Nilagang manok translates to boiled chicken. It’s the generic name for a wide array of rustic Filipino chicken and vegetable soups.
What vegetable? Cabbage and potatoes combo is the most common. But, really, add whatever you like.
It’s comfort food. And so easy to make. Nothing can be simpler than just throwing everything into a pot and leaving them there to cook. The slow cooking allows the chicken to flavor the broth. The chicken, broth and vegetables benefit from the flavors of the spices and seasonings. Actually, make that seasoning. Singular. The only seasoning used in this recipe is patis (fish sauce).
Why patis? It’s not just saltiness that you get from patis. Fermented food has an incomparable depth of flavor. Additionally, patis gives the rather sickly-looking broth a beautiful golden hue.
Nilagang Manok (Filipino Chicken and Vegetable Soup)
- 1 whole chicken about 1.5 kilos, cut into serving pieces (see notes after the recipe)
- 8 cups chicken bone broth (you may need more)
- 1 head garlic
- 1 whole onion unpeeled, cut into halves
- ½ teaspoon peppercorns
- patis (fish sauce)
- 2 potatoes peeled and cut into wedges
- 2 sweet potatoes peeled and cut into wedges
- 1 small head white cabbage or ½ of a large head, cut into wedges
- 2 bunches Chinese cabbage leaves only (we reserved the stalks for a stir fried dish)
- Place the chicken pieces in a large thick-bottomed pot. Pour in enough water to cover. Set over high heat and bring to the boil and leave to boil briskly for five minutes
- Strain the chicken and discard the water. Rinse the chicken pieces and make sure to get rid of any impurities.
- Place the rinsed chicken in a clean pot and pour in the chicken bone broth. Set over high heat.
- With a sharp pointed knife, pierce the garlic in several places, and add to the chicken.
- Add the onion, peppercorns about two tablespoons of patis to the chicken.
- When the liquid comes to a boil, lower the heat, cover the pot and simmer for 40 minutes. Taste occasionally and add more patis, as needed.
- Add the white cabbage and potatoes to the chicken. Simmer for another 10 minutes.
- Taste the broth and add more patis, if needed (see notes after the recipe).
- Drop in the sweet potato wedges. Simmer for 10 minutes.
- Taste the broth again and add more patis, as needed. Add the Chinese cabbage leaves, pressing them into the broth. Simmer for another 10 minutes.
- Taste the broth one last time, adding more patis, as needed, before serving.
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