Tropical Cooking with Travel Man: 3rd Main Dish - Chicken Stew

The Elusive Native Chicken (Photo by Travel Man)
The Elusive Native Chicken (Photo by Travel Man)

Our native hen was not fit to lay eggs and to stop her from laying eggs elsewhere, we decided to make a chicken stew or tinola in our Filipino language, due to the insistent demand of my niece and my mother.

I waited for that hen to rest on the wood paneling of our makeshift lanai. And woolah, I easily caught her legs as she tried to escape shrieking!

Slaughtering the Chicken, my mother taking charge (Photo by Travel Man)
Slaughtering the Chicken, my mother taking charge (Photo by Travel Man)

The drama ended when my mom, as I hold her legs and wings, slitted the neck and the blood poured on the bowl.

Prior to that, the water on the frying pan was already boiling. My mom said she'll do the rest. I prepared the vegetable extenders (green papaya) and spices such as garlic, onion, black pepper.

She dipped the hen in the boiled hot water so that the feather will loosen up before she pluck it.

The succeeding photos will give you an overview of how a domestic chicken underwent a complete makeover before it was sliced for  stew.

Note: On board ship, there are frozen choice cuts of chicken that I can fry, bake, stew or broiled. Dressed chickens  were usually 45 days old, grown from poultry farms with commercial feeds. This is different because homegrown chickens are more tasty due to natural feeding method (seeds, earthworms, insects and all).

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After dipping to the hot-boiled water, start plucking the feather. (All photos by Travel Man)The technique not to spill out waste from the chicken's ass.Mother  literally divided the chicken into two. What a strong hands she have.Be careful not to prick the chicken's bile.Cutting chicken parts, from neck, breast, legs, etc.Green Papaya as vegetable extenders with the spices (onion, garlic, black pepper, etc.) plus chicken blood
After dipping to the hot-boiled water, start plucking the feather. (All photos by Travel Man)
After dipping to the hot-boiled water, start plucking the feather. (All photos by Travel Man)
The technique not to spill out waste from the chicken's ass.
The technique not to spill out waste from the chicken's ass.
Mother  literally divided the chicken into two. What a strong hands she have.
Mother literally divided the chicken into two. What a strong hands she have.
Be careful not to prick the chicken's bile.
Be careful not to prick the chicken's bile.
Cutting chicken parts, from neck, breast, legs, etc.
Cutting chicken parts, from neck, breast, legs, etc.
Green Papaya as vegetable extenders with the spices (onion, garlic, black pepper, etc.) plus chicken blood
Green Papaya as vegetable extenders with the spices (onion, garlic, black pepper, etc.) plus chicken blood

Chicken highlights

  1. The technique of cutting the chicken into bite size without the hassle of spilling out the waste on the intestines was through the cutting of flesh around its ass then slowly pulling out the intestines before cutting the body to expose the innards (inside parts).

  2. Be careful when separating the liver from the bile. The latter can ruin the dish once its content contaminates the liver of its bitter taste.

  3. Cut the chicken breast into halves or four bite sizes. It's the least juiciest part but has the most of the fiber.

  4. Chicken wings is the juiciest and tastiest. Chicken meat vendors often separate it for chicken lollipop and tasty barbecue that is good as finger food.

  5. Chicken drumstick or thigh, the upper part of the legs is good as fried. Many fast food restaurants have the most order for chicken fried legs.

  6. Other parts, like chicken neck, head, feet, and ribs are good for soup.


The much-awaited CHICKEN STEW!!!

Nutrients and Benefits

Cooking it for stew requires the most-suited vegetable extender to aid in softening it at shorter time. If you don't have pressure cooker, green papaya is the most appropriate extender.

The juice of green papaya is rich in papain that can soften chicken meat in a short span of time.

Chicken meat is rich in protein and fiber that our body need. Chicken soup is also good when you have a fever.

Better raise chickens at home than buy commercially-dressed chicken. The latter can be contaminated due to handling and distribution in the market. Furthermore, chicken-related diseases and allergies will be avoided.

Simple Roast Chicken (Courtesy of: lifescript.com)
Simple Roast Chicken (Courtesy of: lifescript.com)
Grilled Chicken Breast (Courtesy of msc.usf.edu)
Grilled Chicken Breast (Courtesy of msc.usf.edu)
Kung Pao Chicken (Courtesy of chinese-food-info.com)
Kung Pao Chicken (Courtesy of chinese-food-info.com)
Chicken Vindaloo (Courtesy of torchofindia.com)
Chicken Vindaloo (Courtesy of torchofindia.com)
Chicken Salad (Courtesy of shapeupandslimwithsharon.com)
Chicken Salad (Courtesy of shapeupandslimwithsharon.com)

Methods of cooking chicken and dishes are:

