Chicken Estufau

Here is another version of the ever popular Chamorro favorite, Chicken estufau or stufau (as said on the islands). Allowing the chicken to marinate for at least half an hour, makes for a tasty, braised type dish.  The combination of soy sauce and vinegar, is such an island classic and whether you mix it with beef, pork, or in this case; chicken, you’re in for a such a treat.  The distinct aroma lingers throughout the house, that let’s everyone,  who’s familiar with “estufau”, know what’s cookin’!  Give my recipe a try and see why it’s another favorite!  😛


Serving suggestion: Serve on a bed of steamed white rice, drizzled with its juices…..


3 – 3 1/2 lbs. Chicken drum Sticks or thighs
3/4 cup White vinegar
3/4 cup Kikkoman Soy sauce
1/2 cup Water
1 1/2 tsp. ground Black pepper (depending on how spicy you’d like it, you may add more)
1/2 tsp. Salt (may add more to taste)
1 tsp. Accent seasoning
2 whole dried Bay leaves
4 – 6 whole Garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
1 small Onion, sliced

Begin by trimming off the excess fat and skin from the thighs. If the thighs are large, use a cleaver or a large knife to cut the thighs in half. Wash the chicken pieces thoroughly, making sure to remove any slivers of bone from where you had cut the thighs.










Place the cleaned chicken pieces, making sure to drain off any excess water, into a large mixing bowl.  Add the vinegar.  *NOTE:  You can substitute with cane vinegar, apple cider vinegar,  or FRESH squeezed lemon juice.











Add the soy sauce and water.  I prefer to use Kikkoman brand.










Chop the garlic pieces and add it to the chicken, along with the onions, black pepper and bay leaves.










Add the Accent seasoning and the salt.  In the picture below to the right;  just for kicks,  I wanted to see if I could still “eyeball” seasonings in the palm of my hand.  YUP, I still can!  1/2 teaspoon of salt, was SPOT ON!  😉










Mix these ingredient well, incorporating everything together.   Stir everything together well.  Cover and allow to marinate for about 30 minutes.











After 30 minutes, pour the whole bowl of chicken and the marination into a large stock pot.  Cook this on HIGH heat until it comes to a boil. Cover the pot, and reduce the heat to MEDIUM heat and allow the chicken to cook for 30 -40 minutes; making sure to stir often in between cooking time.









After the 30 minutes, remove the lid completely and simmer for an additional 10 minutes, to allow some of the liquid to evaporate.

NOTE:  We love lots of juice with our rice, so I don’t do this step.  Turn the heat off and serve along with some white steamed rice and some Fina’denne.


9 thoughts on “Chicken Estufau

  1. I’ve learn that what ever is close range to Guam and Philippines have very much similarities in food just different names. Im filipino and married a Chamorro and she loved every dish I made and said it reminded her of her parents dishes.

  2. I’ve seen a lot of video’s and photos of other Estufau recipes and none match this one! Just like my family’s recipe. The Buñelos is just like Auntie Bola’s! Thank you so much!

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