Chicken Afritada


Chicken Afritada, is Spanish-inspired but unmistakably a Filipino dish.  Cooked in a savory flavored tomato base, it’s chuck full of vegetables such as potatoes, bell peppers, carrots, and peas.  You can also substitute pork for the chicken in this dish.  Give it a try and savor something different…..

Afritada

 

3 1/2 – 4 lbs. Chicken thighs, cut into halves, all traces of fat and excess skin removed
3 Tbsp.  Vegetable oil
1 medium Onion, sliced
6 whole Garlic cloves, minced
2 small Bay leaves
3 medium Russet potatoes, cut into chunks
2 – 3 Carrots, peeled and cubed
1 medium Green bell pepper, sliced
1 medium Red bell pepper, sliced
1/2 – 1 cup Petite frozen Peas, thawed
1 small can Tomato paste
3 cups Water
1/2 tsp. Black pepper
1//2 tsp. Salt, to taste
1 Tbsp. Chicken bouillon powder
2 Tbsp. Soy sauce
1 tsp. Onion powder
1 tsp. Garlic powder
1 tsp. Accent

Very lightly, season the chicken pieces with some salt and pepper.  Set aside.  Heat the vegetable oil in a deep fry pan, on Medium high heat.  Add the chicken pieces in batches, just to brown.  Remove and set aside and continue to brown the other pieces until all are done.  Set aside.
NOTE:  You are only adding color to the chicken pieces, not cooking them completely.

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Once the chicken is all done and browned; pour off the excess grease, leaving about 2 Tbsp. behind.  On medium high heat, fry the onions and garlic and fry until slightly golden and translucent.

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Return the browned chicken pieces and stir to combine with the onions and garlic.  Add the bay leaves.

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Add the tomato paste and then the water.  Stir to combine well.

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Add your seasonings and then the soy sauce.  Stir to combine well.  Bring to a boil.  Cover and reduce heat to MEDIUM or MEDIUM LOW.  Allow the chicken to cook for about 15 minutes, stirring a couple of times in between cooking time.

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After 15 minutes, add the carrots and potatoes, stir to combine.  Cover again and cook for another 10 – 15 minutes, allowing the potatoes to become tender.

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Add the bell peppers and peas; stir to combine well.  Cover and allow to cook an additional 5 – 8 minutes.

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After the vegetable are cooked through, taste and adjust flavor according.  Turn the heat off and remove lid.  SERVE with steamed rice.

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Chicken and Ginger Soup with Malunggay Leaves


This soup, typically a Filipino dish, flavored with ginger, garlic, and fish sauce; is a great “stick to your ribs” kind of soup.  It’s refreshing and healthy, with the addition of Malunggay leaves aka Horseradish leaves.  Although fresh is always better, these leaves can be found at local Asian markets located in the freezer section.  Here is a link that can provide you with some of the awesome health benefits of eating these leaves     http://health-benefits-of-malunggay-leaves.blogspot.com/   Give my recipe a try and make it a part of your meal planning!

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8 medium/large pieces Chicken thighs, excess fat and skin removed
2 Tbsp. Vegetable oil
1 medium Onion, sliced
4 – 6 whole Garlic, finely minced
1 (2-inch piece) fresh Ginger, peeled and sliced
3/4 tsp. Salt
3/4 tsp. ground Black pepper
1 tsp. Accent seasoning
1 Tbsp. Chicken bouillon (I used the powder version)
4 – 6 Tbsp. Fish sauce, to taste
6 cups Water
1 (8 oz. pkg.) frozen Malunggay leaves, thawed and rinsed
1/2 head Cabbage, cut into chunks

VARIATION:
-1 Chayote squash, peeled and cut into chunks, add before the cabbage and Malunggay leaves.

-1 firm Green papaya, peeled and cut into chunks, add this after the chicken has boiled with the water for about 15 – 20 minutes. Then add your cabbage and Malunngay leaves.

 

Trim the chicken and remove excess fat and skin.  Using a cleaver, cut the thighs in half, making sure to remove any bones that have cracked or slivered.

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Let’s begin by heating up a 6-quart pot to MEDIUM HIGH heat. Add the vegetable oil. Add the ginger pieces, onions, and garlic.

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Once the onions have turned translucent, add the chicken.  Stir to combine well.  Cover and reduce the heat to MEDIUM.  Allow this to cook for about 10 minutes.  This is going to bring out the moisture from within the chicken, thus helping to make a great broth.

