Chicken Afritada is a popular type of stew here in the country. It is a delicious dish which is usually served during special celebrations and gatherings, such as birthday parties, town fiestas, or dedication.
But unlike other tomato-based stews similar to Afritada, this is much faster to prepare, so nowadays, it has also become a common practice to cook this even on regular days. Imagine a special, and delectable meal which you can eat on the regular? To me, it sounds more like a special day everyday!
So in this article, we are going to help you learn about making your perfect Chicken Afritada. You can now brighten your family’s regular days with this irresistible dish. If you ever had a fight with your loved one, I guarantee that this dish will help you make up for it since the secret to one’s heart is to feed their stomach first!
Read on to learn more tips and trivia about the very tasty Chicken Afritada!
What is Chicken Afritada?
Afritada was adapted from a Spanish-based cuisine, back when the Filipinos learned how to cook using a frying pan. Afritada actually came from a Spanish word called fritada which literally means “fried”.
The Filipino adaptation of this dish is a type of stew which is traditionally made out of chicken meat paired with potatoes, carrots and some bell peppers, smothered with a thick tomato-based sauce, that is usually made to be sweeter and creamier.
How to make Chicken Afritada?
Cooking chicken afritada is not as hard as it looks. It seems hard at first because of all the ingredients involved, especially with a sauce. But you will easily learn how to cook this even if it is your first time.
To make things simpler, we will split the process in two easy ways. One process is the preparation, and the other is the cooking.
First thing we need to do is to prepare our ingredients. This will include lots of cutting and slicing of the ingredients.
For chicken, it is recommended to use drumsticks, wings or thighs. Avoid using chicken breast as much as possible when cooking this dish because it’s much harder to deal with since it contains a lot of collagen and will be harder to cook.
Simply cut the chicken parts into smaller, serving sizes. Do this to the other ingredients as well. Slice them into about an inch cubes so it will be easier for you to cook them evenly.
Once the preparation is done, we are now ready to cook our ingredients. This process is as simple as just tossing the ingredients into the cooking pot one after the other.
Before putting the sauce into the pot, it is a good idea to cook the chicken first so to be sure that the insides of the chicken are fully cooked, we don’t want to come out with a dish with undercooked meat, after all.
Afritada vs. Mechado vs. Menudo vs. Caldereta
Afritada is commonly confused with Filipino stews which also utilizes tomato-based sauce. To be fair, it is to be expected because the four of these are almost similar in every way, except for a number of ingredients, which often gets jumbled with one another.
Afritada is traditionally cooked using chicken meat, and one thing I believe is that afritada is made to be creamier than the other tomato-based stews. It’s basic vegetables include bell peppers, carrots, potatoes, and peas.
Mechado is traditionally and commonly made with beef and pork fat, and you usually go for a tangier flavor when it comes to cooking these. It also includes the basic carrots, potatoes, and bell pepper, together with the tomato sauce blended with soy sauce.
Menudo is made usually with pork partnered with pork liver, hotdogs, carrots, potatoes, bay leaves, with some raisins along with the sauce.
Caldereta is made with beef (with bones) or goat meat, which utilizes liver spread, carrots, potatoes, and bell peppers along its tomato based sauce.
Notes on Ingredients
We are going to use butter for this recipe since we want the sauce to be a lot creamier. But if it’s not available, it is still completely acceptable, since this is an optional ingredient. You can just use soy sauce as a replacement and you still have a delicious dish in your hands.
Some other vegetables often included in this are green olives and Baguio beans. You may opt to add these to your basic vegetables.
For a quick reference about this recipe, see the recipe table below:
Chicken Afritada Recipe
- Cooking Pot
- 1 kg chicken (drumstick or wings), cut in serving sizes
- 1 pc big potato, cut in cubes
- 2 pcs carrots, cut in cubes
- 1 onion, chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 pack (250g) tomato sauce
- 1 cup water
- 1 small green bell pepper, cut in cubes
- 1 small red bell pepper, cut in cubes
- ½ cup green peas
- 3 tbsp cooking oil
- 3 tbsp butter
- salt and pepper, to taste
- In a cooking pot, pour-in and heat the cooking oil in low to medium heat.
- Add-in the potato cubes and the carrot cubes and fry until lightly browned. Set aside.
- Add-in the chopped onion and minced garlic and saute for 2 minutes or until aromatic and soft.
- Add-in the chicken and season with salt and pepper. Let it simmer for 5 - 10 minutes or until the chicken is nicely browned.
- Add-in the tomato sauce, and water. Let it simmer in low heat again for 20 - 40 minutes or until the chicken is cooked fully inside.
- Add-in the potato cubes and carrot cubes back, the bell pepper cubes, green peas and the butter. Stir well and cook for another 5 minutes.
- Transfer to a serving bowl. Serve and enjoy!