An improvised version of Filipino Chicken Tinola
January 13, 2012 25 Comments
This tinola dish together with my version of the fried chicken (which is marinated with a lot of finely chopped garlic) is such a big hit with my husband and in-laws. Even my father-in-law who is not that fond of garlic, forgets his usual prejudice on the tasty and crispy fried chicken.
Tinola is a kind of chicken stew that is so common in the Philippines. Over there, the key ingredients apart from the chicken are ginger, unripe papaya and chili leaves.
My version of the chicken tinola here in Holland is an improvised one because some of the ingredients like the unripe papaya costs an arm and a leg if I get them from the Toko (Asian shops). Oftentimes this papaya also comes half ripe already which is not good and the chili leaves are just difficult to source out (either I plant one myself or use the ornamental chili leaves from the plant shops).
Resourcefulness is OK. Instead of papaya, I substitute that with potatoes and the chili leaves with cabbage and this dish still comes out tasting so delicious so long as the key ingredient which is ginger is not omitted.
Chicken cut in pieces (I used 3 pieces but feel free to use more)
1 onion, sliced
3 cloves garlic, pounded coursely
2-inch ginger, sliced or pounded coursely
Cabbage, 1/2 head cut in big pieces
4 pcs. medium-sized potatoes
2 tbsps. oil
Fish sauce (patis)
Black pepper, finely grounded
1. In a deep saucepan, heat up 2 tbsps oil. Add the ginger and sautee for a minute or until slightly brown. Add the garlic and sautee further until slightly brown. Add the onions and continue sauteeing until translucent.
2. Add the chicken and let it fry a bit on the spices for a minute or two. Put the lid of the saucepan on.
3. Add a bit of the fish sauce to the chicken. Add water until the chicken is covered. Add the potatoes too. Let it boil until the chicken and potatoes are cooked.
4. When the chicken and potatoes are cooked, removed the potatoes for a while to avoid it getting overcooked. Add the cabbage and let it simmer for a few minutes. When cabbage is cooked, add back the potatoes. Check the taste and if still a bit bland, add some more fish sauce.
5. Serve with boiled rice. You can also have as another side dish, the crispy fried chicken. (Recipe to follow).