Sunday, February 6, 2011

Chicken Binakol for less than P200.00!

I'm taking a break from my Fiesta Series to share with you a new recipe - albeit a borrowed one from the Visayas. Chicken Binacol is the equivalent of Tinolang Manok in Bacolod, Ilo-ilo and other southern regions. The sweet-creamy-salty-tangy taste of its broth is a result of the fusion of its ingredients. I have tasted several versions of this soup/dish in my travels down south, but so far the best is the one I had in Ilo-ilo. I have been reading a lot about this soup/dish in magazines and newspapers but never got around to cooking one myself.

This morning I happen to wake up very happy and decided to do some work in the kitchen, something I have not done so in a very long while. For some reason, the first thing that came to my mind was to experiment with Chicken Binacol. I wanted to try something new, something that I am not really familiar with - virgin territory. Since it is the first time that I am cooking this dish, I had to go back to my memories of eating this dish to be able to come up with the ingredients I need.

So here's my take of this savory comfort food from down south.

Ingredients for 3 to 4 people:

3/4 kilo chicken cutlets
1/2 green papaya cut into 2-inch slices
Lemongrass (Tanglad), bundled into small pieces
1 young coconut (buko), with both flesh and juice
1/2 cup coconut milk (kakang gata)
Fish sauce (Patis)
Crushed garlic, sliced onions and ginger strips
Whole pepper corns

Quick Cooking Tips:

1. Heat pan and cooking oil.
2. Saute ginger, garlic and onion. Put in the ginger first until golden brown to extract the zesty flavor and fuse it in with the oil. Then put in next the garlic and the onion.
3. Put in the chicken cutlets and mix with whole pepper corns until everything in the pan is well-distributed.
4. Drop the lemongrass bundles into the mixture and pour in fish sauce, then cover the pan. Simmer for about 10 minutes. Mix the chicken in 2-minute intervals to make sure cooking is evenly distributed.
6. Add the Green Papaya slices and simmer for around 1 minute. Mix as needed.
5. When chicken is already brownish, pour in the buko juice together with the buko strips. Mix well once then cover again. Add a little water if juice will not be able to cover all the chickens.
6. Simmer for another 5 minutes, then add the 1/2 cup coconut milk while stirring continuously. Add 1 tablespoon at a time if you want a creamier taste.
7. Add more fish sauce if you want it a little bit more salty. Drop a couple of long sili before serving hot.

I did my first foray into cooking this wonderful dish for less than P200.00 (or roughly P50.00/person), so this should be an affordable and easy to prepare comfort food especially on a rainy day.

Happy eating!

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