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Remove the lid and bring the heat back up to MEDIUM HIGH.  Add the salt, pepper, bouillon, and Accent.  Stir to combine well with the chicken.

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Now add the water and about 3 – 4 tablespoons of the fish sauce.  Stir.  Bring this back up to a boil, cover and reduce the heat to MEDIUM.  Cook the chicken for about 15 – 20 minutes, or until they become tender.

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Throughout the cooking time, make sure to remove any excess fat and scum that accumulates at the surface.
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While the chicken is cooking, drain the thawed Malunggay leaves into a colander or strainer.  Rinse and remove any leaves that are yellow or dark.  Remove the larger pieces of stem from the leaves.  Set this aside.

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Cut the cabbage in half and then using half of the head; cut the leaves into chunks.  I prefer to use half but you could add more if you’d like.

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Once the cooking time is up and the chicken pieces are cooked and tender, add the cabbage and Malunggay leaves.  Bring this up to a boil.  Cover and allow to cook for an additional, 10 – 15 minutes, or until the cabbage is cooked but still tender.

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Once the cabbage is cooked, taste for flavor.  Because the cabbage can add extra liquid, that will “water down” your broth; add more fish sauce as needed.  I myself wanted a little more “ginger” flavoring so I added a tablespoon of ground ginger, pictured below.

Stir to combine well and allow to finish the cooking time.  Serve with hot steamed rice and Vinegar style fina’denne’!

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Vinegar Fried Chicken


Vinegar Fried Chicken was something I came upon when I was in the process of making traditional Chicken Estufau, but without the soy sauce.  Although vinegar based, the flavor of the vinegar is not noticeable in the chicken.  It’s more of a brine-like marinade, that will give you moist and succulent fried chicken.  I do have a chicken wing recipe that I will share with you at a later time that uses the soy sauce version, but give this recipe a try and let me know your thoughts on it. 😉

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3 lbs. Chicken pieces (I used thighs)
1 medium Onion, sliced thinly
8 – 10 fresh Garlic cloves, finely minced
1 tbsp. Salt
1 tbsp. granulated Sugar
1 tsp. ground Black pepper
1 tsp. Accent
1 cup white Vinegar (I’m gonna try Apple Cider vinegar next time)

 
FLOUR DREDGING MIX:
2 cups All-purpose flour
2 tsp. Salt
2 tsp. Onion powder
1 tsp. Garlic powder
1 1/2 tsp. ground Black pepper
1 tsp. Accent

In a small mixing bowl, combine the onions, garlic, salt, pepper, sugar, and Accent.

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Add the white vinegar and stir to combine well; making sure to dissolve the sugar.

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Make sure to remove the excess fat and skin from your chicken pieces; I used chicken thighs to prepare this recipe.  Place the thigh pieces into a large ziploc bag OR a large non-metallic bowl.  Pour the vinegar mixture over the chicken pieces and massage it into the chicken pieces.  Allow the chicken to marinate for a minimum of 6 hours but preferably overnight in the refrigerator.  I usually start this in the early morning, then it’ll be ready by dinner time.  Turn the ziploc bag several times to make sure that the marinade permeates the meat evenly.

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When you’re ready to fry the chicken, heat the oil to 325° degrees.  I prefer to use my deep fryer, but you can also heat the oil, about 3-inches deep, in a deep fry pan and cook the chicken on the stove top. While the oil is heating, drain the chicken into a colander, discarding the liquid and most of the garlic and onion pieces.

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In a large bowl or ziploc bag (which I prefer), combine all of the flour dredging ingredients.  Stir to combine well.  Once the oil has heated to temperature, add a few chicken pieces at a time into the flour mixture and toss to coat well.

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Slowly place the pieces into the hot oil and fry for a total of 15 – 20 minutes, depending on the size and thickness of the chicken. I usually fry the thighs about 20 minutes. Turn the chicken once or twice during the total cooking time.

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Fry chicken to a golden brown and then remove to drain on paper toweling.  Serve along side your favorite side dishes.

