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Chicken Bicol Express Recipe

Chicken bicol express is a creamy chicken dish made with tender chicken cuts slowly simmered in a sauce made with coconut milk, coconut cream, onion, garlic, shrimp paste, ginger, pepper, green beans, green and red chiles. Originating from the Bicol region, Chicken bicol express is a variation of the classic pork bicol express which is very famous among the creamiest and spiciest dishes in the country. With the complementing spice and creaminess, the chicken bicol express is best partnered with some hot steaming rice. It can also be a pulutan! a pulutan!

Chicken bicol express

CHICKEN BICOL EXPRESS RECIPE

Ingredients:

  • 1 kilo chicken (leg and thigh part)
  • 1 ½ cup coconut milk (pangalawang piga)
  • 1 cup coconut cream (kakang gata)
  • 1 medium onion (chopped)
  • 4 cloves garlic (chopped)
  • 2 – 3 tablespoons shrimp paste
  • 1 thumb ginger (chopped)
  • Pepper to taste
  • 1 cup sliced green beans (optional)
  • Green chilies as desired
  • Red chilies as desired

Directions:

  1. Wash and prepare the chicken and cut them into desired pieces. Heat a pan (no oil) and sear the chicken pieces (skin facing down). Flip them to sear the other side. Wait until it renders natural oils and becomes brown. Set aside to drain excess oil.
  2. Using the oils from the chicken, add the ginger, garlic and onions. Saute them for a few minutes until aromatic. Then, add the shrimp paste. Saute them with the aromatics for 2 to 3 minutes.
  3. Add the seared chicken back to the pan. Saute them for a whole minute. Add the coconut milk (pangalawang piga). Cover the pan and let it cook for 10 – 15 minutes using medium heat until the coconut milk is reduced and the chicken becomes tender. Stir in between cooking.
  4. After 15 minutes, adjust the taste and season with salt and pepper. Add the coconut cream and stir well. Let this cook for a few more minutes until the sauce becomes creamier and thicker.
  5. Add the sliced green beans (optional). Stir them to coat with the sauce and cook for 2 to 3 minutes.
  6. During the last minute of cooking, add the red and green chilies. Add as much as you want!
  7. You may serve this dish at this point or cook a few more until oil starts to render or nagmamantika na.
  8. Transfer the chicken bicol express to a serving plate. Serve this with a lot of hot steaming rice. Yum!

WHAT IS BICOL EXPRESS?

Bicol express is a classic Filipino dish which has a rich, creamy and spicy flavor. Usually this dish is made with pork which is braised in coconut-based sauce with a blend of red and green chilies. It is a must have food for the spicy-lovers. With its distinctive creamy and spicy character, bicol express is known natively in Bicol as “sinilihan” meaning “added with a lot of chillies”. A friend of mine from Bicol told me that the original bicol express was literally made as “chilies with pork” instead of “pork with chilies”. Flaming hot!

The name of the Bicol express is ironic to where it was actually popularized. This dish first became populay in the district of Malate in Manila. Bicol express was invented by a restaurant owner named Cecilia Villanueva Kalaw or Tita Cely from Laguna.

But if it was invented in Manila by a person from Laguna, then why it is called Bicol Express?

Bicol express is made in traditional Bicolano style using coconut cream and chilies. Tita Cely named this dish after the name of a train that passes their house which travels from Manila to Bicol.

Bicol express was redesigned to be enjoyed by people with lesser spice tolerance. Aside from almost all chilies, having more meat with less chili was enjoyed by the people with low tolerance to spicy flavor. When making this at home, the spiciness level depends on your preference. More often than not, you are considered the king if you can handle a high level of spice!

Chicken bicol express recipe

CHICKEN BICOL EXPRESS

If you’re a fan of heaven and hell in one bite, then the bicol express is the dish which matches you.

I was hailed as a “baby” during my childhood days because my spice tolerance is a bit low. Since then, I dared myself to try more and more spicy foods to train my tongue Bicol express was one of the first spicy foods I enjoyed eating. It’s also a good thing that my lola prepares this at home, so I can adjust my bowl of bicol express on how spicy I like it. Every time, I added extra chilies which made me love spicy foods and increase my spice tolerance through time.

Now, I do not just tolerate spicy foods, I really love them! Instead of the classic pork bicol express, I now prepare this dish using chicken to enjoy it with less guilt. So the next time you see chicken, coconut cream and chilies in your pantry, make sure to try out the chicken bicol express!

If you wanna know how to make some chicken bicol express, simply read and follow the easy steps below. Happy cooking!

HOW TO MAKE CHICKEN BICOL EXPRESS

Making some chicken bicol express at home is super simple and straightforward. If you have tried making any dish using coconut cream, then this dish will be super easy for you.

Start with preparing the chicken cuts. For this recipe, I chose the leg and thighs. You can choose your preferred cut or even use a whole chicken for this one. The first thing to do is to sear the chicken. Searing adds flavor to the dish and seals all the natural juices inside the chicken.

Once the chicken are nicely seared, set them aside as we saute the aromatics. Aside from onions and garlic, a few chopped ginger can also help with flavor and to reduce the raw smell of the chicken.

