Chicken Afritada, or Afritadang Manok, is a popular dish here in the Philippines. Not only does it tantalize taste buds during special occasions and gatherings – such as birthdays parties, fiestas or dedications – but unlike other tomato-based stews similar to Afritada, this one takes far less time to prepare. Consequently, it has become commonplace even on ordinary days!
Afritada, a twist on Spanish cuisine, was created by the Filipinos when they first began to learn how to fry food in pans. The word itself is derived from “fritada,” which translates directly into “fried” in English. The Philippine version of this delectable meal is a classic stew composed of chicken and various vegetables, such as potatoes, carrots, and bell peppers. It’s drenched in an incredibly flavorful tomato-based concoction that has been meticulously crafted to be sweeter and creamier than the original recipe.
Also Read: How to Cook Filipino Authentic Cebu Lechon
The two factors that make the afritada recipe utterly delectable are its status as a stew and its utilization of chicken. Due to simmering, this dish’s flavors have had time to intensify, making it even more delicious. Tomatoes are unbelievably delicious when given ample time to mingle with other ingredients. The chicken pieces in the afritada are left whole, on the bone for an additional burst of flavor. Combining these elements produces a fragrant and flavorful stew that only gets richer and tastier as it cooks! Vegetables add extra heartiness to this delectable dish.
To start, season chicken thighs and drumsticks with salt and pepper then pan-fry on each side until halfway cooked. After removing the chicken from the skillet, fry potatoes and carrots in that same pan until they are crisp yet tender, before transferring them to a plate alongside the chicken. Sauté garlic and onions in the same skillet you used for frying earlier; once fragrant add back into it your pre-cooked poultry pieces.
Start by coating your chicken pieces with a delicious tomato sauce and simmering them for 3 minutes. Then, add water, a cube of chicken broth, fried potatoes, carrots and bell peppers to elevate the flavor even further. Simmer until all ingredients are cooked through and enjoy! The result is an appetizing dish packed with succulent chicken morsels complemented perfectly by fresh vegetables in luscious tomato sauce.
- 750 grams chicken thigh part (or drumsticks)
- 1 cup tomato sauce
- 2 medium potatoes (quartered)
- 1 large carrot (sliced)
- 1 medium onion (cut in wedges)
- ½ red bell pepper (sliced)
- ½ green bell pepper (sliced)
- 2 cloves garlic (chopped)
- ¼ cup green peas
- 1 tbsp. oil
- Enhancing your chicken’s flavor is a breeze with salt and pepper, essential ingredients for any kitchen.
- For a savory, flavorful addition to your dish, dissolve one chicken broth cube in a cup of water.
Steps to Cook Chicken Afritada
- Carefully clean the chicken, getting rid of any superfluous fat and skin. Sprinkle salt and pepper generously over the bird before setting it aside.
- Exquisitely chop and clean all vegetables to your desired measurements.
- Warm oil in a pan over medium heat, and then carefully place chicken inside. Fry both sides of the poultry until half-cooked or until it turns to a light brown hue. Take out from the pan and set aside.
- In the same skillet, sauté potatoes and carrots until lightly browned. Once cooked to your desired texture, remove from heat and set aside.
- Reusing the same pan, add a bit more oil if necessary and cook the onions until they become almost see-through. Further along, introduce garlic to the mixture and sauté it until you can sense its aroma in your kitchen.
- Fry the chicken for 3 minutes, then add your tomato sauce and continuously toss until all pieces are thoroughly coated. Continue to simmer everything together for an additional 3 minutes before serving.
- To add flavor, dissolve a broth cube into 1 cup of water, then stir the mixture into the pot. Allow simmering for 5 minutes before serving.
- Enhance the flavor with salt and pepper if desired. Include the cooked potatoes and carrots, allowing them to simmer until they reach maximum tenderness.
- Simmer bell peppers and green peas for 4-5 minutes until cooked to perfection.
