A flavorful Tinolang Manok (Ginger chicken)
It’s always nice to reminisce the good old days. The time when all the family gathered at my late grandparents table to enjoy a scrumptious meal together and listened to my grandfather recount tales of their past and experiences during the war when Japan tried to conquer Philippines.
It just so happens that their favorite dish to prepare whenever we visited them was the Tinolang Manok (Ginger Chicken). My late grandfather would ask my cousins to catch a chicken. It was always fun to watch them having fun and their desperate chase to catch one. 😀 My mom would then help out clean the chicken.
My late grandmother would make this dish with garlic, onions, ginger, green papaya, and moringa (malunggay) leaves. It’s popular among Filipinos served as a main dish. My mother used to prepare it often as well and would add chayote and green pepper leaves when our Moringa tree has no or too little leaves to spare for harvest. I used my favorite greens, kale and spinach, and chayote with mine. I can vividly recall how satisfied everyone was after eating. The ahs sound after they slurped its sauce and the smiles and laughter shared at the table always brought a smile to my face each time I think about it; such happy times and such delicious comfort food. ❤
I did promise to share this recipe following the My Grandparents Farm and My Mother’s Steamed Clams post from last year, but the business of life completely made me forget all about it until I was feeling nostalgic and missing my grandparents yesterday. That’s when this recipe came to mind.
I roasted this juicy, moist, and tender whole chicken flavored with turmeric spice and lemon for dinner the other night, but forgot again that it was a Pizza Night with Dads at my children’s school. No one would be eating it except me since I did not go. So, I used it for this recipe and served the rest with gravy and roasted potatoes for my family’s dinner last night.
The combination of turmeric and ginger made this dish more flavorful and delicious. It’s way better than the classic Tinolang Manok in my opinion. But, the classic recipe will always hold a special place in my heart because of the happy memories associated with it. The time spent at my grandparents farm is something I will always cherish and will remain with me forever.
- leftover or fresh whole chicken, cut into serving pieces
- 1- 1 1/2 thumb size ginger, pounded with mallet*
- 4 large cloves of garlic
- half of small white onion, diced
- 2 Tablespoons vegetable oil (recommended)
- 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric spice
- 1 to 3 large Chayote (sayote)*
- 3 handfuls of mixed organic kale and spinach
- salt and pepper to taste
For Leftover Chicken:
- Sautee garlic, onions, and ginger in a skillet with hot oil in medium-low heat until the onions are translucent and the garlic turns brown. Add the water, chicken, and chayote. Season with turmeric, salt and pepper. I didn’t use the whole chicken. I only cooked 2 chicken legs, 1 thigh and 1 wing and added 2-3 cups of water.
- Simmer for 5-8 minutes or until the chayote is tender.
- Turn off heat and add the kale and spinach. Push down the kale and spinach with a spatula until the leaves are covered with the sauce. Cover the pot with a lid and let cook until the leaves are wilted.
For Fresh Whole Chicken
- Sautee garlic, onions, and ginger in a skillet with hot oil in medium-low heat until the onions are translucent and the garlic turns brown. Add the chicken. Cook until the chicken started to sweat and turns slightly brown then add the water. Depending on size, add about 8- 10 cups of water. Just use your judgement. The water should just be enough to cover the chicken or more if you want a lot of sauce. Season with turmeric, salt and pepper. Simmer until the chicken is tender.
- Add the chayote and simmer until it’s a bit tender, but not overcooked. Turn off heat and add the kale and spinach. Push down the kale and spinach with a spatula until the leaves are covered with the sauce. Cover the pot with a lid and let cook until the leaves are wilted.
You can eat it as is like soup, or you can serve it with steamed rice. Enjoy!
- If you are using fresh whole chicken, I highly recommend using 1 1/2 thumb size of fresh ginger. It will heighten the flavor. It’s really delicious!
- Pounding the ginger is always the norm in my family’s cooking. It releases more of its juice and makes the dish really flavorful.
- I only added 1 chayote since it was just 2-3 servings. You can add more if you want.
That is all for now. Until next time. Thank you for reading this post. Have a fabulous weekend! 😀
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