In Filipino recipes, you’ll never go a couple of days without using chicken as an ingredient in your dishes. Filipino chicken recipes are numerous because Filipinos love the poultry and it’s always a staple in their table to always have at least one chicken dish, especially during fiestas or special occasions.
There are countless Filipino dishes with chicken as its poultry of choice and there are even more Filipino dishes that incorporate chicken into the original recipes. The innovation and adaptiveness of the Filipinos made it possible to include chicken in almost every one of their recipes. They made it possible for the chicken recipes from different regions and even culture to become popularized throughout the entire country.
Check out this list of the best Filipino chicken recipes and their origins:
The Philippines’s chicken adobo is probably known as the foremost Filipino dish by the world over. It’s the ultimate Filipino classic and is largely the favorite dish of Filipinos made with basic ingredients including vinegar, soy sauce, garlic, and bay leaves.
The origin of chicken adobo is still highly debated but the most convincing theory is that the recipe is brought to the islands by early Malay settlers who used generous amounts of vinegar to preserve food in the hot and humid climate. The recipe for adobo evolved through influences from different cultures into what we recognize of the dish today.
Read further: Ultimate Filipino Adobo Recipes
Tinolang manok is one of the Filipinos ultimate comfort food. It’s a given that this dish will be served during a cold or rainy day. The recipe is made up of different cuts of chicken brought to a boil within its own broth. Delicious flavors are mixed in through the addition of fish sauce and vegetables including sayote, ginger, gabi, and carrots.
Tinolang Manok’s origin is said to be from the Chinese who introduced ginger to the early Filipinos through trade to which the Filipinos quickly incorporated into their recipes.
See also: Tinolang Manok with Itag Recipe
Curry became very popular in the Philippines due to the influence of Indian traders when they brought their spices to the islands. Thus the Filipino chicken curry was born that’s quite different from the original Indian recipe.
The Philippines’ recipes have its ingredients of cuts of chicken, carrots, potatoes, and bell papers stewed in creamy coconut milk after which the flavorful chili is added to the delicious mixture.
Chicken asado is a variation of the more popular pork asado. Substituting the pork with chicken makes the recipe that produces a healthier dish. The Filipino asado is a braised meat dish with its name coming from the Spanish ‘asado’ that means grilled. However, the Filipino asado is always braised, not grilled.
The recipe consists of meat (chicken) braised in soy sauce, brown sugar, garlic, bay leaves, onions, and various Chinese spices. The original Filipino asado is most likely a variation of the Chinese char siu.
Chicken caldereta is yet another chicken variation of the Filipino dish calderetta which usually uses goat meat, or beef in its recipe. But I promise chicken caldereta is just as delicious. The work caldereta is derived from the Spanish caldera which means cauldron used for stewing meats. The Spanish brought these meat stews to the Philippines to which Filipinos adapted and created the delicious caldereta recipe. It’s made up of marinated meat (chicken), tomato sauce, bell peppers, and green peas.
Pininyahang Manok or pineappled chicken may be a confusing combination to some but the ingredients create a delicious combination of flavors once you took a bite of the dish. The recipe includes pineapples, of course, stewed with the cuts of chicken and some carrots. This creates a very healthy Filipino dish.
Pininyahang manok is said to have originated from South Luzon with its abundance of pineapples where the recipe was developed during the Spanish period.
See also: Pininyahang Manok sa Gata
Similar to caldereta and mechado dishes, afritada is a dish of meat stew. Its recipe is also highly influenced by the Spanish. Afritada is derived from the Spanish word fritada which means fried. The recipe for afritada needs to first have the chicken fried and stewed in tomato sauce along with its other ingredients, including green peas, green peppers, garlic, onion, and slices of hotdogs. This is a very popular dish to serve during fiestas and special occasions.
The famous chicken inasal is a dish that you should never miss when you’re in the Philippines. The recipe originated in the province of Negros Occidental, specifically in its city of Bacolod. Inasal in the Ilonggo dialect means roasted meat or chargrilled.
