Simple Sundays | Chicken Afritada

Chicken Afritada | Filipino Chicken Stew | Kitchen Confidante

With a press of a button, there was heat. The rumble of the boiler stirred from the depths of the garage and the hush of warm air could be heard as it moved through the vents. I stood in front of the mirror as I dried my hair and could feel the warmth on my face. These simple luxuries – a hot shower, a working heater, a cozy robe — are ones that I often take for granted.

The aftermath of Sandy has been devastating to so many, robbing them of what we consider basics, and sadly, much more. The hurricane was vicious, leaving too many families with nothing. I am so grateful that most of my family and friends were spared the worst, but for my brother in law, Niall, while his childhood home is still standing, the neighborhood was left unrecognizable. For Niall and his sister, Mollie, it was hard to witness from afar, as they each now live on the west coast. Mollie recently wrote about it poignantly, and as a family, they have dedicated themselves to rebuilding Rockaway.

There are many ways to help, but sometimes, it is hard to make contributions not knowing who will benefit or when. I want to share with you two families close to Niall and Mollie who have suffered the hurricane’s destruction. They have experienced real loss, and have immediate needs.

There is Sarah and Vince, who after the joy of the birth of their first son, just two days later lost not only the comfort of their home, but those essentials for their new baby boy. And there are the Craigwell’s, a family with three sons who lost not only their home but everything in it — clothes, school materials, simple basics. Niall and his family have set up Amazon gift registries to help their friends get back on their feet, and I just wanted to share it with you. If you would like to help them rebuild their homes with these very tangible needs, I know they would appreciate it very much.

Please click here for Sarah and Vince’s registry and here for the Craigwell’s registry.

As for this Chicken Afritada…well, simply put, it’s comfort food. A stew that I love to cook in the winter, that brings me back to winter nights in New York. Tender braised chicken and potatoes with a rich tomato sauce — it’s a stew that is a staple in many Filipino kitchens, and reminds me of many dinners at my childhood table, served over a bed of steaming rice. It’s a basic that I know you will love too.

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Chicken Afritada

Yield: Serves 4-6.

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 40 minutes

There's nothing more comforting than a stew. Tender chicken is nestled within potatoes and sweet peppers and is a Filipino classic. As such, it is traditionally eaten over a bed of hot rice, and if you're like me, with lots of sauce.

Ingredients:

1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons canola oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 large onion, diced
2 teaspoons fish sauce
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 cup water
1 teaspoon sugar
2 russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 3 inch pieces
2 bell peppers (red, yellow or a combination)
2 bay leaves
several dashes Tabasco Habanero Sauce, to taste

Directions:

Marinate the chicken thighs in soy sauce and black pepper for 30 minutes in the refrigerator.

In a dutch oven over medium heat, heat the canola oil and brown the garlic and set aside.

Add the chicken, and brown on all sides. Add onions and season with fish sauce. When the onions are soft and transparent, stir in the tomato paste. After two minutes, stir in the water, sugar, potatoes, half the bell peppers, Tabasco, bay leaves, and reserved garlic. Let come to a boil, then lower heat to simmer. Cook for about 25 minutes, or until the chicken is fully cooked and the potatoes are fork tender.

Add the remaining bell peppers and cook for about 7 minutes more. Season to taste with additional fish sauce, black pepper, or if you desire more heat, Tabasco. Remove bay leaves and discard. Serve immediately over rice.

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by Liren Baker on November 11, 2012

9 Responses to “Simple Sundays | Chicken Afritada”

  1. Brian November 11, 2012 @ 6:42 am (#
    1
    )

    Such a beautiful and thoughtful post, Liren. So many people lost everything… it’s absolutely heartbreaking.

  2. Laura (Tutti Dolci) November 11, 2012 @ 1:47 pm (#
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    What a heartfelt post, Liren! I love your stew – the colors are so vibrant, it’s comfort in a bowl!

  3. Magic of Spice November 11, 2012 @ 2:34 pm (#
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    )

    Lovely and heartfelt post! And your stew indeed looks comforting!

  4. Kiran @ KiranTarun.com November 13, 2012 @ 12:36 pm (#
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    )

    Your words definitely resonates with how we feel about the sufferings in the aftermath of Sandy. My thoughts and prayers are with your brother in law and his family during this tough time.

    A comforting and delicious bowl of stew. I want :)

  5. Sarah November 13, 2012 @ 12:56 pm (#
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    )

    What a beautifully written post! Thank you for putting your readers in touch with a way to help that feels meaningful and personal. I also love the idea of Simple Sundays, and hope you’ll consider contributing this dish to this month’s Shine Supper Club (our theme is one-pot meals).

    Thanks again for a really moving post.

  6. Betty Ann @Mango_Queen November 14, 2012 @ 9:14 am (#
    6
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    What a beautiful post and lovely story, yet so sad to hear of those close to you lose so much! I share in the shock of how much devastation has happened here in the east coast. We ourselves lost power twice, the second time forcing us to “evacuate” and run westward to Philly, where we stayed with family. Sandy & the nor’easter after that taught us so many life lessons, brought out the best in many, and most of all, emphasized that the most important things in life are family and the generosity of good friends. Bless your kind heart, Liren for initiating this effort on your blog! Thanks for sharing this great recipe, too. Must make this today :-)

  7. Jen Laceda | Tartine and Apron Strings November 17, 2012 @ 7:25 pm (#
    7
    )

    It’s truly devastating what happened to many communities in the East Coast. I cannot imagine losing our family’s possessions, as I have to admit that I am quite attached to them! I ‘feel’ for the families who have lost everything. Especially those who have small kids – such a traumatic event to go through. But the human spirit is resilient, and I believe it brings out the best in people.

    Chicken afritada is one of my fave Filipino dishes! It reminds me of my childhood in the Philippines!

  8. Nelibelly December 2, 2012 @ 1:52 pm (#
    8
    )

    I tweaked this recipe a little and made it in my slow cooker, it was delicious! My husband requested that I make it again, that’s about the best compliment a dish gets around here! Thanks so much!

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