Codfish stew with chickpeas

Holy Week begins with Palm Sunday, which is the commemoration of the  triumphal entry of Jesus into Jerusalem, an event mentioned in all four canonical Gospels.

Today’s recipe goes by many names, but the most popular is Vigil stew. This comforting dish is very typical of the Spanish cuisine during Lent and Holy Week, as its main ingredient is cod, which allows us to profit of this delicious meal even during the days of abstinence.

Do not miss the opportunity to enjoy this recipe, you won’t regret it.


  • 500 g of chickpeas
  • 200 g fresh spinach
  • 200g unsalted codfish loin
  • 1 onion
  • 2 cloves garlic, unpeeled
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • Salt
  • Olive oil
  • 3 liters of fish broth
  • 2 boiled eggs


Soak the chickpeas the night before, covered with water, a pinch of salt and baking soda. You can also make this recipe using canned chickpeas cooked. The next day place a pot on the fire with the fish stock and when it starts to smoke, add the chickpeas with the onion, garlic and bay leaf. Bring it to a boil, then lower the heat and cook until the chickpeas are tender (this time will be reduced if you use cooked chickpeas) When they are cooked, remove the garlic, onion and a portion of the chickpeas. Sauté this chickpeas in olive oil with the onion and peeled cooked garlic, add paprika, a bit of cooking broth and grind.

At the end of cooking add the chopped spinach, diced codfish, chopped boiled egg and sofrito. Cook for 10 minutes.

As for the Panamanian cuisine during Lent and Holy Week, last year I cooked a few recipes. For example, Cocadas (coconut candy), a traditional sweet in several towns during Holy Week. Colon is the province that inherited these from the Afro-Caribbean group but nowadays we can enjoy them anywhere in the country.

Bon bread, sweet and dark, fill with fruits and raisins is a must during the Holy Week in Panamanian cuisine. This bread exists in Colon since the arrival of West Indians for the construction of the Panama Canal. The bon for Holy Week means that “the time of peace and love has arrived.” The bread has a cross in the center, which represents the cross on which Jesus was crucified.

Finally we have many fish dishes, the protagonist of this gastronomic route. One of my favorite recipes is codfish with potatoes.


20 Replies to “Codfish stew with chickpeas”

  1. The cod stew sounds delicious, Giovanna, and would have made a fine post all by itself. You, however, added the links to some of your previous, delicious recipes, making this post a real feast! Thanks for sharing the recipes and for another culinary lesson. 🙂

  2. Estoy sonriendo porque anoche puse mi bacalo en remojo (estará en sú punto manaña) para hacer este potaje! He enseñado tu post a Big Man y me ha dicho “¿no podemos comer potaje hoy?” con una cara muy triste!

    1. ¡Jejeje!
      Espero que subas tu receta 🙂 Seguro que no es igual a la que he seguido yo… “cada maestro con su librito”, como dicen aquí 😉
      Dile a Big Man que paciencia, ya sólo queda un día…

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