A few weeks ago, I received an e-mail from a reader wondering where my recipe for pininyahang manok (pineapple chicken) had gone. I was a bit flustered at first because I didn’t recall removing that entry. Then, I remembered I must have when I was reconstructing this blog last December. There were some very old entries that I did not repost intending to do so at a later time. See, I wanted new photos to go with them.
When I started this food blog, I was using a 1.3 megapixel digital camera (my first digicam) which didn’t really do justice to the cooked food. Plus, I didn’t know much at the time about flashless photography. Three cameras and a lot of photo experiments later, here’s the pininyahang manok recipe again.
This is a new version of pininyahang manok though. I was talking to a friend a few weeks ago, a true-blue Marikina native, who said they cooked pininyahang manok with tomatoes, canned crushed pineapples and evaporated milk. Personally, I prefer fresh pineapples for cooking this dish because it gives the sauce a milky appearance. Plus, of course, there’s nothing like fresh fruit. But the addition of tomatoes did make me wonder if the flavor and the color would improve. The evaporated milk part… well, I used gata (coconut milk) instead.
1 whole chicken, cut into serving pieces
2 white onions (the sweet variety is best), sliced thinly
3-4 tomatoes, chopped coarsely
2-3 c. of chopped fresh pineapple
1 c. of gata (coconut milk)
3-5 tbsps. of cooking oil
a few sprigs of dill for garnish (optional but recommended)
Cooking procedure :
Heat the cooking oil in a wide pan. When it starts to smoke (that’s hot enough!), add the chicken pieces, a few at a time, and cook until lightly browned. You’re not exactly frying the chicken–you just want to seal in the juices. Then, add the sliced onions and chopped tomatoes. Cook, stirring, until the vegetables start to soften. Add the chopped pineapple. Season with patis. Cover and simmer (do not add water–the natural juices of the pineapples is enough unless you want it soupy) for about 45 minutes.
By the time the chicken is done, the sauce would be rather thick and creamy. Turn up the heat to medium and pour in the coconut milk. Stir and add more patis if necessary. Bring to a simmer–uncovered (otherswise, the coconut milk will curdle)–then turn off the heat.
Serving suggestion: Sprinkle the pininyahang manok with dill. Believe me, the flavor and the aroma are drastically enhanced by the dill. Cilantro would be great as well.