  • with soy sauce and spices as in Chicken Adobo - more tamer, but equally succulent version of Pork Adobo; less in fats but rich in fiber.
  • with tomato sauce and vegetables as in Chicken Menudo - vegetable extenders are cubed potatoes, carrots with red and bell pepper
  • with pineapple tidbitsas in Hawaiian Chicken - pineapple juice and tidbits are a delight among children due to its sweet taste.
  • Stuffed Baked Chicken - a humble version for Thanksgiving if you don't have available Turkey meat in town ( already sold out!)
  • Grilled or Barbecued Chicken - Prepare the basting or dip sauce: Mix soy sauce, tomato sauce (equal amount) together with little lemon juice or vinegar. Add little amount of sugar, grind onion and garlic, dash of black pepper or sliced cayenne pepper. You grilled chicken will be the 'highlight' of the occasion.
  • Chicken Curry - Praise to the Indian people for bringing it here in the Philippines. Just don't overdo the curry mix.
  • Chicken Afritada - Spanish-influenced cooking dominates our cooking here. With the mixture of vinegar and tomato sauce in this dish plus the spices (add laurel leaf, black pepper whole, garlic, onion), it's a superb dish during lunchtime.
  • Chicken Pastel - It's just like cooking Chicken Menudo but with a twist. Vegetable extenders are mixed with bite-size cuts of chicken (use chicken breast) with little amount of tomato paste (much tastier than sauce). Then, top the baking dish with dough (kneaded flour with only water and salt on it). Bake it for 15-20 minutes. To make the cooking time shorter, you can half-boil the chicken meat first, while preparing for other ingredients. My culinary instructor encouraged us to do this patiently. Buying the pitted or whole olive fruits in can is a luxury here in the country. Yet, this is a very delightful meal during family occasion. It's a comfort food for me.
  • Chicken Pasta Salad - Leftover chicken meat after the party will be the most appropriate ingredient when preparing this salad in a jiffy.

In every country, chicken is a delicacy and different ways of cooking it are 'show-stopper' on the dining table.

I wonder who'll wash the dishes after that 'big bout' on the table.

Is this another CHICKEN RUN???!!!

Chicken chit-chat

Domesticated chickens that grace home backyards here in the Philippines range from Sassoon from France, miniature-types from China and our very own red, grey and Sonnerat's junglefowls that are common in Southeast Asia.


Young commercial chickens can be bought in the market for poultry raising. In just 45 or 75 days, you can harvest it for its meat as broiler or let the female chickens lay eggs.


Since most  men in the country are aficionados of cock-fighting, there are varieties that can be raised for derbies. The red and yellow sweater, or Zamboanga white and Texas roosters are good for competition. Big businessmen often engage in cock derbies to promote their farms and chicken varieties.

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Comments 14 comments

Cogerson profile image

Cogerson 5 years ago from Virginia

It sounds like it will be delicious ...thanks for sharing travel man...voted up


Simone Smith profile image

Simone Smith 5 years ago from San Francisco

Wow, travel_man1971! I've always wondered what it would be like to slaughter and immediately cook a chicken. So cool! Your photos are great, and the cooking tips are excellent too! Voted up, useful, and awesome!


travel_man1971 profile image

travel_man1971 5 years ago from Bicol, Philippines Author

@Cogerson: And it tastes delicious, too! Thanks for the vote! :D


travel_man1971 profile image

travel_man1971 5 years ago from Bicol, Philippines Author

@Simone Smith: Thanks for the vote, praising its usefulness and awesomeness. It's the third installment on my tropical cooking series. Hope everyone will take notice and be familiar with our regional dishes here in Bicol, Philippines.


chamilj profile image

chamilj 5 years ago from Sri Lanka

Good work travel man! Looks taste good. Voted up!


travel_man1971 profile image

travel_man1971 5 years ago from Bicol, Philippines Author

Thanks, chamilj. I think you, too can do better than this. I have an Sri Lankan friend who cooks deliciously with your native cuisine in Dubai. That's way back 2004 when we anchored for a week there. It's like Indian cuisine (being former part of the peninsula) but have distinct taste on vegetable soup and the way he cooked curried chicken.


thesailor profile image

thesailor 5 years ago from Seven Seas

It's chicken soup for the soul, travel man! I've read stories about people who associated their experiences with chicken soup. The compilation was published through Chicken Soup for the Soul. Very enticing hub! Rated it up!


Romano Arnesto profile image

Romano Arnesto 5 years ago from Philippines

It's delicious. Might as try to fry the left over and reheat the soup full of fresh pepper young leaves. Thanks for sharing this, travel man.


Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 5 years ago from Houston, Texas

The only chickens I purchase come from grocery stores and at least we have the option of buying free range ones which when they are alive get to run about and touch the land living a better life prior to their being "dispatched" into food.

Some good sounding recipes here! Rated up and useful.


travel_man1971 profile image

travel_man1971 5 years ago from Bicol, Philippines Author

@sailor: Yes, I like those stories. I've been browsing the bookstore lately but I can't find one.


travel_man1971 profile image

travel_man1971 5 years ago from Bicol, Philippines Author

@Romano Arnesto: Try adding some green peas on leftover soup. It's superb!!!


travel_man1971 profile image

travel_man1971 5 years ago from Bicol, Philippines Author

@Peggy W: I believe that animals have emotions, too aside from their instinct. They'll be tamed more if you have that T-L-C in taking care of these chickens at home. Thanks Ms. Peggy!


Thelma Alberts profile image

Thelma Alberts 5 years ago from Germany

Voted Up, travel_man! That´s exactly what my mother did when I was in the Philippines. Pinoy chicken is the best I have tasted in life. That chicken tinola with papaya, yummy...Great Hub!


travel_man1971 profile image

travel_man1971 5 years ago from Bicol, Philippines Author

@Thelma Alberts: Thanks, Ms. Thelma. I nearly forget 'tinola' as chicken stew. Thanks for adding up that magic word. I hope you'll not be missing this Filipino viand back there in Germany. Godspeed to you and your family.

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