The shrimp paste is an important part of this dish. You can use either the raw or the sauteed one. (Though I personally recommend the sauteed one). Add this to the aromatics to saute once again. Add the chicken cuts back to the pan and let it cook using the coconut milk or the pangalawang piga. This is less creamy than the coconut cream and can be used to cook the chicken. Once the chicken cuts are tender, add the coconut cream. Remember to lower the heat a bit to prevent the cream from curdling.

I added some green beans tho this recipe because string beans are also best when made into ginataan. But this ingredient is only optional.

The last ingredient to add are the red and green chilies. This is where you decide if you want heaven or hell. Just kidding! Add the chilies depending on your preference and then we’re good to go.

I really love my chicken bicol express together with a lot of rice. Since the spiciness is also best partnered with ice cold beer, I sometimes enjoy this as a pulutan. Just cook it again a little more just to make the coconut cream nagmamantika. Super yumyum!

COOKING TIPS:

  • ●     For dishes which uses both the kakang gata and pangalawang piga, I highly recommend to buy a whole coconut than to buy the already processed one. In this way, after you squeeze the cream and milk, you can also have the coconut water and turn it into a refreshing beverage!

Chicken Bicol Express Recipe

Course: Chicken Recipes
Servings

8

servings

Ingredients

  • 1 kilo chicken (leg and thigh part)

  • 1 ½ cup coconut milk (pangalawang piga)

  • 1 cup coconut cream (kakang gata)

  • 1 medium onion (chopped)

  • 4 cloves garlic (chopped)

  • 2 – 3 tablespoons shrimp paste

  • 1 thumb ginger (chopped)

  • Pepper to taste

  • 1 cup sliced green beans (optional)

  • Green chilies as desired

  • Red chilies as desired

Directions

  • Wash and prepare the chicken and cut them into desired pieces. Heat a pan (no oil) and sear the chicken pieces (skin facing down). Flip them to sear the other side. Wait until it renders natural oils and becomes brown. Set aside to drain excess oil.
  • Using the oils from the chicken, add the ginger, garlic and onions. Saute them for a few minutes until aromatic. Then, add the shrimp paste. Saute them with the aromatics for 2 to 3 minutes.
  • Add the seared chicken back to the pan. Saute them for a whole minute. Add the coconut milk (pangalawang piga). Cover the pan and let it cook for 10 – 15 minutes using medium heat until the coconut milk is reduced and the chicken becomes tender. Stir in between cooking.
  • After 15 minutes, adjust the taste and season with salt and pepper. Add the coconut cream and stir well. Let this cook for a few more minutes until the sauce becomes creamier and thicker.
  • Add the sliced green beans (optional). Stir them to coat with the sauce and cook for 2 to 3 minutes.
  • During the last minute of cooking, add the red and green chilies. Add as much as you want!
  • You may serve this dish at this point or cook a few more until oil starts to render or nagmamantika na.
  • Transfer the chicken bicol express to a serving plate. Serve this with a lot of hot steaming rice. Yum!

Paano Magluto ng Chicken Bicol Express

Mga Sangkap:

  • 1 kilong manok (leg at thigh part)
  • 1 ½ tasang pangalawang piga
  • 1 tasang kakang gata
  • 1 sibuyas (hiniwa)
  • 4 butil ng bawang (hiniwa)
  • 2 – 3 kutsarang alamang
  • 1 luya (hiniwa)
  • paminta
  • 1 tasang hiniwang sitaw (optional)
  • Siling haba (hiniwa)
  • Siling labuyo (hiniwa)

Paano Lutuin:

  1. Linisin at ihanda ang mga manok. Hiwain ito sa serving size. Magpainit ng kawali (walang mantika). Iprito ang mga manok (nakadikit sa kawali ang balat). Baliktarin ang mga ito para maluto ang kabilang side. Hintayin itong magmantika at maging brown. Ilipat ang mga ito sa strainer o paper towel para tumulo ang sobrang mantika.
  2. Gamit ang mantikang lumabas sa manok, ilagay ang luya, bawang at sibuyas. Igisa ang mga ito ng ilang minuto hanggang maging mabango. Sunod na ilagay ang alamang at igisa ang mga ito ng 2 – 3 minuto.
  3. Ibalik ang mga manok sa kawali at igisa ang mga ito. Sunod na ilagay ang pangalawang piga ng niyog. Takpan ang kawali at hayaan itong maluto ng 10 – 15 minuto gamit ang katamtamang apoy. Hintaying mangalahati ang sabaw at lumambot ang mga manok. Haluin ito paminsan minsan para hindi masunog.
  4. Pagkatapos ng 15 minuto, timplahan ang sabaw gamit ang asin at paminta. Ilagay ang kakang gata at haluin. Hayaan itong maluto ng ilan pang minuto hanggang maging mas creamy at malapot ang sauce.
  5. Ilagay ang green beans (optional). Haluin ang mga ito para malagyan ng sabaw. Lutuin ng 2 – 3 minuto.
  6. Sa huling minuto ng pagluluto, ilagay ang siling haba at siling labuyo depende kung gaano mo kaanghang ito gusto!
  7. Pwede mo nang hanguin ang bicol express o lutuin pa ito ng konti hanggang nagmamantika na.
  8. Ilipat ang chicken bicol express sa serving plate. Ihain ito kasama ng mainit na kanin. Yum!

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