Tried And Tested With A Twist

Tried And Tested With A Twist

The F Word: Food By Chef Chris Lachenal

REMEMBER WHEN your mom or lola would give you sopas or arroz caldo when you’re sick? Wasn’t that the fun part of being sick then? Well, the Westerners have their own chicken soup versions, too. It is universally accepted that chicken soup boosts the immune system. Apart from that, it provides a sense of comfort and warmth. This warm and delicious soup dish, and all its other versions, is beneficial because it is packed with vitamins and minerals we get from the vegetables, meat, and broth. 

However, there are times we find the usual preparations boring that we want to add deeper flavors just to whet our appetites all the more. It’s the same with moms looking for ways to make their children eat vegetables or feed on healthier options instead of fast food preps or processed meats such as hotdogs, chicken nuggets, tocino etc., or with chefs who make fusion dishes to come up with more interesting offerings.

Recently, a dear friend of mine went through radiation treatment and we know how restrictive and limiting patient diets are. Sending a fruit basket is a no-brainer, but it lacks the touch of TLC—tender loving care. So I went for the tried and trusted Chicken Tinola, a.k.a. Chicken Meatloaf in Sayote Purée with Sili Leaves and Malunggay Pesto. It’s hot, healthy, comforting, and such a familiar dish! Or is it? There’s the mystery and of course, you can try this at home. 

Have fun with the recipe!

Chef signed

 If this is your first time here, you may be interested to check on my previous feature: Tinuktok na Laing.

Gift ideas? ‘Tis The Season provides them to you, ready to engage with a tap of your finger.

The following recipe is created by Chef Chris Lachenal and is download- and print-ready: The F Word: Food | Series 1 | Recipe 2

Tinola or

Chicken Meatloaf in Sayote Purée with Sili-Malunggay Pesto

Prep time: 15 minutes | Cook time: 45 minutes

Good for 2 to 4 persons

Broth Ingredients

1/2 kg    Chicken bones 

2 Tbsp    Oil

1 Tbsp    Ginger, sliced thinly

1 Tbsp    Garlic, minced

1 Tbsp    Red Onion, chopped

1 Tbsp    Tomato, chopped

Salt         to taste

Water     to cover 

1 kg         Sayote, cubed

Procedure. In a saucepot, heat oil then sauté first the Ginger and Garlic until lightly golden. Add in Onions and Tomatoes and season with a pinch of Salt. Cook over low heat until onion and tomatoes are a mush.

Add in chicken bones and mix until it turns slightly gray in color. Pour water until bones are fully covered. Bring to a boil then simmer and cook for 30 minutes. Add in Sayote and cook until fork tender. Remove Sayote and strain the broth. Place Sayote and broth in a blender and blend until fine.

Chicken Meatloaf Ingredients

350 gm   ground Chicken

1 Tbsp     Ginger

1 Tbsp     Garlic

1 Tbsp     Red Onion

1 pc          Egg

1/2 Tbsp  Flour

1/2 tsp     Salt

1/2 tsp     ground Black Pepper

Procedure. In a bowl, combine all ingredients and mix well. Spread into llanera or baking dish. Cover with aluminum foil and steam for 30-40 minutes. Test with a toothpick, if it comes out clean then it is cooked. Set aside and let cool. When cool, cut into cubes. Set aside.

Pesto Ingredients

1/2 c        Oil

1/4 c        Sili Leaves

1/4 c        Malunggay Leaves

Procedure. In a blender, combine the ingredients and blend until fine. Pour into a sauce pan and bring to simmer. Cook for about 2 minutes and set aside.  

In a saucepot, pour Sayote Purée and add Chicken Meatloaf cubes. Bring to a quick boil.

Serve in a bowl and drizzle with Sili-Malunggay Leaves Pesto.

Note: This Tinola version may be enjoyed with either steamed rice or toasted bread.  Enjoy!

Chef Chris Lachenal strives to elevate Filipino cuisine and revive dishes that are slowly losing popularity. A former chef instructor, he emphasized the importance of understanding the process of things in order to grasp refinement in food. As a chef-for-hire he satisfies his clients, always. He is creative, passionate, and believes that everything must be done with love and that the smallest detail makes a difference.

Leave a Reply