch oven. Scrape up any browned bits that have formed, and let the mixture cook until the wine has nearly evaporated. Then, add the whole peeled tomatoes — crushed by hand — and their juices, the clam juice, the bay leaves, the paprika, and finally, the crushed saffron threads. Bring everything to a boil over medium-high, then cover the pot, bump the heat down to medium-low, and let the mixture simmer.

Add the Kale and Seafood

The chopped kale goes into the stew next. When it just starts to wilt, Justin suggests tasting the mixture for seasoning and adds kosher salt and black pepper. Then, nestle the littleneck clams, large shrimp, squid tentacles, and mussels into the stew. Cover the mixture one more time and increase the heat to medium-high. Let the mixture cook until the clams and mussels open and the shrimp and squid are just cooked through.

Cataplana (Portugese Fish Stew)
Photo by Victor Protasio / Food Styling by Margaret Monroe Dickey / Prop Styling by Audrey Davis


At this point, the Cataplana is ready to serve. Discard any closed mussels or clams (those aren't safe to eat), ladle the stew into a bowl, grab a warmed Portuguese roll, and dig in. If you'd like, you can pair the stew with a tropical-fruited Portuguese white wine, like Quinta da Fonte Souto Branco.

"I've got to say, this is so good, it's going to be a go-to for you, and you're going to want to simmer it all summer long," Justin says after sampling the stew.

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