Who doesn’t love a coconut rich and creamy chicken dish? Here is my version of the famous chicken sa gata Bicolano dish and by far the best version I made:) Bicol is a region in the southern part of Luzon island of the Philippines, famous for the majestic Mount Mayon, scenic places and pristine beaches, and the undeniably delicious dishes mostly cook in or with coconut milk.
This creamy chicken curry is one of the many signature dishes Bicolanos are so proud of food wise, second to the most popular laing, a staple dish in every Bicolanos home. It’s very simple and easy to cook, ingredients are usually ready and available at the back garden.
THE INGREDIENTS NEEDED FOR THIS DISH ARE LITERALLY WHAT YOU SEE ON THE IMAGE ABOVE! SIMPLY DELICIOUS!
500g chicken thigh ( marinated adobo style)
300 ml coconut milk or cream
300ml chicken broth
Green papaya 300g peeled and sliced thinly
1 whole onion, dice
10g Ginger, sliced thinly
1/2 bulb of garlic, crushed or minced
a stalk of lemon grass
salt and pepper to taste
fish sauce to taste
a squeeze of lemon juice
and lots of birds eye chillis
a handful of chilli leaves or spinach
- Sear and brown the meat on both sides. Place the milk/cream in a pot with onion, garlic, ginger, lemon grass and bring to a boil.
- Add back the chicken along with the green papaya and simmer until the chicken is cooked thoroughly and the papaya is nice and soft.
- Add the seasoning, maybe more salt and pepper?
- once the sauce is thick and creamy, add the leaves, mix well. Remove from the heat and SERVE!!
I have worked in different kitchens internationally, but I have never worked in the Philippines so the culinary industry here is a bit new to me. Being a Filipina, it is my duty to learn and represent the food of my country. There is beauty in local cuisine and many unknown dishes waiting to be rediscovered.
My rules in cooking are to simplify complex international dishes and to elevate what we have here locally. Food is all about the flavour more than the visual, for me it is disappointing to eat something beautiful but its lacking flavours.
Et voilà!!! A hearty, full of flavour dish for the entire family. Try it and let me know what you think.. ENJOY.