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Chicken Pipian

Chicken Pipian is a classic Filipino dish cooked in tomato sauce seasoned with epasotes, a herb of Mexican origin, which grows in the Ilocos provinces. The sauce is thickened by a ground rice-peanut mixture. My modern version substituted pazotes with dried oregano and fresh cilantro, which added earthy flavors. This recipe was inspired by the following: Gina Quirino Adea, the Syquia Mansion family cook, Rusty and from the Memories of Philippines Cookbook by Amy Besa and Romy Dorotan. Serves 4 to 6.
Prep Time1 d
Cook Time1 hr 15 mins
Total Time1 d 1 hr 15 mins
Course: Dinner, Lunch, Main Course
Cuisine: Asian, Filipino
Keyword: Filipino Chicken Pipian
Servings: 6 people
Calories: 124kcal
Author: Asian in America - Elizabeth Ann Quirino


  • Large Stockpot


For marinade

  • 1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper

For the stew

  • 4 pounds chicken cutlets, bone-in, skin-on, about 10 pieces
  • ½ cup rice grains, white rice preferred
  • ¾ cup unsalted roasted peanuts
  • 4 Tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 whole large white or yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 whole large tomatoes, sliced
  • 1 Tablespoon patis (fish sauce)
  • ¼ cup calamansi or lemon juice
  • ½ cup tomato paste
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon achuete powder (annatto)
  • 1 Tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 pinch salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 Tablespoon chopped fresh parsley or cilantro, for garnish

For serving

  • steamed rice


To marinate chicken:

  • In a large bowl, marinate the chicken pieces in dried oregano, olive oil, garlic, salt and black pepper.
    Place chicken in a resealable plastic bag. Refrigerate for at least 6 hours or overnight.

To prepare the rice-peanut sauce base:

  • When ready to cook, toast the uncooked rice grains in a small skillet over medium heat for 5 to 6 minutes. Do not leave this unattended or it will burn. Toss the grains around with a turner.
    When the rice grains turn brown and are fragrant, remove from the stove top and let it cool.
    Place the toasted rice and peanuts in a food processor or blender. Process for 1 minute till crushed and combined. Set aside.

To cook the stew:

  • In a large stockpot, over medium high heat, add the vegetable oil. When oil is hot enough, braise the chicken pieces for about; 8 minutes on each side till they are brown. Transfer chicken to a plate and set aside.
    In the same stockpot, over medium heat, saute the onions, garlic and tomatoes.
    Pour the patis, calamansi or lemon juice, tomato paste and chicken broth. Add the achuete powder. Stir ingredients. Cover and simmer this sauce for about 8 minutes.
    Add the dried oregano, and the ground rice-peanut mixture, which will thicken the sauce. Stir the sauce to combine.
    Return the chicken pieces to the simmering stockpot.
    Lower heat to a slow simmer and stir every few minutes. The ground rice should cook in a very low heat or it will burn at the bottom of the stockpot. Season with salt and ground black pepper.
    Cover and continue cooking for about 45 to 50 minutes till chicken is done.
    Garnish with chopped parsley or cilantro. Serve warm with rice.


Serving: 1g | Calories: 124kcal | Carbohydrates: 5g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Sodium: 660mg | Potassium: 284mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 333IU | Vitamin C: 10mg | Calcium: 13mg | Iron: 1mg