Tropical Cooking with Travel Man: 3rd Main Dish - Chicken Stew
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!
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).
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).
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.
Cut the chicken breast into halves or four bite sizes. It's the least juiciest part but has the most of the fiber.
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.
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.
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.
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
- 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???!!!
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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