- Take it off the stove and enjoy! Bon Appetit!
What is the Difference Between Afritada and Menudo?
Glancing at different Afritada recipes, I understand why people mistakenly assume it’s similar to Menudo – aside from the fact that they both use chicken. As I matured, I came to understand the remarkable distinctions between two dishes: Mama’s distinct Afritada versus its traditional form.
The following outlines the key contrasts between these two dishes:
- Afritada traditionally features chicken, while Menudo is renowned for its pork meat and liver components – hotdogs are often included to add a little extra zest too!
- Either tomato sauce or paste can be used to whip up a delicious sauce.
- Both dishes feature carrots, potatoes, and bell peppers as standard ingredients. To give Menudo a unique touch of flavor, green peas and raisins are often incorporated into the mix.
- Thickened with buttery goodness, Afritada’s creaminess is unparalleled.
- Apart from chicken thighs and legs, the drumsticks, wings, and ribs are also ideal candidates for this scrumptious recipe.
- If you’re a fan of fresh tomatoes, sauté 6 large slices with garlic and onion until they soften. Then mash the tomatoes with a fork to bring out their juice, adding your chicken before stirring everything together.
- If you are seeking to do some preparation beforehand, get the chopping done for your vegetables and chicken – but only uncooked poultry. You’ll achieve even more flavorful results by cooking with the same pot used to prepare your chicken and simmering it down into a thick stew.
- To guarantee even cooking, attempt to keep the size of your ingredients similar – from chunks of chicken, peppers and onions to peas. This will result in a dish with uniform texture and flavor.
- For succulent, mouthwatering results when browning your favorite meats, scrape the bottom of the pan after adding liquid to unlock a smoky burst of flavor. Not only is this easy to do – you can use a wooden spoon or spatula for maximum deliciousness!
- If desired, you can also include additional potatoes carrots and bell pepper for extra flavour – although I find my recipe to be simply delicious as listed!
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What type of chicken is best for Afritada?
Chicken thighs and legs are the most recommended choice of poultry when making Afritada. However, drumsticks, wings, and ribs can be used as well.
2. Is there a way to prepare Afritada faster?
If you’re in a hurry and want your dish ready in no time, try preparing the sauce and chopping your ingredients ahead of time. This will allow you to quickly finish up the cooking process when it’s time to prepare the meal.
3. Can I use pork instead of chicken?
Yes, pork can be used as a substitute for chicken in Afritada recipes. However, this requires additional or different ingredients to enhance the flavor.
4. Can I add additional vegetables?
Yes, you can definitely add additional vegetables such as potatoes, carrots, bell pepper and green peas. This will give a unique touch of flavor to your Afritada dish.
5. Is it possible to cook Afritada in an Instant Pot?
Yes, definitely. An Instant Pot is a great way to make Afritada quickly and without much effort. Simply add all of your ingredients, set the timer and let it do its magic!
6. What are some tips for cooking Afritada?
For succulent results when browning your favorite meats, scrape the bottom of the pan after adding liquid to unlock a smoky burst of flavor. Also, attempt to keep the size of your ingredients similar – from chunks of chicken, peppers and onions to peas – for even cooking and a uniform texture in your dish. Finally, use a wooden spoon or spatula for maximum deliciousness!
7. Can I freeze Afritada?
Yes, you can freeze Afritada for up to two months. To do so, make sure it’s completely cooled before transferring it into an airtight container or freezing bag. Defrost in the refrigerator overnight and heat up in a pot on the stove when ready to eat.
Afritada is a delicious and easy-to-make dish that can be served on any occasion. It’s important to keep the size of your ingredients similar for uniform cooking results, scrape the bottom of the pan when browning meats and use wooden spoons or spatulas for maximum flavor. Additionally, you can freeze Afritada for up to two months if desired. With these tips in mind, you’ll be able to whip up an amazing meal with ease!