Filipino chicken soup (tinola manok)

Chicken tinola

I meant to post this recipe last week, but life got in the way. I’m not complaining though. It was all the good things in life. Birthdays, fall photos, spending time with the hubs and little one. I had this intention of setting up a schedule for the blog, of updating it on specific days so that I would not get lazy and let things slide. But last week the leaves were changing and the weather was perfect; there was not a day where I wanted to sit down and write. I wanted to get out and live. And so I did.

My mom is a great cook, as is my dad. This is one of my favorite recipes of theirs, warm and comforting, it reminds me of home. Normally it is made with green papaya and hot pepper leaves, but chayote and baby spinach are appropriate substitutes. The carrot is an unusual addition, but I thought it gave the dish a little needed color.

I may be 14 hours and a border away, but this dish takes me home.

Chicken tinola

Filipino Chicken Soup (tinola manok)

2 pounds chicken pieces (I used thighs)
1 thumb size ginger root, minced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 medium onion, sliced
2 medium chayote or green papaya, cut into wedges
12 ounce bag of organic baby spinach
1 Tbsp Fish Sauce (Patis)
3 cups of low sodium chicken stock
2 tbsp canola oil
Salt and pepper

1. Heat oil in a large pot over medium high heat. Add onion and sauté until translucent. Add chicken, ginger and garlic and cook until chicken is slightly browned.

2. Add stock and Patis and bring to a boil. Lower heat to barely a simmer and poach until chicken is cooked through, about 45 minutes. Skip any scum and fat if necessary.

3. Add chayote and carrot and simmer for another 10 minutes, or until vegetables are tender.

4. Turn off stove and add spinach, stirring until it is wilted. Add salt and pepper to taste and serve with steamed jasmine rice.

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