Chicken Afritada or afritadang manok is a type of Filipino chicken stew with tomato based sauced. It is a simple dish that can be cooked on regular days. It is perfect for lunch and is better when eaten with warm white rice.
Unlike my pork version of afritada where I use canned tomato sauce, I prefer fresh tomatoes in my chicken afritada. This may entail a little more effort than opening a can but it does bring a certain freshness and depth of flavor that’s worth the extra work. Give this hearty stew a try for dinner tonight and make sure to have plenty of rice ready. You’ll need it. 🙂
- 1/4 cup canola oil
- 2 medium potatoes, peeled and quartered
- 1 large carrot, peeled and cut into cubes
- 1/2 small red bell pepper, cored and sliced into 1/2-inch thick strips
- 1/2 small green bell pepper, cored and sliced into 1/2-inch thick strips
- 4 pounds chicken, cut into serving pieces
- 1 small onion, peeled and sliced thinly
- 3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
- 6 large Roma tomatoes
- 1 tablespoon fish sauce
- 1 cup water
- 1/2 cup frozen sweet peas thawed
- salt and pepper to taste
In a pan over medium heat, heat oil.
Add potatoes and carrots and cook, turning once or twice, until lightly browned. Remove from pan and drain on paper towels.
Remove excess oil from pan except for about 2 tablespoons.
Add bell peppers and cook for about 30 to 45 seconds. Remove from pan and drain on paper towels.
Add chicken and cook, turning on sides once or twice, until lightly browned but not cooked through.
Add onions and garlic and cook until softened.
Add tomatoes and cook, mashing regularly with back spoon until softened and release juices.
Add fish sauce and cook for about 1 to 2 minutes.
Add water and bring to a boil.
Lower heat, cover, and cook for about 20 to 30 minutes or until chicken is cooked through and sauce is thickened to desired consistency.
Add potatoes and carrots and continue to cook until fork-tender.
Add bell peppers and sweet peas. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes or until green peas are heated through and bell peppers are tender yet crisp.
Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve hot.
How to Cook Chicken Afritada
Start by sautéing garlic and onion. Do this by heating oil in a cooking pot. Add onion and garlic until the onion softens. It is ideal to use a pot with cover.
Add the sliced chicken afterwards. Bone-in chicken was used for this recipe. Boneless chicken breast or thighs can also be used. Cook each side of the chicken for around 30 seconds and then pour tomato sauce and water. We’ll need to tenderize the chicken at this point. This is when the pot cover gets handy. Add the bay leaves and then cover the pot and continue to cook until the chicken gets tender. This takes around 30 minutes. Remember to add more broth or water if needed.
At this point, we just need to add the remaining ingredients and continue to cook for 10 more minutes. I usually add the ingredients in this order: hot dogs, carrot, potato, green peas, seasoning. Fish sauce or patis can be used as an alternative ingredient to salt.
How did Chicken Afritada come to be?
As far as tomato-based viands in the Philippines go, Chicken Afritada stands as one of the most famous. Practically every household has their own rendition of the delicious Apritadang Manok. It’s go its delicious share of potatoes, peas, and that unmistakably flavorful and thick orange stew. But do you know how this dish actually came to life? It might surprise you to know that this is mainly because of how Filipino cooks learned to pan-fry their food.
We may be familiar with a good deal of Filipino recipes that arose in the Spanish colonization era that lasted until 1898. But Afritada, in particular, came to life because of the cooking method of pan-frying that the Spaniards brought over. Filipino cooks went on to formulate the idea of a recipe wherein the cook would start off by pan-frying potatoes, carrots and other vegetables, as well as chicken. This is before we leave it to stew in a savory mix of garlic, bay leaves, and more delightfully complementary seasonings.
If you’re familiar with the etymology of the dish, its origin probably wouldn’t seem too much of a surprise. After all, you can directly translate “to fry” into Spanish with “a fritada”. Some have also attributed the dish to the Spanish “chilidrón”. This involves letting fried chicken or lamb simmer in garlic, tomatoes, bell peppers, and many other ingredients. These similar recipes show how closely integrated the two types of cuisine could be with one another.
And speaking of similar recipes, you might have also heard of Kaldereta and Mechado, both of which have their own orange, meaty stews.
Nutrition InformationCalories: 669kcal, Carbohydrates: 29g, Protein: 46g, Fat: 40g, Saturated Fat: 10g, Cholesterol: 163mg, Sodium: 542mg, Potassium: 1501mg, Fiber: 7g, Sugar: 8g, Vitamin A: 5050IU, Vitamin C: 82.7mg, Calcium: 94mg, Iron: 6.4mg