Coming from a country with average temperatures rarely below 80 degrees, it is interesting how we, Filipinos, have such a deep love affair with soups and stews. Along with the delicious array of tinola, nilaga and bulalo, chicken pochero is another example of the piping hot dishes we favor even in warmer weather. A legacy of 250 years of Spanish rule, this peasant’s stew is humble in its simplicity of preparation but hearty and satisfying with choice chicken, sweet saba bananas, potato chunks, chorizo pieces, legumes and fresh local produce. Enjoy!
- 1/2 cup oil
- 3 saba bananas peeled and halved
- 2 medium potatoes peeled and quartered
- 1 small onion peeled and thinly sliced
- 2 cloves garlic peeled and minced
- 3 pounds chicken cut into serving parts
- 1 tablespoon fish sauce
- 1 cup tomato sauce
- 3 cups water
- 2 chorizo de bilbao cut into 1-inch thick pieces
- 1 cup garbanzo beans
- 8 to 10 pieces green beans ends trimmed
- 1/2 napa cabbage end trimmed and leaves halved
- 1 bunch pechay ends trimmed and leaves separated
- salt and pepper to taste
- In a pot over medium heat, heat oil. Add bananas and fry until lightly browned. Remove from pan and drain on paper towels. Add potatoes and fry until lightly browned. Remove from pan and drain on paper towels.
- Remove excess oil except about 2 tablespoons. Add onions and garlic and cook until limp and aromatic. Add chicken and cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned and juices run clear. Add fish sauce and cook for another 2 to 3 minutes.
- Add tomato sauce and water and bring to a boil, skimming any scum that accumulates on top. Lower heat, cover and simmer until chicken is cooked. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Add potatoes and cook until almost tender. Add chorizo de bilbao, garbanzo beans and bananas. Cook for about 4 to 5 minutes or until heated through. Add green beans and napa cabbage and cook for another 2 to 3 minutes. Add pechay and cook for about 1 minute or until vegetables are tender yet crisp. Serve hot.