Dads Cook Good Food

For dads who enjoy cooking for their families

Archive for the category “chicken”

Yummy Mie Ayam!


A month ago over lunch, Lina, a colleague of mine from Indonesia, saw me enjoying a bowl of Filipino chicken noodle soup (or chicken mami) complete with a garnish of carrots, Chinese lettuce and sliced boiled egg. Curious, she asked what the ingredients were and mused that it was very much similar to the chicken noodle soup she enjoyed at home.  If one thinks about it, chicken-based soup has variants the world over: Congee soup with shredded chicken, Pho Ga from Vietnam, Arroz caldo from the Philippines, the classic chicken noodle soup, and the Ethiopian Doro W’et, to name a few.

And so, about a week or two had passed, Lina showed me a photo of Mie ayam, a Chinese Indonesian noodle soup, which is apparently popular in Indonesia and sold in small restaurants, street vendors and hawker centers. It’s easy to prepare as I’ve cooked one for my family. My kids love the sweet and salty flavor. Hope that you enjoy this simple dish as much as I enjoyed cooking it! Selamat makan!

Mie ayam
(Chicken noodle – Chinese Indonesian style)



200 gm. yellow wheat dry noodle, boiled al dente
A quarter of a chicken, diced small
3 garlic cloves, chopped
1 whole medium white onion, chopped
1 tbsp. light soy sauce
2 tbsp. kecap manis (Indonesian sweet soy sauce) or oyster sauce
1 tbsp. cooking rice wine
8 heads of bok choy, blanched
4 cups of chicken broth
1 tsp. sesame oil
Fried garlic slices, mushrooms and chopped scallions for garnish
White pepper to taste




1. Stir fry white onion and garlic until fragrant.


2. Add chicken, soy sauce, kecap manis or oyster sauce, and cooking wine. To enhance flavor, add diced fresh mushroom (or dried mushroom that has been soaked for at least an hour).


3. Prepare chicken broth. Add chopped garlic and white pepper to taste.



4. Blanche vegetables and noodles on a separate pot.


5. Finally, assemble everything on a soup bowl. First, pour one tablespoon of sesame oil and about two tablespoons of light soy sauce.


6. Add noodles and toss.


7. Top it with diced chicken and bok choy. Garnish with scallions and fried garlic slices.

8. Chicken broth is usually served in a separate bowl, or you can add the broth to the noodle bowl directly. Serve piping hot.




Antonio’s Arroz Caldo

arroz caldo

Named after Daddy Robert’s son, this chicken rice porridge is a combination of simple ingredients: spring chicken, ginger, garlic, onions, safflower, salt and pepper. My idea was to keep the ingredients basic and all-natural and avoiding the addition of chicken bouillon or fish sauce.

Arroz caldo (literally hot rice) or lugaw (in Tagalog) is a well-known Filipino dish that serves as a complete meal, a merienda (snack), or as soup. It is a comfort food for Filipinos, usually during cold or rainy weather. It is an elixir for those who are feeling under the weather. Its preparation and ingredients are akin to the Chinese congee and other rice porridge dishes in Asia.

Antonio’s Arroz Caldo

1 whole young chicken (spring chicken)
½ cup medium grain sticky rice and ½ cup Milagrosa rice
4 cloves of garlic, chopped and minced
1 thumb sized ginger, cut into strips
4 hardboiled eggs
1 onion head, finely chopped
1 tbsp. safflower (Kasubha)
1 scalion, cut diagonally
Lemon wedges
Salt (kosher)
1 tbsp. ground pepper
3 tbsp. canola oil
6-8 cups of water

1. After washing the chicken, chop the chicken into appropriate serving portions.

2. Meanwhile, heat oil in a medium size pot over medium heat. Sauté garlic and ginger until light brown. Add chicken pieces and stir to allow the chicken to absorb the garlic and ginger. Add salt and pepper. Cook until chicken is golden brown.

3. Add rice and mix with the chicken and herbs until rice is well coated.

rice soup
4. Deglaze pan by adding water slowly. Once deglazed, add the rest of the water until chicken is covered.

5. Stir occasionally to prevent rice from sticking on the pot and until you get a smooth consistency. Do this for about 40 minutes.

6. Add kasubha for colour and flavour then add scallions and cook for 5 minutes.

7. Finally, add hardboiled egg. Serve with toasted garlic, lemon wedges, fish sauce and sprinkle with more scallions if desired. Enjoy!

*The secret to delicious arroz caldo is deglazing and good chicken stock. As mentioned earlier, I tried to maintain all-natural ingredients (salt, pepper and herbs) without having to add chicken bouillon or fish sauce. You can make the chicken stock in advance but for this one, deglazing the pot then slow cooking the porridge allows the flavours of the chicken and herbs to blend and gives the porridge a delicious taste.

