Today, I am getting you a Guest Post from Pinay In Texas Cooking Corner. This blog is hosted by Christina. She is a stay at home mom in Texas, USA. Its her passion to cook for her family and write her blog. She mostly writes about Filipino cuisine. It is through her blog that I discovered that there was a cuisine called Filipino. I was so curious to know more about it that I asked Chistina to do a Guest Post for me. Not only my aim was to bring my readers the awareness of a different cuisine but also, I wanted to share Tina’s blog. Her love for her family shows through her blog. She makes lovely parties for her two daughters. Her creativity with her food and thoughtfulness for her family is commendable. Tina’s energy and commitment inspires me for sure. I would highly recommend you to take a peek at Pinay In Texas Cooking Corner. You can also show some love by following her blog via email or facebook. Also, I am thankful to Tina for doing such a lovely Guest Post for Exquisite Niche.
I’m Tina from Pinay In Texas Cooking Corner! I am honored to be here on Exquisite Niche today! Not only am I sharing with you a recipe, Gursahiba also gave me the opportunity to impart a brief history of my country’s cuisine here on her lovely blog. I know that the Filipino Cuisine is something many people are not aware of, that’s why I am so thankful to her for this chance to be able to introduce her readers to it!
I’m sure that many of you don’t know that the Philippines which consists of 7,100 islands is very beautiful and rich in natural resources. Well, it is and that is why through the centuries, foreigners of different languages, ethnic cultures and ancestries came to the Philippines, either as invaders or traders. As a result, it became a country with diverse culture and heritage. Its cuisine therefore, just like its people, reflects the blending of these wide and varied cultures. But although there were a number of different nations that colonized our country, the major influence on our cuisine came from the Malays, Chinese, Spaniards and Americans. As the local saying goes, Philippine food was prepared by Malay settlers, spiced by the Chinese, stewed by the Spanish and hamburgerized by the Americans. Sounds funny but it’s true!
Back before the Philippines was colonized, the early Filipinos used simple ingredients like root crops, game, vegetables and seafood, and they only knew simple ways of cooking like boiling, roasting and steaming. When the Malays came, Filipinos were introduced to the knowledge of enhancing the flavor of the food they cook by using herbs and spices. It is how the use of hot chilies and gata (coconut milk) became part of Filipino cooking. Then the Chinese came and brought the influence of using noodles and a wide array of dipping sauces to accompany our dishes. They also taught the Filipinos how to cultivate corn and rice which later on became the staple food in the Philippines. When the Spaniards came in 1521, Mediterranean style of preparing food was introduced. The Spaniards taught the Filipinos techniques such as braising, sautéing, cooking with oil and seasonings such as garlic, onions, tomatoes, sweet peppers, and vinegar. After the United States beat Spain in the Spanish-American War in 1898, the Americans took control of the Philippines until 1946. The U.S. military introduced goods shipped in from their country such as mayonnaise, hot dogs, hamburgers and pies. Although the Americans didn’t make that much of an influence in Philippine cuisine, they certainly changed the way Filipinos dine. They introduced the Filipinos to the most convenient way of dining through fast food chains. They also brought the ways of convenience like pressure cooking, freezing and canning. Through the years, other global influences like that of French, Italian, Japanese, Thai and Vietnamese found its way to the Filipino cuisine, making it a truegastronomic fusion of different countries and cultures from east to west, and results in a cuisine that is so unique.
Gursahiba told me that she loves Spanish cuisine, so I chose the recipe that I am sharing with you today with that in mind. You see, the Philippines was occupied by the Spaniards for almost 400 years, so the greatest impact on our cuisine came from them. A majority of our dishes can be traced back to Spain. In fact, everyday Filipino dishes resemble Spanish cooking and this chicken dish called Estofadong Manok (Stewed Chicken in English) is a good example. Estofado is a way of cooking that we, Filipinos got from the Spaniards. It means stewed or pot roasted. Although the manner of cooking is of Spanish influence, the ingredients are adapted to what’s locally available in the Philippines. Unlike the original Spanish Estofado which is cooked in tomato sauce and white wine, the Filipino Estofado I grew up with is stewed in soy sauce, vinegar and fresh tomatoes with brown sugar added for a sweet finish. This way of cooking works well not only for chicken, but also for beef, pork and ox tongue. While Beef Estofado is the more popular version for special occasions like fiestas, birthdays and Christmas, Chicken Estofado is the favorite for ordinary dinner because it is budget friendly. But I am telling you, regardless of the meat you use, Filipino Estofado will be a hit on your dining table. It’s a perfect blend of savory, sweet and sour that you’ll surely love!
Hope you had a nice time learning a bit about the Filipino Cuisine, and I hope you’ll like the recipe! I’m so glad to be sharing it with you. To Gursahiba, thank you very much for inviting me to do this guest post! It’s such a pleasure!
- 4 chicken leg quarters
- 1 Tbsp garlic powder
- ½ cup soy sauce
- ½ cup cane vinegar
- 2 bay leaves
- 3 Tbsp light olive oil
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 medium-sized onion, sliced
- ½ cup tomatoes, chopped
- 1 cup chicken broth
- 3 medium-sized potatoes, quartered
- 2 medium sized carrots, sliced in about ½ inch think diagonals
- 2 Tbsp brown sugar
- salt and black pepper
- Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper. Let sit for about 15 minutes then marinate in soy sauce, vinegar and garlic powder for at least 1 hour. The longer the better. Drain and reserve marinade.
- Ina large pan over medium heat, brown potatoes in light olive oil. Remove from pan and set aside.
- In the same pan, brown chicken (on both side). Remove from pan and set aside.
- Saute garlic, onion and tomatoes in the same pan until tomatoes are soft. Add chicken broth, marinade and sugar. Season with salt and Black pepper to suit your taste. Bring to a boil.
- Put back the chicken quarters. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes or until chicken is tender.
- Add the carrots and simmer uncover for another 5 minutes or until carrots are cooked. Transfer the chicken and carrots to a serving plate.
- Add potatoes to the sauce and simmer for 3 minutes. Remove from heat. Transfer potatoes to the serving plate with chicken and carrots. Pour sauce on it. Serve with hot rice.