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ChamoritaMomma’s Chicken Ala King


Chicken ala King, especially served in crisp pastry cups, have been a long time childhood favorite of mine. Although the pastry cups are time consuming to prepare, my filling recipe isn’t.  Your end result is a  thick and creamy, gravy-like chicken and vegetable filling, that is studded with bits of hard boiled eggs. Once all the ingredients are gathered, the filling is very easy to prepare. My chicken ala king filling is so versatile, it can be used to top off baked puff pastry shells, fresh or canned biscuits, and can even be used to make chicken pot pies.

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BROTH:
3 – 4 Chicken breasts
1 heaping Tbsp. Chicken bouillon
1 tsp. Salt
1 tsp. Black pepper
1 tsp. Accent

FILLING:
1/2 cup unsalted Butter
1/2 cup All-purpose flour
2 cups Chicken broth (used from boiling chicken)
2 cups Whole milk
4 cups chopped cooked Chicken
4 cups Mixed Vegetables (parboiled in hot water for about 10 – 15 minutes, drained)
1 1/2 tsp. Salt, to taste
1 1/2 tsp. Onion powder
1 tsp. Garlic powder
1 tsp. Accent
1/2 tsp. ground Black pepper
3 – 4 Hard boiled eggs, peeled and chopped (optional)

Let’s begin by making the broth.  Combine the chicken breasts with the seasonings along with enough water to cover the chicken pieces, in a large pot.  Bring this to hard boil and then reduce the heat to about MEDIUM, cover the pot and allow the chicken to cook for about 30 minutes or until they become tender.  Once they are cooked, remove the chicken onto a plate to allow them to cool for easier handling. Chop the chicken into bite-sized pieces, and set aside. Reserve 2 cups of this broth for the filling’s liquid.

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In a deep pot or skillet, on MEDIUM heat, add the butter.  Allow it to melt completely.  Add the flour; and stir to combine using a wire whisk.

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Whisk the butter and flour mixture together for 2 – 3 minutes, keeping the temperature on MEDIUM heat.  Now whisk in the chicken broth, continue whisking until the mixture becomes smooth. Reduce heat to MEDIUM LOW.

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Slowly add the milk, while whisking continuously. Allow this mixture to cook for about 3 minutes, it will start to thicken as it cooks even more.

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Once the mixture has thickened slightly, add the chopped chicken pieces, parboiled mixed vegetables and the remaining seasonings.  Stir to combine these ingredients thoroughly with the thickened mixture.  Taste and adjust seasonings accordingly.  Bring this to a slight boil, stir again.  Turn off the heat.

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If you are using the chopped boiled eggs, add it at this time. Stir to combine and incorporate well.  VOILA!  You just made Chicken ala King. ENJOY!  😉

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Here is the brand of powdered Chicken Bouillon I like using, but please use what you prefer.

This is the bouillon I like to use....

This is the bouillon I like to use….

Shoyu Chicken, My Way!


Living in Hawaii, I’ve learned to prepare so many favorite local dishes.  SHOYU CHICKEN is definitely one that my family enjoys.  Although traditionally Japanese, with it’s sweet soy sauce flavor and a hint of ginger, Shoyu Chicken is favored among the locals.  Chicken pieces, cooked in a sweet soy sauce concoction, thickened to almost gravy-like, and served over white rice.  Give my recipe a try and see if it becomes a favorite of yours too.  😉

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4 lbs. Chicken thighs, trimmed of fat and gristle
2 Tbsp. Vegetable oil
10 whole Garlic, crushed
1 (4-inch) piece Gingerroot, sliced thinly
1 1/2 cups Kikkoman soy sauce
1 cup dark Brown sugar
1 (32 oz.) container Chicken broth (4 cups)
1 tsp. Accent seasoning
1 bunch Green onions, sliced into 1-inch pieces
4 Tbsp. Cornstarch
4 Tbsp. Water

Because of the length of time needed to “braise” the chicken pieces, I recommend using dark meat, such as drumsticks or thighs, for this dish. Using breast meat or tenderloins will only dry out the meat without adding much flavor to it. Let’s begin by washing and trimming all the fat and gristle from the chicken thighs.

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Crush the garlic and wash and slice the ginger.  There is no need to peel the gingerroot.  Set these aside.

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Slice the bunch of green onions to about 1-inch pieces.  Set this aside.

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Prepare the shoyu sauce by combining, in a bowl, the brown sugar, soy sauce, and accent.

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Stir this mixture until the brown sugar has dissolved slightly and set this aside.