When East Meets West: Herbs and Spices Roast Chicken


Welcome 2014! Let’s start the new year right with an almost-original chicken dish which I thought of through careful research, a few kitchen experiments and  yes, some thoughtful consideration of previous experiences in eating delicious, varied and unforgettable roast chicken dishes. I’m sure the other dads and moms would agree that preparing a big meal such as roast chicken (well, I have a modest standard for roasting chicken alone is a gargantuan task for me!) elicits questions such as ‘Would it turn out okay?,’ ‘Will they like the taste?’ or even realistically asking, ‘Would it be palatable enough?’ 😀

Well, coming up with this recipe was  a challenge! After all, it would be easier to get an existing recipe and tweak it a bit, right? But I wanted to make our traditional New Year’s Eve dinner (in the Philippines, we refer it to as media noche) extra special so I thought of coming up with a somewhat original recipe (I guess only a few can really claim that their recipe is original). To help me with the challenge, I thought of watching a few You Tube videos to check out certain procedures such as tenting the roast chicken, using the right temperature when roasting chicken, checking herbs and spices that will bring out the best taste in chicken,  and recalled the oh-so-good taste of roasted chicken from my previous travels (read: chicken inasal of Bacolod, roast chicken in Hawaii).  From these, I came up with a fusion of East and West or a blend of various herbs and spices that was a superb roast chicken recipe that we’re bound to cook again.

Enjoy and Happy New Year!


1 (5-6 kg) chicken fryer or any 1 whole dressed chicken
1 tbsp. olive oil

For the marinade:
1 tbsp of salt
3 tbsp sugar
¼ cup white wine vinegar
3 tbsp low sodium soy sauce
2 tbsp. lemon juice

For the herb stuffing:
1 onion (cut into quarters)
8 cloves of garlic, pounded
1 lemon grass, chopped

For the chicken rub:
1 tsp of cumin
2 tbsp of paprika
1 tsp. of grounded thyme
2 tsp mustard seed

For the gravy:
2 tbsp flour
2 tbsp unsalted butter

Let’s begin by….


1. Preparing all the ingredients. I have grouped the ingredients above to avoid confusion when preparing the dish. A good tip from my sibling: Read the ingredients aloud so as not to miss out on any ingredient!

2. Wash your hands well then remove all the giblets from the chicken’s cavity and rinse well.


3. On a non-reactive bowl (e.g. glass or ceramic), mix and whisk all the ingredients for the marinade: vinegar, salt, sugar, white wine vinegar, soy sauce and lemon juice. Set aside.


4. Then mix the dry ingredients for the rub on a separate bowl: cumin, paprika, grounded thyme and mustard seed.


5. Pour and rub the citrus marinade on the chicken and in its cavity, wrap in plastic or aluminum foil and marinate it for 2 hours, preferably refrigerated.



6. After 2 hours, drain the marinade on a separate small non-reactive bowl and set aside. Brush it with olive oil and sprinkle the chicken rub on top and rub them both inside and in the chicken’s cavity. Wrap in plastic or aluminum foil and refrigerate for 6 hours or overnight.


7. The next day, preheat the oven to 425 ‘F. Bring out the chicken from the refrigerator and remove the cover. Let it rest for a half an hour to bring the chicken to room temperature. This way, the temperature for all parts of the chicken evens out and you avoid having a dry chicken.



8. Stuff the chicken cavity with the herbs and spices: pounded garlic, lemongrass, and chopped onions. Pounding it will allow it to infuse into the chicken during baking. Use a kitchen twine (or a non-waxed floss) to tie the two legs of the chicken. This prevents the stuffing from spilling.



9. Finally, baste the chicken with the rest of the citrus marinade and rest it on a roasting pan or on a bed of herbs and spices (or you may choose to use potatoes, green peppers, and asparagus).


10. Roast in the oven for 15 minutes in 425 ‘F then reduce it to 375’F and continue roasting for an hour.


11. Insert the meat thermometer in the chicken’s inner thigh (but not the bone)  to check internal temperature. When the temperature is 165 ‘F, the chicken may be taken out of the oven, rested on a heat-resistant board then tent the chicken with a foil. This will allow the juices to redistribute itself.


12. Meanwhile, drain the drippings (these are really flavourful since they came from the marinated chicken infused with the bed of herbs!) from the pan. In a preheated skillet, melt unsalted butter and whisk in flour slowly until it forms a paste. Then gently pour the drippings, continue whisking until it thickens into a gravy. Add salt and pepper to taste.

chicken carve

13. Remove the kitchen twine, carve the chicken and serve with the gravy and herbs (or vegetables).

Serves 4-6 people.


CHOW. Basic Whole Roasted Chicken. Retrieved from on December 31,2013.

