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.
How to Cook Chicken Afritada
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.
How did Chicken Afritada come to be?
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.
What is the difference among Afritada, Kaldereta and Mechado?
One principal difference among the three is the main ingredients we use to create their unique flavors. While all use up tomato sauce to create that orange color, only Kaldereta utilizes liver spread (and peanut butter in some regions). We cook it alongside tomato sauce to enhance its savory flavor. And Mechado uses up vinegar (or a bit of calamansi or lemon) for a subtle sourness. And it is more commonly known to use either pork or beef. Afritada is the only one out of the three that uses chicken in its original recipe as the meat ingredient. Meanwhile, Kaldereta shows off beef as its meat counterpart.
But one thing you should also be familiar with when it comes to Chicken Afritada is the good it can bring for your body.
What are the health benefits of eating Chicken Afritada?
With just how packed it is with vegetables, you might have already guessed that our recipe contains pretty much all you’ll need in a good meal. It has a great deal of protein and carbohydrates to get you going. But it’s also filled with vitamins and minerals you might not be aware of in the ingredients it puts together. Let’s count down a couple of the ingredients in this dish that could be great to integrate into your diet just a big more:
One significant ingredient in this dish is our velvety, rich tomato sauce. It adds a certain level of depth to our stew’s flavor. And it is undoubtedly a very versatile component that works with many ingredients. However, we can also credit it largely for its nutritional value. Firstly, tomato sauce is a great source of Vitamin A. This can aid in maintaining a person’s eye health, while also being great for reproductive health.
Tomato sauce is also widely known for being rich in lycopene, a great antioxidant. This can help in preventing cancer, as well as heart disease. You can also find a good deal of chromium in tomatoes. This can be beneficial in maintaining one’s blood sugar levels. And the list goes on, as the fruit, and its sauce counterpart, is also a great source of Vitamins K, B1, B3, B5, B6, B7 and C. Among many others, one of the benefits brought about by Vitamin C is improving one’s skin.
It might surprise you, but chicken broth is actually quite a great low-calorie ingredient. Also, it can help your body a lot with its share of nutrients. Firstly, it is one of those foods that can work as a light, low-calorie standalone ingredient for when you don’t want anything too heavy. But it is also a deliciously flexible component that can work with many dishes, such as our Afritada. As such, including this in our recipe can help add some protein and essential fatty acids to your body. These are particularly great for bone, skin, blood cell and muscle repair.
You could also find selenium in chicken broth. This can aid in reducing the risk for strokes and other mcardiovascular diseases. Moreover, iron is also widely present in chicken broth. This is essential for your body’s development, and making hemoglobin to help bring oxygen to various parts of the body.
This vegetable ingredient can truly help in turning most of your savory dishes into more bodied, hearty ones. As such, we love to have a wealthy amount of these in our Afritada. But our body loves to have more of these too, as they contain a lot of fiber. Among the many benefits of dietary fiber is lessening your cholesterol, as well as managing your bowel health.
Potatoes are also rich in antioxidants, which can help attack dangerous free radicals. This would mean that more antioxidants could help prevent harmful illnesses like cancer and heart disease.
Now that we’re pretty well-informed as to the advantages of some of our favorite Afritada ingredients, let’s get to talking about how we can make this dish last longer.
How should I store and reheat my Chicken Afritada?
Say you’ve gotten all the steps down, and have served your perfectly bright and filling stew of chicken and vegetables. But what do you do if there are leftovers? Or what if you’ve simply done the recipe for a future gathering, and aren’t looking to eat it right away? There are some ways around this, and one of the key components to our storage is an airtight container.
Start by grabbing an airtight container that can fit all of your ingredients and stew. Place your Afritada inside, then put this in the refrigerator. If you keep it refrigerated in the container, you can expect that this would be great for eating for about 3 to 4 days more. But you also have the option of freezing for an even longer shelf life.
Try using a heavy-duty freezer bag or an airtight container for your Chicken Afritada. Then place it in your freezer to make it last longer, or about 3 to 4 months more. And once you decide you’re ready to have some of this thick, delicious stew again, you can take it out of the freezer or refrigerator. Wait for it to thaw completely, and then you can use a microwave-safe container to reheat it in your microwave. You also have the option of placing this in a pot, and reheating it straight on your stove.
But considering how lusciously flavorful this dish is, you might expect your Chicken Afritada to run out after a small while. Of course, you always have the choice of clicking right back on this link to try out the recipe again. But if you’d like to integrate a bit more variety into your Afritada cooking, I’ve got the key recipes for this!
What other Afritada recipes should I try?
Undoubtedly another classic recipe you just have to venture recreating in your kitchen, this dish is a colorful mix of flavors and ingredients. Much like our main recipe, Pork Afritada makes use of thick, powerful tomato sauce, bay leaves, carrots and green peas. The difference can mostly be seen in our meat component– juicy, savory pork shoulder. This can hype up the dish’s flavor just a tad more. This is because how chicken takes on a considerably more neutral taste.
The pork also provides a bit of a chewier texture to pair well with the stronger taste. Another plus to this recipe is that it employs simple steps. These could be perfect if you’re just starting out with cooking.
Pineapple Chicken Afritada
Ever thought of integrating just a smidge more sweetness to your Afritada? My Pineapple Chicken Afritada does that subtly and deliciously with the simplest addition of sugary, tangy pineapple chunks. We essentially employ most of the same methods for Afritada in this one too. But we also get somewhat of a fresh, fruity take on the classic Chicken Afritada.
Moreover, integrating pineapple into the dish gives you a load of nutrients and vitamins that could be great for your body. Vitamins A, B6, E and K can be found in pineapple, alongside Folate, Calcium, Potassium and Zinc.
Cheesy Chicken Afritada
Who doesn’t want a little more of the creamy, irresistible taste of hot cheese in their dishes? Cheese is perhaps one of the most popular ingredients brought into both sweet and savory dishes. But it also works particularly well with Chicken Afritada. This is because it adds that extra oomph of flavor and silky texture to the dish.
This Cheesy Chicken Afritada blends the subtly sweet and sour taste of tomato sauce with the light saltiness of shredded sharp cheddar cheese. And of course, our pan-fried chicken tastes even richer with a delightful coating of melted cheese. Are you trying to get the younger generation more accustomed to your Afritada? If so, this is also a very great option. Kids and adults will surely love this tasty twist to our main recipe!
Have these recipes gotten you inspired to get into the kitchen more? Feel free to share any tips, suggestions or questions you might have about making Chicken Afritada in the comments below! Let’s keep the conversation going as we are happily cooking!
Chicken Afritada Recipe
- 1 ½ lbs. Chicken cut into serving pieces
- 2 piece potato cubed
- 1 piece carrot sliced
- 8 oz. tomato sauce
- 3 pieces hotdog sliced
- ½ cup green peas
- 3 pieces bay leaves
- 1 piece red onion chopped
- 2 teaspoons garlic minced
- 3 cups chicken broth
- ½ teaspoon sugar
- 3 tablespoons cooking oil
- Salt and ground black pepper to taste
- Heat the oil in a cooking pot. Saute onion and garlic until the onion softens.
- Add chicken. Cook for 30 seconds. Turn it over and cook the other side for another 30 seconds.
- Pour tomato sauce and chicken broth. Cover. Let boil.
- Add dried bay leaves. Cover the cooking pot. Continue to cook in medium heat for 30 minutes.
- Add hotdogs and carrot. Cook for 3 minutes.
- Add potato. Cover the pot and cook for 8 minutes.
- Add green peas. Cook for 2 minutes.
- Season with salt and ground black pepper