This chicken recipe is one of the famous and favorite dishes in the Philippines. You don't need to be a master-chef to cook this. I can suggest this dish for the beginner. In fact, this is the first recipe that I learned to cook!
Most of the vegetables ingredients in Tinolang Manok can be found in Asian stores (Filipino or Indian Stores). You can buy them fresh or frozen. But if you're too far away or too lazy to go around and find a Filipino store, you can be more creative and look for substitute vegetables. For example, you can use potatoes for the unripe papaya/upo/sayote (chayote squash), and you can also use spinach leaves for the sili (chili)/malunggay leaves.
To make Tinolang Manok:
- 1 kilo chicken, cut in serving pieces
- 1 unripe papaya, quartered (or 2 sayote or 3 potatoes, quartered)
- 1 onion, chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, crushed
- 1 thumb-size ginger root, cut into strips
- 2 tablespoon fish sauce (patis)
- 4-5 cups of water (rice water - 2nd washing)
- 1 cup sili leaves (or malunggay or spinach leaves)
- Salt and pepper to taste or chicken bullion cubes
- In a medium saucepan, heat oil over medium heat.
- Sauté ginger and garlic until fragrant.
- Add onions. Stir-fry until softened and translucent.
- Add chicken cuts. Cook for 3 to 5 minutes until chicken turns white.
- Season with patis (fish sauce). Cook for another 3 minutes.
- Pour in water (or rice water). Bring to a boil. Lower the heat and let it simmer until chicken is half-done.
- Add in sayote (or papaya or potatoes). Continue simmering until chicken and vegetable are tender.
- Season with pepper and salt according to your taste (you can use chicken bullion cubes).
- Then add sili leaves or malunggay or spinach.
- Cover and let simmer for about 3 minutes or until the sili/malunggay leaves or spinach are cooked.
- Remove from heat.
Transfer to a serving dish and serve hot. Enjoy eating!