Chicken Cooking Times. Retrieved from on December 31, 2013.

Flay, B. , Banyas, S. and Jackson, S.  (2013). Barbecue Addiction.  Boy Meets Grill Inc: New York.

How To Make a Basic Chicken Rub. Retrieved from on December 31, 2013.

How To Roast the Perfect Whole Chicken Recipe. Retrieved from on December 30, 2013.

Roasting Chicken in Oven. Retrieved from on December 30, 2013.

Roasting Chicken in Oven Squishy. Retrieved from on December 30, 2013.

Chicken & Tofu in Black Bean Sauce

chicken tofu

Who would think that eating can be this fun and healthy?

Tofu, which is made from soybeans, has been a boon among health buffs ever since I can remember. (Incidentally, young soybeans are known for its Japanese name: edamame!) Although tofu is not exactly what my kids like, the delicious mix of chicken and black bean sauce makes it a good extender; unlike carbohydrates which can leave you feeling stuffed.

And for a healthier dish, baking the chicken helps you remove unwanted chicken fat. Although 45 minutes of baking is a long time,  it also meant being less concerned with half-cooked, sometimes bloody fried chicken! :-b The waiting also  meant doing other stuff (read: multitasking). No sweat!

Just imagine: the softness of tofu sinking between your teeth, the flavour and crunch of green bell pepper, and baked chicken tossed in black bean sauce served with steamed rice. Go ahead! Eat and live…longer!


2 tbsp. black bean sauce dissolved in ½ cup of water
2 pcs of tofu (medium firm), sliced
2 tbsp. rice flour, whisked and dissolved in ¼ cup of water
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 medium-sized white onion, chopped
½ green bell pepper, sliced
2 tbsp. sesame oil
6 pcs. of chicken thigh*, cut into two pieces
Salt and pepper

1. Preheat oven to 430 degrees Fahrenheit.

2. Marinate chicken thighs with salt and pepper for 10 minutes. Set aside.

3. Line two baking trays with aluminum foil and arrange chicken pieces and bake them in 430 degrees Fahrenheit for 45 minutes.

4. Meanwhile, preheat pan on medium feat then add oil. Sautee garlic and onion for five minutes or until onions become translucent.

Baked chicken

5. Add baked chicken then add green pepper and black bean sauce then toss over medium heat.

chicken sautee

6. Add tofu with care and continue tossing.

add tofu

7. Finally, add rice flour mixture to thicken the sauce.

chicken with bell pepper

8. Serve warm over steamed rice.

chicken tofu

* Chicken thighs can be substituted with chicken breast, which has less fat. In this case, chicken breast should be baked in less time: 25 minutes or until the meat is cooked. Be mindful when cooking white meat because overcooking it can leave you with dry meat. Brushing it with olive oil would help retain moisture.

Chicken with Brocolli and Portobello Mushroom

chicken with brocolli and mushroom

If you look closely, the Dads have been singing paeans to spring. As stated in my previous entry, [spring] does bring a lot of nature’s finest ingredients so we take advantage of this and cook what is best!

For this entry, I’d like to share another veggie and chicken recipe, which is what I consider a somewhat successful kitchen experiment. This combo recipe is not really new since it has appeared in previous blogs (e.g., the use of oyster sauce or sauteing broccoli) but the combination of all these ingredients into one dish is something I did for the first time.

For the meantime, try it out and in case you have suggestions re improving the recipe, please feel free to post a comment.


¼ chicken breast*, cut into bite pieces
3 tbsp. oyster sauce
2 tbsp. black bean sauce
2 tbsp. sesame oil
3 cloves garlic, chopped finely
1 pc. onion, chopped
2 broccoli heads, chopped into bite pieces
2 Portobello mushroom, sliced
2 tsp. rice flour

1. Prepare the following:
a. Marinate chicken in oyster sauce and sesame oil for an hour.
b. Blanche broccoli in boiling water for two to three minutes then drain. You can stop the cooking process by running it in cold water so the veggies remain green and crunchy. Set aside.
c. In a small bowl, whisk black bean sauce, oyster sauce, and water. Heat this in a saucepan for 2 minutes then slowly add rice flour, whisking the mixture to avoid lumps. Cool the mixture for five minutes.

2. Heat pan (medium heat) then sautee garlic and onions in sesame oil for two to three minutes.

3. Add marinated chicken, mix with the sautee mixture and cook for five minutes or until chicken is cook.

4. Add the mushrooms and let it simmer in medium heat for three to five minutes before adding the sauce mixture.

5. Sautee for about three minutes or until the sauce begins to thicken.

6. Finally, add broccoli and toss. Cook for about three minutes.
7. Serve with steam rice. Enjoy!

* You may substitute tofu for the chicken to make it a truly vegetarian meal. 🙂

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