Monday, January 21, 2008
Chicken Bicol Express
A few weeks back, hubby brought home Bicol Express from his office canteen. It is a canteen version with pork and pork fat, thin cococut milk and chiles. A bit on the bland but hot side. He wanted me cook something like it and improve it. My maid then suggested: what if we use chicken meat? hmmm... sounds good. It would be a healthier too. You know? I really thank God for my trusty helper. Of course she has her quirks some times. But she is creative when it comes to the kitchen. Not only can she cook, she can improvise and make do with whatever ingredients we have on hand.
I included chicken in my grocery list last week and we had this last night. The first picture above taken for food styling. Do I get a passing grade for that?
I was thinking of adding malunggay leaves but there was none in the grocery that day. however, there were bunches of nice kangkong leaves which I think would blend very well with the bagoong (fish paste). Here's my version of Bicol Express using chicken meat. Enjoy!
1 and 1/2 K Chicken pieces, cleaned ( I used drumsticks, but you can use any of your favorite cuts.)
3 slices ginger
3 cloves garlic, mashed
3 T bagoong or fish paste (I used the bottled chinese bagoong)
3 tomatoes, sliced
2 pcs finger chiles or siling haba, sliced (this is how much my family can tolerate. you can add more if preferred)
1 can coconut milk
1 bunch kangkong leaves, cleaned, stems and leaves separated
3 T cooking oil
salt and pepper to taste
sugar to taste
1. Wash and dry the chicken pieces well. Slice the ginger, chop the garlic. Slice the tomatoes. Wash kangkong leaves well.
2. Saute ginger in oil. Add the garlic when ginger turns a bit golden brown. I usually wait for the ginger to turn a little bit golden before adding the garlic. This brings out the full ginger flavor.
3. Add the chicken pieces. Stir well, until chicken changes color. Add the tomatoes and fish paste. Mix well again. Add the chiles.
4. Add the coconut milk. Bring to boil then simmer until chicken meat is fully cooked and soft, around 15 minutes. If using freshly squeezed coconut (gata), you can add the liquid from the second squeeze (pangalawang piga) at the beginning, then add pure liquid from the first squeeze (the kakang gata) when the chicken is cooked.
5. Add the cleaned and chopped kangkong leaves. Boil again. Season to taste.
If you will notice the picture, the chicken pieces have no skin. Yup! That's right. We remove the chicken skin before cooking. Primarily for health reasons - chicken skin is full of cholesterol. I suggest you should too.