Chicken mechado is a tomato-based stew wherein chicken pieces are braised and slow-cooked in tomato gravy together with potatoes, carrots and bell peppers until they are soft and falls of the bone. This is a healthier version of the classic beef mechado as it uses chicken with lesser fat. Best paired with a bowl of hot steaming rice!
Whenever fiesta is coming, just like the pork mechado, chicken mechado is a dish we always serve. I don’t know what guide Filipino celebrations is following but it is really not complete without a tomato-based stew. Aside from this, chicken mechado is often one of our daily meals. We really like having meat and vegetables in one dish. We often use chicken to make our dishes a bit “healthier”. I am always the one assigned in making this dish and one thing I love about using chicken is that we can enjoy our chicken mechado in less time as chicken cooks faster than beef.
Mechado is more a feast-y dish as it includes a lot of flavors and colors. If you’re planning to make some chicken mechado, use both red and green bell peppers. For a complete recipe, read the procedures below. Happy cooking!
HOW TO MAKE CHICKEN MECHADO
Chicken mechado is just like preparing your classic mechado. But instead of beef or pork, we will use chicken. You can use whatever part is available but the cuts with bones are the best ones for me. They come out really tender and moist when cooked. Marinate the chicken cuts in a mixture of soy sauce, calamansi juice and pepper. This is the classic marinade which makes any dish automatically flavorful.
The three basic ingredients which are commonly seen in a mechado aside from the meat are potatoes, carrots and bell peppers. Other versions include green peas and sliced hotdogs for a complete feast. For this version, we are going to use the three basic ones. Before we start cooking the mechado, stir-fry your vegetables a bit until it browns a little. They will fully cook later in the sauce.
Okay, let’s officially start cooking our chicken mechado. Start by sautéing your aromatics and the marinated chicken. Searing help seal the juices so the chicken will be moist for later. Add some water, the marinade and the tomato sauce. This will be our mechado sauce. The last thing to do it to add the stir-fried vegetables back to the pan and let it simmer until everything is set. Grab a big bowl of rice and enjoy your chicken mechado!
Some like their mechado oily or “nagmamantika”. If you’re one of them, all you needed to do is to simmer for a longer period of time until the oil from the tomato sauce is released. At the same time, your chicken will also be super duper ultra soft which will fall off the bone. But in case you are doing this one, add your vegetables at a later time during cooking so that they won’t be too mushy.
Chicken MechadoCourse: Uncategorized
1 kilo chicken (cut into serving pieces)
250 mL tomato sauce
1 medium-sized onion (chopped)
3 cloves of garlic (minced)
2 pieces tomatoes (sliced)
1 small carrot (cut into cubes)
2 pieces medium-sized potatoes (cut into cubes)
2 pieces bay leaves
1 bell pepper
2 pieces red chilies (optional)
pepper to taste
fish sauce to taste
- Place the chicken pieces in a large bowl. Add the soy sauce, calamansi juice and pepper. Mix it well and marinate for at least 1 hour.
- Heat some oil in a pan. Add the potatoes and fry until slightly browned. Remove them from the pan and set aside.
- Add the carrots and fry for a minute. Add the bell peppers and stir fry for 30 seconds. Remove them from the pan and set aside.
- Sauté the onions, tomatoes and garlic for a few minutes. Gently crush the tomatoes while sautéing.
- Add the marinated chicken and reserve the marinade. Sear the chicken for 3 to 5 minutes. Flip to cook the other side.
- Add half cup of water and pour the marinade. Add the bay leaves and cover the pan. Let it cook for 10 to 15 minutes.
- Add the tomato sauce and stir a bit until well-incorporated in the sauce.
- Add the potatoes. Simmer until the potatoes softens. Add red chilies (optional). Season with salt and pepper.
- Add the carrots and bell peppers back to the pan. Season with fish sauce and stir a bit. Let it simmer for a minute.
- Transfer the chicken mechado to a serving dish and serve with hot steaming rice. Enjoy!
Chicken Mechado Recipe
- 1 kilo ng manok (hiniwa sa serving pieces)
- 250 mL tomato sauce
- 1 sibuyas (hiniwa)
- 3 butil ng bawang (hiniwa ng maliliit)
- 2 piraso ng kamatis (hiniwa)
- 1 maliit na carrot (hiniwa ng cubes)
- 2 piraso ng patatas (hiniwa ng cubes)
- 2 piraso ng bay leaves
- 1 bell pepper
- 2 piraso ng siling labuyo (optional)
- Ilagay ang mga manok sa isang bowl. Ilagay ang toyo, calamansi juice at paminta. Haluin ng mabuti at i-marinate ang manok ng at least 1 hour.
- Magpainit ng mantika. Ilagay ang mga patatas at iprito hanggang maging light brown. Alisin ang mga ito sa kawali at isantabi.
- Ilagay ang mga carrots at iprito ng konti. Ilagay ang bell peppers at i-stir fry ng 30 seconds. Alisin ang mga ito sa kawali at isantabi.
- Igisa ang sibuyas, kamatis at bawang ng ilang minuto. Medyo durugin ang mga kamatis habang ginigisa.
- Ilagay ang marinated chicken. Isantabi ang marinade. I-sear ang manok ng 3 hanggang 5 minuto. Baliktarin ang mga ito para maluto ang kabilang side.
- Maglagay ng kalahating tasa ng tubig at ang marinade. Ilagay ang bay leaves at takpan ang kawali. Hayaan itong maluto ng 10 – 15 minutes.
- Ilagay ang tomato sauce at haluin para humalo sa sauce.
- Ilagay ang mga patatas. Hayaan itong maluto hanggang lumambot ang mga ito. Ilagay ang mga siling labuyo (optional). Budburan ng konting asin at paminta.
- Ilagay muli ang mga carrots at bell pepper. Lasahan ng patis at haluin. Hayaan itong maluto ng konti pang minuto.
- Ilipat ang chicken mechado sa isang serving dish at ihain kasama ng mainit na kanin. Enjoy!