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Now, in a large pot, heat up the vegetable oil on MEDIUM HIGH heat.   Add the ginger and garlic and stir for about 1 minute.

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Add the chicken pieces and stir to combine.  On HIGH heat, we’re going to slightly brown the chicken, being careful NOT to burn the garlic. Cook this for about 3 – 4 minutes.  Reduce heat back down to MEDIUM HIGH.

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Now, carefully pour the shoyu mixture over the chicken pieces.  Stir to combine well.  Add the chicken broth and stir again.

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Now add the sliced green onions and stir.  Bring this to a boil on MEDIUM HIGH heat.  Cover and reduce heat to MEDIUM LOW and cook for about 45 minutes.  Remove any fat floating to the surface throughout the cooking time, stirring often.

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Continue to cover, stir, and remove the fat floating to the surface, throughout the whole cooking time.  After the cooking time is done, your Shoyu Chicken is ready to be eaten, served with white rice.  BUT, if you’d like to kick it up a notch, proceed on to the next set of instructions below.

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Once the cooking time is done and the chicken is cooked through and tender, remove the chicken pieces from the broth and set aside.

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Pour the broth into a sieve or colander to separate the ginger, garlic, and skin that has fallen off the chicken.  Then pour the broth back into the cooking pot.  Cook the broth on MEDIUM HIGH heat and once again, remove any fat that floats to the surface of the broth.

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Now this part is going to be tricky, because it all depends on how much broth is left after cooking the chicken.  Start off with the amounts posted above in the ingredients list, then if you need to thicken up the broth more, make another batch.  You’re looking for a consistency that is thick but not quite as thick as brown gravy.  Mix the cornstarch with the water and stir to dissolve.  Make sure that the broth comes up to a slight boil, then add the slurry mixture, whisk the broth.  If the consistency is not thick enough for you, make another batch of slurry and continue this until you’ve reach your desired gravy consistency.  *REMEMBER to always bring it to a boil before adding more slurry.

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Allow the broth to come to a boil, BEFORE adding more slurry to thicken.  Once you’ve reached the desired consistency, return the chicken back to the pot and stir to combine with the gravy.  SERVE!  We like this with white rice.

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My Green Chili Chicken Enchilada


GREEN CHICKEN ENCHILADAS!   A tangy verde “green” sauce used to coat corn tortillas stuffed with cheese and chicken then baked to perfection.  This is one of my family’s favorite Mexican dish.  I added a special ingredient to make my sauce richer and tastier.  Give my recipe a try the next time you’re up for Mexican tonight.  😉

 

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1 (8 oz.) pkg. Cream cheese, softened
12 pieces Tomatillos, (28 oz. can) drained
10 pieces WHOLE green Chilies, (10 pieces came in this 27 oz. can), drained
1 small Onion, halved
4 fresh Garlic cloves
1 1/2 tsp. Salt
1/4 tsp. Accent
1/2 – 3/4 cup Cilantro, washed and cleaned
1/2 cup Chicken broth, from boiling chicken
Chicken, cooked and shredded
Corn tortillas
Monterrey Jack, Mozzarella, or Cheddar cheese, shredded (a mixture is fine)

Begin by boiling up 2 large bone-in chicken breasts.  Add enough water to cover the breasts, I just seasoned mine with 1 teaspoon EACH salt, black pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, accent; 1 small chopped onion, and 1 tablespoon Cumin.   Allow this to come to a boil, and then lower heat to simmer slowly until the breast meat is cooked through.  Cool completely before shredding.  Set this aside.

NOTE:  When I know I’ll be making Chicken Enchiladas, I usually cook my chicken a day before.

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Now to make the sauce. Here are the tomatillos and green chilies I used in this recipe. Please feel free to use what’s available in your area.  I only used about 12 pieces of the Tomatillos and the whole can of WHOLE chilies (there were 10 pieces). Make sure to drain them.

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Place the 12 pieces of Tomatillos and 10 whole pieces of chilis into a blender.

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Add the onion and garlic.  I used the garlic that comes in those refrigerated tube.

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Cut the cream cheese in half and add it to the blender. Add the seasonings.

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Now add the cilantro and 1/2 cup of the broth used to make the shredded chicken.  Cover the blender and process until finely blended, about 2 minutes.

NOTE:  I love Cilantro, so I added a handful (almost the whole bunch) to my sauce.

