Chicken Tinola Recipe

Chicken Tinola Recipe

  • Chicken, 1 whole cut in parts
  • Garlic, 5-7 cloves chopped and minced
  • Onions, 2 pcs chopped
  • Ginger, 1 nub bruised and chopped
  • Whole peppercorns, ½ tbsp
  • Sayote (chayote or chokes), 1 whole, cut in lengths (alternative to papaya or pawpaw)
  • Lemongrass (optional but desired)
  • Fish sauce, up to ¼ cup
  • Water, 1.25-1.5 litres
  • Chili leaves, several pieces
  • Cooking oil, 2tbsp
  • Ginger powder (optional)
  1. Heat oil in a deep pot.
  2. Saute the garlic under medium to high heat.
  3. When the garlic turns golden, put in the onions.
  4. When the onions sweat, put in the ginger. Stir well.
  5. When the ginger chars, put in the chicken.
  6. Fry the chicken well in the spice mixture.
  7. Season the chicken with ½ of the ¼ cup fish sauce you prepared.

If you don’t measure the fish sauce (or other ingredients), it is totally fine. You can play it by taste. I put the fish sauce now to help enhance the flavour of the chicken.

   8. When the chicken (all of them) turn golden, add the water.
   9. Lower the heat and add the whole peppercorns, vegetable and the lemongrass.

In the Philippines, we normally put pawpaw (papaya) in our tinola. It is a common fruit (vegetable) back home; and therefore, cheap. In the part of the world where we live, this commodity is a bit expensive. That being said, we had to find a way to cook tinola using an alternative. Over the years, we’ve learned that a good substitute to pawpaw is thechayote. Few of our friends know this. And perhaps, we may be the ones who introduced it to them. It works perfectly well for this dish. You should try it.

     10. Cover and let it simmer.

During this time, you are making the chicken broth hot with the spicy ginger. Don’t rush. It won’t take long, anyway. The idea is to let all the ingredients work together. After about 10-15 minutes, the pawpaw or chayote may be cooked.

    11. Season the dish with fish sauce. Add ginger powder if you want a stronger soup.

Be mindful at this point not to put too much. Balance the dish according to your preference.

   12. Turn the heat off and top the dish with the chili leaves. Do not stir until serving time.
   13. Serve while hot with rice.

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