Two chicken treats from two moms! :) Chicken Curry and Miracle Chicken
An old adage, “The best way to a man’s heart is through his stomach” is something we still believe in. For before we embarked in our own epicurean adventures, our wives indulged us first with their special dishes. For this week’s blog, we feature two of our wives’ chicken recipes which we consider as their signature dishes.
Daddy Robert talks about Mommy Novy’s recipe
The taste of my wife’s version of Chicken Curry reminded me of my nanay (mother), who would cook the dish on Fridays for dinner. My earliest recollection of having chicken curry was when I was in third grade. We used to stay in my aunt’s house in Quezon City during weekdays but on Friday afternoons, my parents would pick us up siblings and we would stay with them until Sunday afternoon. This was the arrangement and life was a little tough then for all of us, which is why I was so happy every time my parents picked us up. Our home which my parents owned was an area in Vitas, Manila near the matadero (abattoir): no air conditioning, with a lot of big windows, a small black and white TV and a stand fan. We had to sleep under a kulambo (mosquito net) and go to the potty every time!
But every Friday evening, my mom cooked chicken curry for dinner. She showed her love and excitement because of the way she was serving us, with the chicken curry on the table. Her recipe was simple, nothing extra. As a child, I was never afraid of a little bite or spice in my ulam (viand or the main dish that goes with rice). For me, the more I can taste the curry, the better.
Now that I’m married, somehow, my wife has learned to cook my mom’s version of the dish, and every time she cooks it, I remember those happy times in Vitas.
Mommy Novy’s Chicken Curry
2 lbs. chicken, wings and thighs
1 can of coconut milk
3 cloves of garlic, crushed
1 medium onion, chopped
1 tbsp or more of curry powder
1 tbsp fish sauce
1 tsp ground black pepper
2 tbsp cooking oil
1 siling labuyo, optional
1. Heat oil in a big pan or wok.
2. Fry the chicken parts until brown, remove and set aside.
3. In the same pan, sauté garlic and onion.
4. Put the chicken back then season with the fish sauce and pepper. Continue sautéing.
5. Pour the coconut milk.
6. Sprinkle the curry powder then mix.
7. Simmer in low heat until chicken becomes tender.
8. Add the sili (chili pepper) as an option.
9. Serve with white rice and fish sauce on the side.
PS: Incidentally, Pinoy curry is not the same as those found in Malaysia or India but could have been influenced by traders from these countries who came to the Philippines and shared their recipes to Pinoys. The Pinoys used local ingredients giving it a more Pinoy taste (e.g., less spicy, the use of coconut milk or evaporated milk, for example).
Daddy Jay talks about Mommy Isa’s recipe:
The story goes that my late mom in law cooked this dish based from a Kraft recipe. My dad in law used to work with the company and perhaps because of loyalty to their products, he would make it a point to buy their products (I’m not so sure if they received complimentary products! J), among which included Miracle Whip, a white salad dressing and sandwich spread which is sweeter than mayonnaise. I remember when I tasted it for the first time on a Sunday lunch with my in laws, I could not stop myself from having a second (and even third serving) of this dish! It goes well with steamed rice, too. And I’m happy that I need not wait for a special occasion because my wife can actually cook this dish anytime!
Mommy Isa’s Miracle Chicken
1bottle ( 445 ml) of Kraft Miracle Whip or light mayonnaise (Isa prefers the Hellman’s brand)
1 pack of (1.5 kg )of chicken breast, leg and/or thigh
6 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1-2 tbsp. of granulated brown (or white) sugar
¼ cup soy sauce
Salt and pepper to taste
Water enough to cover the meat
The day before
1. Wash the chicken in cold running water.
2. In a large mixing bowl, place the chicken and season it with chopped garlic by rubbing it so the flavor will set in.
3. Dollop the Miracle Whip or mayonnaise and rub it on the chicken using your hands.
4. Pour the soy sauce then add the sugar, salt and pepper. Continue rubbing the chicken until the mixture is evenly distributed.
5. Cover the bowl and refrigerate overnight or for at least 12 hours.
On the day
6. Cook the marinated chicken in a pot, adding enough water to ensure the chicken is cooked. Be careful as too much water can alter the taste.
7. Simmer the chicken over medium heat for an hour or until fork tender.
8. Once cook, remove chicken from the pot and arrange them on a Pyrex dish.
9. Bake the chicken in a preheated oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 45 minutes or until the skin turns golden brown.
10. Serve with steamed rice. Enjoy!