Chicken Tinola with Chayote and Chili Pepper Leaves
One ingredient that makes this dish so distinctive is ginger.
Gotta have ginger in this dish or it is not Tinola.
This is a very popular dish in the Philippines and I believe every body knows how to make it,
In order to have that good tasting broth and chicken as well, my dear mother advised that patience is the key when working with meat...be it chicken, pork or beef. I used to use the quick method which is: saute the meat quickly then add water right away. She said that's a "no-no", don't rush it. My mother would cook this dish twice as long as I would like to, but she is right, her dish comes out tasting delicious all the time because she lets the salt penetrates into the meat.
Her secret is to "saute the meat really well" on medium low fire stirring frequently, click here.
To "saute real well" is to saute in the garlic then onions in hot oil, cook the onions until translucent then add the meat, in this case the chicken, then saute until the chicken renders its own fat. This would take around 20 minutes just sauteing the chicken, and then she would add some salt. More stirring to avoid scorching. Add a little water or broth, and a piece of ginger, cover the pan, simmer, hum, hum, stir, stir, one hand on the hip, add a little more water, cover the pan, simmer...then the final liquid is added. Hindi pa tapos.... put lid back on, simmer some more, check the saltiness. Put the veggies in and cook til they are done, in this case the Chayote in first then the Spinach or Sili Leaves.
FINALLY DONE! TIME TO EAT!!