You have probably heard of Filipino Adobo because it is the most popular dish in the Philippines. But, there are a lot of other notable dishes and Chicken Asado is one of them. ‘Asado’ is a Spanish word that means grilled meat but the name ‘asado’ in Chinese cuisine stands for dried, red-colored sweetmeats. As is usual with Filipino cuisine, different cultures collide and make something distinctly Filipino.
How to Cook Filipino Chicken Asado
Chicken Asado is chicken marinated in soy sauce and citrus juice, pan-fried and simmered in a sauce made of onions, garlic and tomatoes. The taste is very refreshing because of the mixture of sweet, sour and salty flavors. Marinating the chicken and then braising results in very flavorful and tender meat.
Let me introduce you to calamansi. It is a local citrus fruit in the Philippines which is very tart and is a favorite in meals and drinks. It is also a popular dipping sauce when the juice is mixed with soy sauce.You can dip anything in ‘toyomansi‘ and it will taste better..
Here is a bunch of calamansi (also known as calamondine) that a friend gave me from her backyard tree. This variety turns orange quickly but in the Philippines they are usually green when ready for consumption.
The chicken can be marinated overnight and prepared for dinner in as little as 30 minutes. Perfect for a quick weeknight meal. The gravy comes together naturally as you cook the chicken. Some versions of this recipe uses annato soaked in cooking oil to give the dish a brownish colored gravy. I chose to use turmeric because it is a good anti-inflammation ingredient and I sneak it in in every dish that I can.
Filipino Chicken Asado
- 1 lb Chicken parts – can use parts with bones like thighs or wings or skinless thighs if preferred
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- 2 tbsp cooking oil - extra virgin olive oil if available
- 1/2 cup to 1 cup chicken broth
- 1 pc medium white onion chopped
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 2 pcs medium tomatoes chopped (make 1 cup)
- 1 tsp turmeric
- 3 tbsp Juice of 4 calamansi or 1 big lemon
- 3 tbsp soy sauce
Marinate chicken parts in soy sauce and citrus juice Chill in the refrigerator for 2 hours.
In a medium deep frying pan, heat cooking oil.
Pan fry chicken parts, 5 minutes on each side. Set aside.
In remaining oil, saute white onions, bay leaf, garlic, and tomatoes.Cook for about 4 minutes.
Add 1 tbsp soy sauce, 2 tsp sugar.
Return chicken to pan. Add ½ cup broth and 1 tsp turmeric. Simmer for 10 to 12 minutes until chicken is cooked.
Serve with warm rice.
Kain Na! (Let’s Eat).