Many Filipinos all over the Philippines visit Bacolod to get a taste of the original recipe of chicken inasal which is basically grilled chicken first marinated in a mixture of calamansi juice, lemongrass, vinegar, garlic, ginger, and atsuete oil. The mixture gives the chicken a yellow hue and is often dipped in soy sauce mixed with calamansi juice or annatta oil when eaten.
Everyone loves fried chicken and it’s probably the number one chicken dish amongst Filpino, especially Filpino children. Each household has their version for the recipe of Pinoy fried chicken. But in general, the Pinoy fried chicken is extra juicy with just the right amount of crunch to the chicken’s skin. The cuts of chicken are first marinated into a mixture of native ingredients including calamansi juice and soy sauce before it’s fried in the hot pan.
Fried chicken is most probably an influence from the western cultures that brought their recipes in the Philippines, specifically the Americans.
10. Chicken Sinigang
Chicken sinigang is the variation of the sinigang recipe that usually uses seafood or pork for the dish. Sinigang is probably the ultimate comfort food for every Filipino and contributes to the defining tastes of Filipino cuisine. Sinigang is basically a sour broth made of vegetables and uses tamarind (sampalok) as its souring ingredient. Nowadays, the recipe for Sinigang evolved to include a variety of different souring ingredients like tomatoes.
As for sinigang’s origins, there is evidence that the Tagalogs from the island of Luzon where the very first ones to come up with the original recipe of sinigang.
Read further: Facts and Trivia, Origin, and Recipes
11. Lechon Manok
Another popular dish for fiestas and special occasions, lechon manok is a whole chicken roasted on a rotisserie or cooked in an oven. Pinoys love lechon manok for its delicious smokey flavor that typically comes from the stuffed lemongrass in the whole chicken while it’s cooking.
Lechon manok gained popularity in the 1980s when various roadside businesses started to offer lechon manok to customers with their glazed and stuffed with their own special recipes. Each family has their favorite stores since then that provides for a delicious yet affordable lechon manok to serve for a special occasion.
See also: Lechon Manok Recipe
Sinampalukang manok is quite similar to sinigang in terms of its broth being sour but it is not a variation of Sinigang. It’s basically a Filipino chicken soup with tamarind along with the chicken being its most defining ingredient. The ingredients are also first sauteed then added to a broth of tamarind pulp, leaves, chilis, and tomatoes.
It’s not clear where the recipe originated, however, the word sinampalukang from the word sampalok (tamarind) in Tagalog means to cook with tamarind so it’s generally assumed that the recipe originated with the Tagalogs.
13. Chicken Binakol
Chicken binakol originated from the Western Visayas in its province of Aklan. Chicken binakol is a chicken soup with a unique sweet flavor because of its ingredients consisting of coconut water, coconut milk, green papaya, leafy vegetables, patis, and sometimes chili.
This Visayas comfort food is traditionally cooked inside bamboo shoots or cooked directly in coconut shells cut in half.
14. Chicken Empanada
Chicken empanada is a popular Filipino snack that can be served as either hot or cold. It’s also a popular snack to serve guests during fiestas and special occasions. The original empanada was brought to the Philippines by the Spanish. It specifically comes from the northwest region of Spain called Galicia.
There are two ways to prepare empanada in the Philippines: baked or fried. But generally, its stuffed dough full of ground meat, chopped onions, potatoes, and raisins that give the dish a somewhat sweet flavor.
15. Chicken Sopas
Chicken sopas is another popular comfort food among Filipinos. It’s basically the Filipino version of what the Americans call Chicken Macaroni Soup. Yes, chicken sopas was introduced to the Philippines during American colonial times.
And of course, the Philippines were quick to adapt the recipe, tweak it and call it their own. It’s especially enjoyed during a rainy day or whenever someone got sick. It’s the perfect comfort food to warm our bodies with its rich creamy broth.
Read further: 14 Best Filipino Chicken Recipes