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[Recipe] Tinolang Manok

Tinolang manok with papaya and malunggay
Tinolang manok. A classic Filipino comfort food. Chunks of chicken pieces cooked in a gingery broth with young papaya and malunggay (moringa) leaves. A favorite of mine especially during cold nights or stormy weather. I have tried versions that use free-range so-called "Philippine native chicken" (I believe the breed is called darag) and although the meat is more flavorful than the typical commercial variety the meat is tougher and requires longer cooking time.

1 Kg Chicken cut up into pieces (most of the time I prefer to buy just the thigh and leg parts)
1 medium onion, roughly chopped
1 pc small young unripe papaya, peeled, cut into wedges
1 bunch of malunggay leaves (moringa), or alternatively you can use dahon ng sili (chili pepper leaves)
1 large ginger, peeled and cut into strips
1 liter of chicken stock (or 2 instant chicken bouillon cubes)
1 Tablespoon vegetable oil
Salt and pepper to taste
Toasted garlic for garnish (optional)

In a large pot, saute the onions and ginger in vegetable oil under medium heat until onion is caramelized. Stir in the chicken pieces. Pour the chicken stock (or water and the chicken bouillon cubes) and bring to a boil. Place the green papaya wedges. Lower the heat and let it gently simmer for 20 minutes. Place the malunggay or sili leaves. Let it simmer for another 10 minutes. Salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with toasted garlic. Serve piping hot with freshly cooked rice.

Tip: You can try adding some ginger powder for a more intense gingery taste.

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