Are you looking for a vibrant and colorful Filipino dish to brighten up your dinner table?
The Philippines is no doubt known for having many assorted dishes with friendly and flavorful appeals almost impossible to resist.
One that stands out in this number is the chicken afritada recipe. Since I came across this cuisine, it gradually became one of my favorites. And I can guarantee it will become so for you too.
Overview of Filipino Chicken Afritada
Afritada otherwise known as afritadang manok is a homestyle and easy-to-make dish that has grown very popular in the Philippines.
As typical of Filipino foods, it has a Spanish origin.
The word afritada is known to have originated from the word fritar which is a Portuguese word that means to fry.
This dish is generally composed of a meat source (which in this case is chicken) flavorful tomato sauce with simmering of vegetables.
Before being simmered in the tomato sauce, the vegetables and chicken are fried.
This chicken afritada is somewhat a replica of American beef stew, but the difference there is the use of chicken instead of beef.
It is one of the easiest Filipino cuisines to put together. Thanks to its classic ingredients, you don’t need to be familiar with Filipino recipes to be able to prepare it.
Also, with a cheap source of meat, the dish can be afforded by every household.
Nutritional Value of Chick Afritada
Owing to the assortment of fresh and assorted chicken afritada ingredients, you can be sure that this recipe is packed with a lot of nutritional benefits to the body.
1. The Chicken
Depending on the method of preparation and the part used, chicken offers a lot of nutritional value to the body.
Generally, being a great source of lean protein, which further breaks down into amino acids, helps in muscle building, and promote stronger bone.
More than its protein content, it is also rich in copper, Zinc, Vitamin B12, Iron, and Tryptophan.
A combination of these nutrients helps to promote the health of the heart, brain, and maintain a healthier weight.
2. The Tomato Sauce
Are you aware that there are enormous health benefits offered by tomatoes? This is particularly true with “cooked” and fresh tomatoes.
Tomatoes are categorized as fruits and are packed with tons of minerals and vitamins that are vital and needed by your body.
Amongst other benefits, they are rich in lycopene. Studies reveal this antioxidant helps in protecting against cancerous conditions such as prostate, stomach, lung, and so on.
3. The Spices
If you are familiar with Filipino recipes, you are already aware of this spice. It is known to add to the taste and flavoring of the dish.
Much more than this, bell peppers go along to improve the nutritional value as well.
Whether it is the green or red variant, they contain essential nutrients such as potassium, folate, Vitamins A, B6, E, K, and C.
4. The Veggies
More than just the flavor they contribute to the dish; vegetables are packed with a wide variety of minerals, and vitamins. They also contain health-building substances generally known as phytonutrients.
Best Chicken to use – Substitution and Variations
It is important we state here that there are many variants that have developed over the years. Other than chicken as the meat source, you can use pork, fish, and the rest.
But, since this post centers on chicken, there are also preferences when it comes to the parts of chicken used.
1. Chicken Drumsticks
This is where you use either drumstick alone or combine with skinless chicken thigh.
2. Chicken Tenderloins
Tenderloins are obviously small and as such will need a sizeable quantity.
3. Chicken Maryland
These comprise of a variety of bone combined with chicken thighs
4. Chicken Breast
This is not a recommended option because there are usually too big and difficult to evenly cook
How To Cook Chicken Afritada
Traditionally the chicken Afritada cuisine is cooked over the stovetop. Even though some people still (and I too) prefer to bake using the oven.
This makes its preparation flexible. Also, baking in the stove means there won’t be a need to stand over the stove to watch or stir it.
All you have to do is just is put everything together, then put in the oven and allow to cook. You only come back at the estimated time it gets done. This flexibility comes in handy for busy folks.
But, you shouldn’t forget to precook the chicken to browning before putting into the oven. This way, all the juices are sealed which in turn gives it a delicious flavor.
What to Serve Chicken Afritada with?
Traditionally this delicious delicacy is usually served over hot white rice. Ultimately, what you serve it with will depend on personal preference.
Other options can be:
- Brown rice
- Cauliflower rice
- Pear/Israeli Cous Cous
- Sweet Potato Mash
- White Potato Mash
- Garlic bread
- Crusty bread
- Butter Beans
- Butter bean mash
Extra Tips For Afritadang Manok
1. To ensure even cooking, cut items such as carrots and potatoes in uniform sizes
2. Avoid using breast cuts as they lack collagen necessary for slow and long stewing. Hence becoming chewy and dry.
3. Make sure to sear the meat to improve the depth of flavor you will get from the dish.
4.As much as possible, allow simmering for a long time to allow the proper incorporation between the meat and the sauce, and every other ingredient
5. If you can and have the time, make use of fresh tomatoes, as they are healthier.
Chicken Afritada Recipe
- 500 grams chicken thigh part or drumsticks
- 1 cup tomato sauce
- 2 medium potatoes, quartered
- 1 large carrot sliced
- 1 medium onion, sliced
- 1 red bell pepper sliced
- 1 green bell pepper sliced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/4 cup green peas
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- Salt and pepper, for seasoning chicken
- 1 pc chicken broth cube dissolved in 1 cup water
- Prep your chicken by washing and seasoning with pepper and salt.
- Over medium heat, add oil in a pan, place chicken, and fry until lightly brown. Remove and set aside.
- Under the same heat and oil, fry carrots, and potatoes until crisp-tender. Remove and set aside.
- In the same pan, adding oil if needed, saute onions until translucent, add garlic, and saute until fragrant.
- Add your pre-cooked chicken and fry for about 3 minutes. Add tomato sauce and stir until chicken is coated with tomato sauce. Allow simmering for about 3 minutes.
- Add the dissolve broth cubes with water. Stir and simmer for 5 minutes.
- Add more seasoning where necessary. Toss in your cooked carrots and potatoes and simmer until soft.
- Add green peas and bell peppers and allow simmering for about 5 minutes.
- Turn off the heat and serve. Enjoy!
Final Words On Afritadang Manok
There you go with chicken afritada. This is one cuisine you can hardly miss in any typical Filipino event or special occasion.
It is also a staple in most households because of the simplicity in its cooking technique and the available and affordable ingredients.
Simply put, it fits any and all occasions. Its aroma is so delightful that your kitchen saturated with lots of love and savory goodness.
From the health perspective, it is impossible to get it wrong with the chicken’s lean protein and healthy vegetables.
I hope this article was information enough? If you’ve been opportune to try out this delicious stew, kindly drop your contribution in the comment section below. I look forward to hearing from you.
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