Whip Up Weeknight Wonders: Easy Filipino Chicken Dishes

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Filipino cuisine is known for its bold flavors and delicious use of spices. Chicken is a staple protein in Filipino cooking, and there’s a vast array of easy chicken dishes that are perfect for weeknight meals or weekend feasts. This guide will explore five incredibly flavorful Filipino chicken dishes that are sure to tantalize your taste buds and impress your family.

1. Adobo: A Classic Comfort Food

Chicken Bicol Express
Chicken Bicol Express

Adobo is arguably the national dish of the Philippines. This savory and slightly tangy dish features chicken braised in a mixture of soy sauce, vinegar, garlic, peppercorns, and bay leaves. You can adjust the vinegar content to control the tanginess.

Ingredients:

1 kg chicken pieces (cut into serving sizes)

  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup white vinegar
  • 1 whole head garlic, cloves peeled and smashed
  • 1 tablespoon whole black peppercorns
  • 3 bay leaves
  • Cooking oil

  • Directions:

    1. Heat oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Brown the chicken pieces on all sides.
    2. Add soy sauce, vinegar, garlic, peppercorns, and bay leaves. Stir to combine.
    3. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer for 30-45 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through and tender.
    4. You can thicken the sauce by removing some of the chicken pieces and mashing the garlic cloves in the remaining sauce. Return the chicken to the pot and simmer for a few more minutes.
    5. Serve hot with steamed rice.

    Nutrition Facts (per serving):

    This will vary depending on the cut of chicken used, but a typical serving of adobo with white rice can range from 400-500 calories with 30-40 grams of protein.

    2. Ginataang Manok: Creamy Coconut Chicken

    Ginataang Manok is a delightful dish featuring chicken simmered in a creamy coconut milk sauce flavored with ginger, lemongrass, and chilies.

    Ingredients:

    1 kg chicken pieces (cut into serving sizes)

  • 1 can (400 ml) coconut milk
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 thumb-sized ginger, peeled and julienned
  • 1 stalk lemongrass, white part only, chopped
  • 1-2 Thai chilies, sliced (adjust to your spice preference)
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Spinach or baby bok choy (optional)

  • Directions:

    1. Heat oil in a pot over medium heat. Brown the chicken pieces on all sides.
    2. Add ginger, lemongrass, and chilies. Saute for a minute until fragrant.
    3. Pour in coconut milk, water, fish sauce, and soy sauce. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer for 20-25 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through.
    4. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
    5. (Optional) Add spinach or baby bok choy and cook for an additional minute until wilted.
    6. Serve hot with steamed rice.

    Nutrition Facts (per serving):

    A serving of Ginataang Manok with rice can be around 500-600 calories with 40-50 grams of protein, depending on the coconut milk used.

    3. Chicken Sisig: A Sizzling Sensation

    Chicken Sisig is a popular Filipino dish traditionally made with chopped pig’s head and liver. This recipe uses readily available chicken and offers a delicious twist on the classic.

    Ingredients:

    1 kg chicken breasts or thighs, boiled, shredded, and skin removed

  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped (optional)
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped (optional)
  • 1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and minced (adjust to your spice preference)
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1 calamansi or 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Cooking oil
  • Fried egg (optional, for topping)

  • Directions:

    1. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Saute onion and garlic until softened and fragrant.
    2. Add bell peppers (if using) and jalapeño pepper. Saute for another minute.
    3. Add shredded chicken and cook for 2-3 minutes, until heated through.