Chicken Afritada is a classic Filipino dish. It is warm, comforting, filling. This recipe has been passed down through generations in my family. Often times it's not written down and made by taste. While there is a certain magic in that, I had to be the first to put it into writing, and also to share it with you, so that you can share this tradition with your family too.
This dish is a type of stew. What I love about a stew is that they offer all of the coziness of a soup, but they are heartier and more sustaining. Plus, it is a great dish to make when you are expecting to have leftovers, because the longer the ingredients steep in the sauce, the more flavor the dish soaks up. That also makes this a great candidate for make-ahead meals.
Why You'll Love This Chicken Afritada
- Cultural Staple – Chicken stew is one of those dishes that can be found across most cultures, and people usually love it. This is the Filipino take. If you are new to Filipino cuisine, or catering to a variety of eaters, it is a great choice.
- Packed with Nutrients – This recipe is full of protein, vitamins and minerals. It is a great choice for when you are feeling under the weather, or just looking for a little extra boost of nutrients.
Ingredients For Chicken Afritada
- Chicken Thighs – This recipe uses chicken thighs, but you can use other cuts of chicken if you prefer. Just prepare pieces that will be appropriately sized for serving.
- Tamari – Low sodium soy sauce will work in its place. Tamari is usually gluten free, by contrast, so if you are cooking for a gluten sensitive crowd, you will want to stick with the Tamari.
• Salt & Pepper – Salt and black pepper for seasoning.
- Bay Leaves – Bay leaves add an extra layer of fragrance and flavor to a dish. Just remove them before serving.
- Fish Sauce – This is optional, but adds depth to the dish.
- Minced Garlic – Choose fresh over dried garlic, as you will want to release the fragrance in the first step.
- Onion – Any type of onion will work, so choose your favorite variety.
- Tomato Paste – If you find yourself with tomato sauce instead of paste, simply forego the water. Both will work, though I prefer the tomato paste method.
- Potatoes – Chop your favorite potatoes into bite sized chunks.
- Red Bell Pepper – Filled with vitamins A and C, and potassium, peppers are a key component to this dish. You can add green peppers as well if you choose.
- Canola Oil – Canola is a good choice for this dish, because it will get pretty hot. If you want to substitute it for a healthier oil, make sure you choose one with a high smoke point, like avocado oil.
- Peas – Peas are a great source of vitamins C and E, and are packed with antioxidants. Plus, they’re so tasty. They will add some beautiful color and texture to this dish.
- Olives – Olives are an optional garnish, but I encourage including them. They are anti-inflammatory and filled with antioxidants. Plus, they add a nice, bright and salty contrast to the dish.
How To Make Chicken Afritada
1. Heat dutch oven pot or deep pan with oil and garlic. Brown chicken, add soy sauce, black pepper, and onion
2. Add tomato paste, then cook for 2 min. Add water and fish sauce
3. Add half bell pepper and potatoes, then cook for 25 min on low
4. Add remaining bell pepper and cook for 5 min
Step by Step Instructions
First, you'll need to heat a dutch oven, heating oil on medium high heat. Next add in your garlic and brown it a bit without burning. Once you can smell the nice aroma, you're ready to add your chicken. By the way, If you don’t have a dutch oven, another large pot will work.
Brown your chicken, and then add in the tamari or soy sauce, black pepper, and your onions.
Next, it's time to add your flavors to this dish. Add in your tomato paste and cook for 2 minutes. Then, add your water and fish sauce.
Now you want to cook your vegetables. Add your potatoes, bay leaves, and half of your bell pepper. Cook for 25 to 30 minutes on low heat. Bring to a boil an then simmer. Add the rest of your bell pepper, and your green peas to the pot and cook for an additional 5 minutes or until chicken is cooked. Season with salt, to taste.
Serve with rice and garnish with olives. Season with salt and pepper if needed.
- If you are looking to do prep work in advance, you can chop your vegetables and chicken, but do not use precooked chicken. You want to use the same pot that you cook your chicken to simmer your stew, so that you soak up the most amount of flavors.
- When doing your chopping, try to keep all of your ingredients relatively close in size. The peas will be smaller, but your chunks of chicken, peppers and onions should all have similar dimensions.
- When browning meat, to maximize the flavor, you can scrape the bottom of the pan after you have added your liquid. Scraping up the bits that stick to the bottom of the pan adds a delicious element of smokiness.
- You can also add more potatoes carrots and bell pepper if you wish, but I do love how I've written it out.
Leftover chicken afritada will last 4 days in the refrigerator.
You can keep leftovers in the freezer for up to 2 months.
While these dishes are similar, afritada is usually a chicken based dish, while menudo often contains pork and liver.
Named for its fried chicken, this dish dates all the way back to the colonial era of the Philippines.
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Chicken Afritada Recipe
- 1 lb chicken thighs
- 2 tbs of Tamari or low sodium soy sauce
- ½ tsp pepper
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 tsp of fish sauce optional
- 1.5 tbs of minced garlic
- 1 onion minced
- 3 tbs tomato paste
- 2 cut potatoes
- 1-2 red bell pepper
- 2 tbs canola oil
- 1 cup of water
- ¼ c. Peas
- Olives for photos
- Salt to taste
- First, heat the dutch oven pot or deep pan with oil and garlic. Brown chicken, add soy sauce, black pepper, and onion
- Next, add tomato paste, then cook for 2 min, add water, add fish sauce
- Add half the bell pepper and potatoes, then cook for 25 min on low
- Lastly, add remaining bell pepper and cook for 5 min