Pinaupong Manok of Tarlac
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The good thing about working from home during this pandemic crisis is that I can work, and cook for long stretches, at the same time, which is what I did with Pinaupong Manok, or the ‘sitting chicken’.
In a recent chat with a cabalen (hometown friend), Cristina Baron Romero, I learned a specialty of our Tarlac province in the Philippines is the Pinaupong Manok , a recipe created by her mother, longtime caterer Mrs. Catalina Panlilio Baron, fondly called Imang Ninay by friends. Her daughter Tinette, restaurateur and also a caterer, recalls how this chicken dish was created when her late father, Deogracias Baron, poultry business owner, had old layers of chicken which he couldn’t sell, because their meat was tough.
And since the Barons had nine children, this recipe, their version of fried chicken, was the answer to what to feed the large family. This is my kitchen-tested version, cooked in my American kitchen, from the recipe inspired by Cristina Baron Romero, who originally used a whole roasting chicken. I could not find a whole chicken at the supermarket, due to current supply-chain shortages. So, I used cut-up pieces, with skin-on. I had time since I was home. So, the chicken simmered low and slow over medium heat for three hours. The whole house was fragrant with garlic-chicken flavors as the clear broth slowly reduced, and disappeared completely. The best part was when the chicken rendered its own fat. That was when I fried the pieces to a crisp, till every bite was crunchy.
This is the kind of recipe that takes you back to the good old days, when the pace was slow, and we could stop to savor every beautiful moment. Like this chicken recipe that is every bit as crisp, and luscious as life itself.
Read the rest of my story Imang Ninay Baron Cooks Feasts That Taste Like Love which published on Positively Filipino online magazine, click here.
Pinaupong Manok of Tarlac
- Dutch Oven or any large stockpot - about 8 quarts
- 3 to 4 pounds chicken pieces, cut-up, bone-in, skin-on; about 6 to 7 pieces
- ¼ cup Kosher salt
- 3 cups chicken broth
- 2 Tablespoons crushed garlic
- steamed rice
To prepare chicken:
- Rub the chicken pieces well, all over with the salt.Refrigerate the chicken, in a resealable plastic bag, or covered container, for at least 6 hours or overnight.
To cook the chicken:
- When ready to cook, arrange the chicken pieces side by side in a Dutch oven (Le Creuset is what I used), or any large stockpot. Pour the broth. Add the garlic.
- Over medium heat, simmer the chicken till tender for about 2 ½ to 3 hours.When the liquid reduces, the chicken should be almost falling off the bone.At this point, allow the chicken to render its own fat, in the same stockpot, over the same medium heat.When the fat renders, let the chicken fry in its own oil, till crisp.Turn the pieces over for even frying. This takes about 12 minutes.
- Serve the chicken warm and crispy with catsup on the side, and steamed rice.
- In her original recipe, Cristina B. Romero, who is based in Tarlac, Philippines, used a whole roasting chicken, and recommended that they be at least 45 days old. Feel free to use a whole roasting chicken, about the same weight as indicated in this recipe, if preferred.
Notes on Nutrition: The nutrition information provided in the recipe links is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and specific brands of ingredients used.
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