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Now, on MEDIUM HIGH, heat up a deep skillet and add about 3 Tbsp. vegetable oil.  Slowly pour the chili mixture into the pan.

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Continue to stir the sauce and heat just until below a full boil.  Remove from heat and allow to cool off slightly, while you prepare the tortillas.

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Now, using a dry pan, on MEDIUM HIGH heat, place a corn tortilla into the pan and heat through.  Turn and heat the other side, this is just to soften them enough to roll them up without cracking.

NOTE:  I sometimes add a little bit of vegetable oil into the pan and heat my tortillas that way, it’s all in your preference as to how you want to do this step.

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Preheat your oven to 350°.  Now we’re ready to assemble the dish.  Start by dipping a tortilla into the sauce, covering both sides.  (Sorry about that shadow over my hand) 😦

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Now, in the same pan you’re going to be baking the enchiladas, place the sauce-covered tortilla down and then add some shredded chicken in the center.  I SOMETIMES add some Mexican style cheese like Cotija cheese, or Queso Fresco, in the center with the chicken, but this time I didn’t.  You can if you’d like.

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Now, roll up the tortilla, somewhat tightly and facing them “seam-side” down.  Continue doing this until the pan is full.

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Now, using a ladle, pour more sauce over each enchilada.

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Top with shredded cheese, as much as you’d like.  Bake in a preheated 350° oven for about 30 minutes, just enough to heat the dish through and melt the cheese.  Top with some sour cream or “Mexican crema” if you’d like. SERVE immediately! Pair this up with some refried beans and Mexican rice. My family just likes eating it as is.

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Chamorro Chicken Curry


CHICKEN CURRY! You either love it or hate it, right?  Wrong, because there are so many ways to prepare it, with or without coconut milk; hot, medium, mild; green, red, yellow; with tomatoes or without; Asian, India, Jamaican, Pakistani.  There are so many cultures that prepare it differently.  Mine is a simple recipe.  It’s hearty, full of flavor and so easy……

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1 large Onion, sliced
1 (3 1/2 – 4 lbs.) pkg. Chicken drumstick
3 Tbsp. Vegetable oil
1 1/2 Tbsp. Salt (adjust for taste in the end)
1 1/2 heaping Tbsp. Garlic powder
1 1/2 heaping Tbsp. Onion powder
1/2 heaping tsp. Black pepper

2 tsp. heaping Accent
3 – 4 heaping Tbsp. Curry Powder (I like Spice Islands brand)
9 cups Water
2 cups Baby Carrots
4 – 6 Potatoes, peeled and cubed

1 cup Coconut milk
1/2 cup Cornstarch

This is the coconut milk I like using.

This is the coconut milk I like using.

This is the brand of curry I used.  It's not as spicy as most others....

This is the brand of curry I used. It’s not as spicy as most others….

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Begin by heating the oil on MEDIUM HIGH heat,  in a large 8 qt. pot.  Add the onions.  Saute them until slightly translucent.  Add the chicken pieces.  Stir to combine well with the onions.

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Add all the seasonings.  Stir to combine well with the chicken pieces.

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Add the water.  Stir once again to combine well with the seasonings and chicken.  Bring this to a boil.  Throughout the cooking time, remember to spoon off the fat floating on the surface of the broth.  Once a rolling boil occurs, cover and reduce heat to MEDIUM LOW and allow to cook for about 35 – 45 minutes.  Stir in between cooking time and remove the fat floating on the surface of curry.

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After 15 minutes of cooking time, add the carrots and potatoes.  Stir to combine with the chicken pieces.  Cover and continue cooking for the remaining cooking time of 20 – 30 minutes more or until chicken is tender and potatoes are cooked through.  Making sure to stir often in between cooking time.  Taste and adjust seasonings accordingly, adding more if needed!

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Prepare the thickening slurry by combining the coconut milk and cornstarch.  Whisk them together to form a smooth mixture.  Set this aside until the cooking time is over, or when chicken and potatoes are cooked.

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Once the cooking time is up, stir the slurry once again to remove any lumps.  Slowly pour this mixture into the curry, making sure to continue stirring while pouring it in.  The curry will thicken almost immediately.  MAKE SURE to stir until well combined with the curry soup.

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Allow the mixture to come up to a slight boil, and then turn the heat off.  SERVE with white steamed rice.  ENJOY!

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