Sunday, July 1, 2018

Filipino Chicken Tocino

Chicken Tocino Version

The past week I have this craving for Tocino. I used to make it when we first arrived here in Singapore. Since I started working I forgot all about it. They say that as you grow older, the tendency is to go back and find again the usual way of life and basically the food that we used to eat.

What is so special about Tocino? I loved it then with garlic fried rice and brewed coffee. The meat is soft and tender, slightly or strong red in color. I also don't know why it has to be red in color. Until now Im still wondering what color red has got to do with it. Basically tocino is eaten for breakfast but sometimes we do like it for lunch or dinner. Most of its version is slightly sweet or totally sweet ( which I don't like ), with fats or lean meat. We enjoy it with pickled papaya or spiced vinegar. Most of the restaurants in the Philippines, big or small will have tocino in their menu. Back then tocino means pork only but nowadays we also use chicken.

To understand the nature of tocino and how it went to the Philippines, again I would say that it was introduced to us by Spaniards who conquered our country for 300 years. The best will of course comes from Wiki:

Tocino is bacon in Spanish, typically made from the pork belly and often formed into cubes in Spain. A variant of it is popular in the Philippines. In Caribbean countries, meanwhile, such as Puerto Rico and Cubatocino is made from pork fatback and is neither cured nor smoked but simply fried until very crunchy; it is then added to recipes, much like the way lardons are used in French cuisine.

In making tocino in the Philippines, the pork belly meat is first sliced into thin strips. Anise wine, annatto, water, sugar, and salt are then combined in a container to make a mixture. Each of the meat strips is then sprinkled with the mixture and then stacked in a separate container, which is then covered and kept refrigerated for about three days to cure.
Tocino is traditionally boiled in water (just enough to cover the meat) or fried in oil, or is cooked over medium heat until the fat is rendered. The original tocino is marinated only with salt, sugar, and salitre (saltpetre), although pineapple juice may be added for a slightly tart flavor. The Kapampangans who make tocino mix it for four to six hours in order to achieve thickness and softness in the meat, then leave it overnight at room temperature before serving it as burong baboy (fermented pork).
Tocino is often served as the popular breakfast or lunchtime combination called Tosilog, which name is a portmanteau of tocino, sinangág (garlic rice) and itlóg (egg, which is cooked either sunny-side up or scrambled).
Now lets go to the recipe, I am so sorry if I bore you with history but thats part of my agenda in sharing you my recipes. Since most people all over the world hardly recognise Filipino food.....

Since its weekend, I have the time to marinate and cure the meat. We are suppose to enjoy this on a Sunday morning but it became our Saturday brunch. I made two different version, tocino pork and tocino chicken. I will share first how was it with chicken and I bet you will also love it. This version is homemade and I prefer to make my own rather than buy at the supermarket or local markets. There are additives/preservatives and food color used  which is a no no for me. In my case, I used beetroot juice.
1 kg chicken breast, sliced thinly
1 1/4 tsp fine salt
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
4 to 8 garlic, grated
1/4 cup pineapple juice
1/4 cup sprite or 7 up
freshly cracked corn pepper
2 tsp beetroot juice

Put the sliced chicken meat in a bowl or ziplock bag
Sprinkle with salt and make sure all the meat is coated with salt
Set aside in the fridge for 1 hour.
In a bowl, mix the rest of the ingredients and pour onto the meat, mix well
Close the bag and refrigerate for at least 24 hours to allow the meat to cure.
Turn over the meat once in a while to make sure the meat is evenly coated with the marinade.

How to cook:
In a pan, add some oil and pan fry the meat until its brown.
You can actually grill these chicken slices.
Pork Tocino Version
Look at that, its been a generation of breakfast for all of us. We become migrants in different parts of the world. But this migration has instilled in our hearts some kind of a loyalty and honesty that food is a nourishment to our heart and soul. Oh I miss home.. Im gonna eat first.. its good to be nostalgic while eating this.. it feels feels like home and pls..dont be envious with the orange red yellow pickled thing beside the rice and Tocino, its so good I tell you. don't worry, theres a timing for that sharing. Till next..


  1. This chicken recipe is making me hungry, can't wait to try it!

    1. Hello Love,
      I really wish you would try this. Thank you for dropping by. Have a great week ahead.

  2. Wow, this recipe is making me drool. Thank you so much for stopping by Happiness Is Homemade and commenting. I am glad to meet you. Looking forward to becoming friends.

    1. Hello Bev,
      My, My... thank you for dropping by. I really appreciate it. Oh yes, we will be friends. Have a great week ahead.

  3. Ang sarap hang tocino! Favorito! I am so hungry now and craving that garlic rice and coffee! Thank you for this recipe. I can't wait to try it!

    Maureen |

    1. Hello Maureen,
      Wow! Thank you ha.. Try mo talaga. Thank you so much for dropping by. I want to visit your place but Im off to work now. Later, I will. See you!


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