That good bowl of piping hot tinola I was desperately craving but was sorely disappointed? Well, finally, wish fulfilled! Actually, if I just looked a little longer in my fridge, I could have had my tinola that very day. I was so bent on the missing papaya, I didn't notice the three large gourds of upo in the bin, which would have worked in tinola just as well.
Although bone-in chicken is what's usually used for deeper flavor, I substituted boneless, skinless chicken breast in this tinolang manok sa upo as I wanted to enjoy it on it's own (without the usual rice accompaniment) and I didn't want the hassle of picking through bones. You can, of course, replace with your choice of bone-in chicken parts. Just adjust the amount of water and cook time.
Tinolang Manok sa Upo
- 1 tablespoon canola oil
- 1 onion, peeled and sliced thinly
- 3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
- 2 thumb-sized ginger, peeled and julienned
- 2 pounds bone-in chicken, cut into 3-inch pieces
- 2 tablespoons fish sauce
- 4 cups water
- 1 large upo, peeled and cut into 2-inch wedges (about 2 cups)
- 1 bunch fresh spinach leaves, stems trimmed
- salt and pepper to taste
- In a pot over medium heat, heat oil. Add onions, garlic, and ginger and cook until softened.
- Add chicken and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 2 to 4 minutes or until lightly brown and juices run clear.
- Add fish sauce and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 1 to 2 minutes.
- Add water and bring to a boil, skimming scum that floats on top. Lower heat, cover and simmer for about 15 to 20 minutes or until chicken is cooked through.
- Add upo and cook for about 2 to 4 minutes or until tender yet crisp.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Add spinach and push down into the broth. Turn off heat and cover until leaves are just wilted. Serve hot.