Tuesday, October 23, 2012

recipe share: chicken stew

the girl and i are under the weather at the moment (seems to be going round in mommy blogging world as well as in my own real life surroundings). and in our home, i rarely ever skip a beat about making chicken soup the moment someone's nose threatens to drip. there may not be orange juice, broccoli, or strawberries in the house to boost the immune system with vitamin c, but i almost always have the basic ingredients on hand to make chicken stew.

whenever i make this stew - whether or not any of us is sick, upon eating, there is a collective sigh that suggests the recently fed were not only soothed of their hunger but soothed in spirit. last night, both babes were drinking the soup right out of their bowls. and the girl asked for third helpings. and then they both slept through the night. 

i make filipino chicken stew (tinolang manok)... or at least i think i do. i make it more or less the way i saw my mom do it: by throwing all the ingredients in a pot of water and boiling the heck out of it until the ingredients are cooked. 

growing up, my mom always made this with chicken parts.  in this stew, i leave the chicken whole and butcher at the table - which isn't any effort at all because the meat practically falls apart. i just use a pair of kitchen shears to separate servings.

i promise you, prep time is minimal (because who wants to stand in the kitchen prepping when you can be snuggling a sniffly babe or knitting, in my case?). though you do have to factor in at least an hour for the stew to simmer away on the stove top (cooking time will vary depending on how big your chicken is, after all).

served with your choice of rice, this is a simple, healthy, satisfying, and restorative meal: home cooking at its best.


1 medium onion, sliced

2 cloves of garlic
1-inch piece of ginger, peeled and sliced
1 tsp whole black pepper
2-3 bay leaves
chopped coriander stems (optional)
1 whole chicken
fish sauce
soy sauce

your choice of vegetables (traditionally, filipinos serve this stew with green papaya and malunggay leaves (pepper leaves). i love it this way. but neither of these ingredients are readily available in my neighbourhood grocery store. so i often throw in whatever i have on hand - which can be any combination of small potatoes (whole), peeled carrots (halved), a cup of corn, greens (any one or combination of your favourite greens would do. we love kale, spinach, bok choy, swiss chard, and green cabbage) and chopped broccoli.)

coriander, chopped (optional)


in a large pot, throw in the asian trinity (onions, garlic, ginger), black peppers, bay leaves, and whole chicken. cover with water. add fish and soy sauces.

bring the pot of ingredients to a boil and leave to simmer for an hour or until the chicken is cooked.

at about 40 minutes into the cooking time, throw in your choice of root vegetables. 

about 50 minutes into the cooking time, throw in your choice of hardy greens. if you're using baby spinach and coriander, throw these in just before serving.

garnish with chopped coriander.

(see? told you. easy.)

condiment options:
i spoon a bit of either of these with nearly every bite. the kids do, too. the boy would drink either from the the dipping bowl if we'd let him.

fish sauce (just on it's own. my fave.)
fancy sauce (this is the wife's fave: 2 tbs fish sauce, 1 tbs soy sauce, 4 drops sesame oil, juice of 1 lemon or lime, chives, black pepper to taste)


  1. i should have you come over and cook for me. :) i've now come down with the cold.. oh well. so long as owen doesn't get it, that will be fine. rest up! and i hope you feel better soon. xo

    1. dude. that would have been nice. hope you're better today. saw that your boy let you get to bed. how sweet is that?

      take care!