Chicken Curry (Philippine-style)

Philippine-style, mildly-spiced Chicken curry spells good eats to Filipinos.  And with still weeks of winter weather, hot chicken curry is my number 1 choice for comfort foods.  I just love this dish.  One thing I do differently is boiling the chicken pieces in a sweet-salty-tangy-spicy marinade.

To each his own, and that said, neighboring Asian countries like Malaysia make chicken curry taste differently than the party-favorite Philippine-style chicken curry.  Years back I had a taste of Penang-style chicken curry paired with roti canai (flat Indian soft bread).  I had more fun watching the cook playing, stretching and cooking dough balls than really enjoying served chicken curry.  It just tasted different, it was really heavy on curry.  Philippine-style chicken curry is a bit milder and really great served with hot white rice.

I start with boiling one whole chicken (cut into serving pieces) in a stockpot with some minced garlic, 4 teaspoons white sugar, 2 tablespoons vinegar, 4 teaspoons salt and 1 teaspoon ground black pepper.  To make the chicken pieces stand-out, I fry them in hot oil until golden.  I also pan-fry about 1/2 lb of peeled and large chunks of potatoes and carrots, until nicely browned.

In a large skillet or wok, saute in 1 tablespoon minced garlic and 1 whole large onion, chopped.  Strips of red and green bell pepper are then added, along with the reserved sauce from boiled chicken.  Add spices, a can of coconut milk and 1/2 cup water.  Let the mixture boil and then lower heat.  Taste and add more salt or patis (fish sauce), if desired.  Stir in fried chicken and fried potatoes and  carrots and let simmer until chicken and potatoes and carrots are thoroughly cooked, stirring occasionally.  Yes, don’t forget the white rice.


1 whole chicken (1 kg or 2 lbs), cut into serving pieces
1 teaspoon minced garlic
4 teaspoons sugar
2 tablespoons white vinegar
4 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 cup cooking oil
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 large onion, chopped
1 small green bell pepper, cut in strips
1 small red bell pepper, cut in strips
2 teaspoons curry powder
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 can coconut milk (Chaokoh brand is preferred)
1/2 cup water
Salt or patis (fish sauce) to taste


1)  Boil chicken in a stock pot with the next 5 ingredients.

2)  Fry boiled chicken pieces in hot oil until golden.  Transfer to a large platter.  Next, fry chunks of potatoes and carrots until nicely browned.  Transfer to platter containing fried chicken pieces.

3)  Saute onion and minced garlic in remaining oil.  Stir in bell pepper strips, spices and reserved sauce from boiled chicken.  Add coconut milk and water; let mixture boil, then lower heat.  Add more salt or patis (fish sauce), if desired.

4)  Add back fried chicken pieces, potatoes and carrots and let simmer, stirring occasionally until done.

5)  Serve hot with white rice.

Note:  Of course, you can add some green peas for nice color contrasts.


Dig in!


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