Spaghetti Sauce Chicken Afritada
Afritada, a traditional chicken and vegetable stew, is a gateway dish to Filipino cuisine. It’s a great one to prepare when someone isn’t familiar with traditional Filipino food because the core ingredients are classic flavors in almost every place in the world. It opens up the eater’s mind to the possibility of what else Filipino food may have to offer. Spaghetti sauce, instead of fresh tomatoes or tomato sauce, is used in this recipe for convenience and taste.
Preparation Time: 1 hour
Yield: 6–8 servings
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- 6 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 2 medium onions, halved and sliced into thin half-moons
- 4 pounds bone-in, skinless chicken pieces
- 3 large potatoes, peeled, halved lengthwise, and quartered crosswise
- 2 large carrots, coarsely chopped
- 2 cups unsalted chicken broth or water
- 1 (24-ounce) jar spaghetti sauce
- 1/2 cup soy sauce
- 2 teaspoons granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 2 small bay leaves
- 2 red bell peppers, seeded and sliced into strips
- 1 green bell pepper, seeded and sliced into strips
- 2 tablespoons fish sauce, for serving (optional)
- 6–8 cups cooked white rice, for serving
In a large stockpot, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and onions and cook for 3 minutes, until the onions are soft.
Add the chicken pieces and cook for 3 to 5 minutes, turning occasionally, until the chicken is no longer raw on the outside.
Stir in the potatoes, carrots, chicken broth, spaghetti sauce, soy sauce, sugar, black pepper, and bay leaves. Stir well and bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium and cook, uncovered, for 20 minutes.
Add the bell peppers. Continue cooking for another 15 to 20 minutes, until the potatoes are fork tender.
Remove the afritada from the heat. Stir in the fish sauce, if using, and serve hot with the rice.
Recipe by Dalena Haskins Benavente.
Reprinted with permission from “The New Filipino Kitchen,” edited by Jacqueline Chio-Lauri, Agate Surrey, 2018.