Chicken Pochero with warm rice is one of my favorite meals that i eat every week. I consider it as a comfort food also. Have you tried eating or cooking it yet? For those of you who are new to the dish, Chicken Pochero is a type of chicken stew with an array of ingredients.
It has been a staple during rainy days when I was still living in the Philippines. Making this dish today brings back the memories. When I was a child, my friends and I would play under the rain for hours. Having a warm meal of chicken pochero afterwards always helps keep me warm and comfortable.
How to Cook Chicken Pochero
Cooking one-pot chicken stew with potato and veggies is simple. I start by browning the chicken. This is done by frying the chicken pieces for 2 minutes per side. It helps keep the meat and skin intact so that it won’t separate when boiled later in the process.
The oil used in frying is tasty. It already absorbed the flavors from the meat. This is the reason why I still use it to saute the aromatics. These are the onion and garlic for this recipe.
Make sure that the oil is hot before adding the onion and garlic. I then put the chorizo sausage into the pot. This creates an appetizing aroma that fills your entire kitchen.
Chorizo de Bilbao pertains to a type of red sausage popular in the Philippines. It is tasty and mildly spicy. This semi-cured sausage is a combination of beef and pork with spices such as garlic, oregano, and others. Paprika is responsible for the reddish color of Chorizo de Bilbao.
The next step is to put the tomato in the pot. You will know that the chicken can be added back when the onion and tomato starts to soften. Give it a quick stir to distribute the ingredients. Be gentle on the chicken while stirring to preserve its appearance.
Pour tomato sauce and water into the pot and let it boil. I also add a piece of Knorr Chicken Cube to give my chicken pochero a solid chicken flavor. There is nothing like a tasty chicken stew to have for lunch. The chicken cooks for around 15 minutes in medium heat, then potato, banana, and chick peas are added. I am using a type of banana called “Saba”. It is also known as cardaba banana. This provides a nice sweet flavor to the chicken stew. Let it cook in the covered pot for 12 minutes before adding the remaining vegetables.
Season with fish sauce and crushed black peppercorn. I get that umami flavor when using fish sauce on my dishes. It is not for every dish though, but it works for pochero and similar stews.
Alternative ingredients for Chicken Pochero
Proteins for pochero can be chicken, pork, and beef. I have not tried using goat meat or lamb for it, but will eventually do so one of these days and will keep you posted. The pork version is the most popular.
Crushed tomatoes is a good alternative ingredient for fresh tomato and tomato sauce. Stewed tomato works great with pochero too.
Plantains are good substitute for Saba banana. It provides a semi-sweet taste to the dish, but not much compared to the other. Sweet potato can also be used if either type of bananas are not available. I suggest the omit the regular baking potato if you are chooising this option.
Chorizo de Bilbao is ideal for this recipe. However, Chinese sausage can also be used.
Not everyone appreciates fish sauce, but I think that it is worth a try. Salt is always a good alternative.
Pocherong Manok Cooking Tips
One of the things that I do to ensure that the chicken is presentable when served is to pan-fry it for a few minutes before stewing or boiling. This technique has worked for me all these years. If you are particular about the appearance of your dish, give it a try.
Presentation and appearance is only secondary to taste, in my opinion. Make sure that your chicken pochero is tasty and delicious. I add a piece of chicken cube to my dish in order to raise the flavor of chicken to the next level. This is the reason why I always enjoy pouring sauce over my rice before eating. Yummy!
It is best to have all the ingredients ready when cooking the dish to get the optimal result.