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.
The basic version includes carrots and potato. This recipe is an improved version. I added green peas and hotdogs. It helped make the dish more appetizing visually. I recommend this recipe to everyone because the procedure is simple and straightforward.
I enjoy eating chicken afritada the same way with menudo. These are two dishes that I consider comfort food.
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.
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.