Chicken Tocino marinaded in pineapple juice, ketchup, and spices. It’s perfectly sweet and garlicky and delicious as an all-day breakfast meal.
What better way to break our fast than a hearty silog plate? Runny yolks, garlic-studded fried rice, sweet and salty cured meats…mmm, mmm, mmm! Best way to start the day, any day.
“Silog”, for the uninitiated, is the colloquial term used to describe a classic Filipino breakfast made up of fried rice (sinangag), sunny side up eggs (itlog), and meat of choice such as beef tapa (tapsilog), longganisa (longsilog) pork tocino (tosilog), and daing na bangus (bangsilog).
Chicken tocino might be confusing for those who are not familiar with the Filipino food culture as tocino technically means pork or more specifically, the belly part of the pig.
In the Philippines, however, the term tocino is associated with the process of preserving meat in sugar, salt, and spices and includes any type of protein cured in this type of marinade.
My pork tocino recipe is marinaded in a simple mix of sugar, garlic powder, salt, pepper, and red food coloring. For this chicken version, I kicked up the flavor by adding pineapple juice for a tangy taste and banana ketchup for color.
Tips on How to Make Chicken Tocino
- Although you can use chicken breast, I recommend boneless leg or thigh meat as their extra fat keeps these cuts moist and juicy.
- Do not marinate longer than overnight as the acidity of the pineapple juice might denature the proteins and turn the meat mushy.
- To store for future use, transfer into resealable bags or airtight containers and freeze for up to 2 months. To ensure even cooking, thaw in the refrigerate completely before frying.
- To cook, place the marinated chicken in a wide pan with about 1 cup of water. Over medium heat, bring to a boil. Cover, lower heat and simmer until meat is fully cooked and liquid is mostly absorbed. Add about a tablespoon of oil and cook, stirring regularly, until nicely browned and caramelized.
How to Serve Chicken Tocino
- Serve with garlic fried rice and sunny side up eggs for a hearty breakfast.
- Sandwich in warm loaves of pandesal for a filling midday snack.
- Cut into bite-sized pieces, skewer with bamboo sticks, and grill over hot coals until cooked through and nicely charred for fun party food.
- Add to stir-fried noodles or fried rice for a quick lunch.
- 1 cup pineapple juice
- 1/4 cup banana ketchup
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 2 pounds chicken thigh or leg meat, boneless and skinless
- 1 cup water
- 2 tablespoons canola oil
- In a bowl, combine pineapple juice, ketchup, sugar, garlic powder, and salt, Stir until well distributed.
- Add chicken and massage meat with curing mixture until evenly colored. Transfer to a covered container or ziplock bag and refrigerate for about 4 hours or overnight to cure.
- In a pan over medium heat, add chicken including marinade and enough water to cover.
- Bring to a boil. Lower heat, cover and simmer until meat is tender and cooked through, adding more water in 1/2 cup increments as needed.
- When the meat is cooked through and liquid is mostly absorbed, add oil. Continue to cook, stirring regularly, until chicken is nicely browned and caramelized. Serve hot.