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Warming, Comforting Chicken Tinola Recipe

Chicken tinola in Dutch oven
Chicken tinola in Dutch oven - Jennine Rye/Tasting Table

Soups are a beloved meal worldwide. Each culture and cuisine has its own unique broths and soups both comforting and nourishing, taking a myriad of forms and flavors across the globe. As well as their often nutrient-dense ingredients, these dishes contain a special sort of nostalgia for many people, who have personalized family recipes passed down through the generations or memories of being cared for when sick with spoonfuls of broth. Whether served as a simple, hearty stew, or a fancy French consommé, soup has a place in every home and culture.

Tasting Table recipe developer Jennine Rye put together this recipe for tinola, a Filipino soup dish known for its light yet comforting quality. Wonderfully succulent chicken pieces are cooked in a warming broth flavored with ginger. Onion, garlic, peppercorns, and lemongrass add to the light yet aromatic flavoring, and fish sauce adds a richly savory and salty note. Finished off with chayote and bok choy, which add vibrancy and texture to the dish, this chicken tinola soup is both soothing and highly satisfying. If chicken soup is your thing, you can't get better than this Filipino classic. Read on to find out just how easy it is to make.

Read more: 12 Different Ways To Cook Chicken

Gather The Ingredients For The Chicken Tinola

chicken tinola ingredients
chicken tinola ingredients - Jennine Rye/Tasting Table

To begin this warming, comforting chicken tinola recipe, first you will need to gather the ingredients. You will want white rice, water, canola oil, an onion, garlic, ginger, chicken, fish sauce, lemongrass, black peppercorns, chayote, and bok choy.

Step 1: Make The Rice Water

Bowl containing rice and water
Bowl containing rice and water - Jennine Rye/Tasting Table

In a large pot or bowl, stir together the rice and water. Let sit for 1 minute, then strain the rice, reserving the starchy liquid. Set both aside.

Step 2: Heat The Oil

oil heating in a pan
oil heating in a pan - Jennine Rye/Tasting Table

Heat the oil to a medium heat in a separate large, deep pan.

Step 3: Saute The Onion, Garlic, And Ginger

Sauteing onions, garlic, and ginger
Sauteing onions, garlic, and ginger - Jennine Rye/Tasting Table

Saute the onion, garlic, and ginger in the oil for 5 minutes until softened and fragrant.

Step 4: Add The Chicken

Raw chicken in a pan
Raw chicken in a pan - Jennine Rye/Tasting Table

Add the chicken pieces and fish sauce to the pan and cook for 5 to 6 minutes until chicken starts to brown just slightly.

Step 5: Add Liquids, Lemongrass, And Peppercorns

chicken tinola simmering in pan
chicken tinola simmering in pan - Jennine Rye/Tasting Table

Add the reserved rice water, lemongrass, and peppercorns. Simmer, uncovered, for 30 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through.

Step 6: Cook The Rice

rice cooking in saucepan
rice cooking in saucepan - Jennine Rye/Tasting Table

Meanwhile, cook the soaked rice using desired method.

Step 7: Add The Chayote

chicken and chayote in broth
chicken and chayote in broth - Jennine Rye/Tasting Table

Once chicken is cooked through, add the chopped chayote to the pan. Continue cooking for 8 minutes until soft.

Step 8: Add The Bok Choy

Bok choy added to pan
Bok choy added to pan - Jennine Rye/Tasting Table

Add the bok choy and cook for another minute.

Step 9: Serve The Chicken Tinola

Chicken tinola with rice
Chicken tinola with rice - Jennine Rye/Tasting Table

Remove lemongrass. Serve tinola with rice and a splash more fish sauce if desired.

How Can This Chicken Tinola Recipe Be Adapted?

chicken tinola in bowl with spoon
chicken tinola in bowl with spoon - Jennine Rye/Tasting Table

Chicken tinola is packed with flavor and nutrients. However, depending on where you live and the shops available to you, it may be a little challenging sourcing a few of the ingredients. Whether through personal preference, or difficulties finding a specific item, you'll be pleased to know that this recipe is easily adaptable.

A lot of the flavor from this dish comes from the bones and skin of the chicken, so, if you use skinless chicken breasts in place of chicken thighs or drumsticks in this recipe, we recommend using chicken broth to add in more flavor. This soup is also commonly made using green papaya, which may be more easily available to you. And since each component of this dish contributes to the delicate aroma of the broth, it's key to use fresh ingredients. So if zucchini is looking extra good at the market, feel free to use it in place of the chayote.

What Is Rice Water And Why Is It Used In This Recipe?

warming comforting chicken tinola
warming comforting chicken tinola - Jennine Rye/Tasting Table

Rice water is simply the water that is used for rinsing out rice before it is cooked. To cook rice well, it is good practice to rinse it out first, and oftentimes this starchy water is then poured down the kitchen sink drain. But to do this is to waste a great culinary ingredient.

In the same way that pasta water is a useful ingredient in Italian cuisine for finishing pasta sauces, rice water is added to a variety of recipes to slightly thicken stews, help to bind ingredients and flavors together, and to impart its own subtle flavoring and nutrients. Not only does this oft-overlooked kitchen byproduct help to make your soups and stews even better, the usefulness of rice water goes far beyond its culinary importance; it is frequently used as a beauty product and a multipurpose home cleaner. The Philippines' National Nutrition Council even encourages people to use the ingredient as a plant fertilizer.

Warming, Comforting Chicken Tinola Recipe

warming comforting chicken tinola
warming comforting chicken tinola - Jennine Rye/Tasting Table

Prep Time: 5mCook Time: 50mYield: 4 ServingsIngredients

  • 1 ½ cups white rice

  • 6 cups water

  • 2 tablespoons canola oil

  • 1 medium onion, chopped

  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed

  • 1 inch ginger, peeled and finely sliced

  • 2 pounds chicken thighs and/or drumsticks, skin on and bone in

  • ¼ cup fish sauce

  • 1 stalk lemongrass, crushed but left whole

  • ½ teaspoon whole black peppercorns

  • 2 chayote, cut into 2-inch pieces

  • 1 bok choy, sliced

Optional Ingredients

  • Additional fish sauce, for serving

Directions

  1. In a large pot or bowl, stir together the rice and water. Let sit for 1 minute, then strain the rice, reserving the starchy liquid. Set both aside.

  2. Heat the oil to a medium heat in a separate large, deep pan.

  3. Sauté the onion, garlic, and ginger in the oil for 5 minutes until softened and fragrant.

  4. Add the chicken pieces and fish sauce to the pan and cook for 5 to 6 minutes until chicken starts to brown just slightly.

  5. Add the reserved rice water, lemongrass, and peppercorns. Simmer, uncovered, for 30 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through.

  6. Meanwhile, cook the soaked rice using desired method.

  7. Once chicken is cooked through, add the chopped chayote to the pan. Continue cooking for 8 minutes until soft.

  8. Add the bok choy and cook for another minute.

  9. Remove lemongrass. Serve tinola with rice and a splash more fish sauce if desired.

Read the original article on Tasting Table.