Filipino cuisine is a complex fusion of Spanish, Western, and Japanese flavors.

Im a female sushi chef but I recently went on a Filipino cooking spree and wanted to share some elementary recipes with y' all. Being born in America I have a multicultural diet that includes basically everything from Italian to sushi. Chicken Tocino reminds me of when I was younger having breakfast at my Auntie Violey's with my cousins.

Chicken Tocino originates from the Philippines and is revered by people globally! This unique dish from the Filipino Cuisine is sweet and garlicky and incredibly tasty. You can have it at any time throughout the day as it is a full meal in itself. The dish is well known for its method of marinating in pineapple juice, ketchup, and other sauces thus making it a very flavorful dish!

The term Chicken Tocino may be a bit misleading for those who have not immersed themselves in the incredible Filipino food culture since the word ‘Tocino’ actually refers to pork!

However, in the Philippines, ‘Tocino’ is more oriented towards preserving different types of meat with sugar, salt, and other beautiful flavors. Thus Chicken Tocino is a delicious chicken dish that is perfectly paired with a ‘Silog’ plate. For those unfamiliar with the term Silog, it refers to the popular version of Filipino breakfast cuisine sinangag at itlog (garlic fried rice and egg).

Typically Chicken Tocino is marinated in a blend of brown sugar, soy sauce, garlic powder, salt, pepper, and ketchup. For this chicken dish, you can elevate the experience by adding pineapple juice for a tart-like taste!

My version of this recipe consists of ingredients that are very easy to find that can be purchased from your local grocery store! My version of this dish tends to lean towards American ingredients. By following my recipe, you can have this incredible dish ready within no time. Experience the true authentic taste of Filipino cuisine!

Chicken Tocino Recipe
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  • 2 pounds boneless and skinless chicken breast, thigh or leg meat sliced thin and pounded

  • 1 1/2 cup pineapple juice

  • 1/4 cup tomato ketchup or banana ketchup

  • 1/2 cup brown sugar

  • 3 cloves of finely chopped fresh garlic or 1 tbsp. of garlic powder

  • 1 tsp salt

  • 3 Tbsp. Soy Sauce

  • 1/2 tsp. ground black pepper

  • optional annato powder or red food coloring

  • 1/2 cup water

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil or vegetable oil

Step 1

In a bowl, combine pineapple juice, ketchup, sugar, garlic, and salt, stir until evenly distributed.

Step 2

Add chicken and massage with mixture until evenly distributed. Transfer to a covered container and refrigerate overnight (marinate for 3 nights for best results) to cure.

Step 3

In a pan over medium heat, add chicken including 1/2 of marinade and 1/4 water to cover.

Bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer until meat is cooked and tender, adding remainder of water as it evaporates in pan.

When chicken is cooked and liquid is mostly absorbed, add olive oil. Continue to cook, until chicken is beautifully browned and caramelized on all sides.

Serve hot with silog or with green beans for dinner.

Wherever you are in the world I wish you love and positive energies. Remember everyone in different ways are affected with what's going on during this 2020. Be good to yourself and to others when you can.

For more Filipino and sushi recipes here.

Jenny SuShe