Chicken afritada

Chicken afritada

Afritadang manok

7000 Islands
Jana Liebenstein

My high-school friends used to find it strange that I ate leftovers for breakfast. Meat and rice to start the day is classic Filipino, but even in the Philippines, chicken afritada is typically lunch or dinner fare. I couldn’t wait; the stew’s bright tomato flavour intensifies after a night in the refrigerator.

In the Philippines, fish sauce is used to season. In this dish, cooking burns off most of the fishy taste, so more is added at the end to return its flavour, which is signature to afritada. Traditionalists cook down fresh tomatoes from scratch, but tinned tomatoes are a very respectable shortcut for this delicious everyday stew.


Quantity Ingredient
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
600g chicken thighs, trimmed and halved
2 onions, cut into thin wedges
6 large garlic cloves, roughly chopped
400g tin chopped tomatoes
250ml chicken stock
1 1/2 tablespoons fish sauce, plus extra to taste
1 long red chilli, sliced on the diagonal
1 bay leaf
3 chat potatoes, quartered
1 red capsicum, seeded and cut into thin wedges
steamed rice, to serve


  1. Heat 2 teaspoons of the vegetable oil in a large, deep saucepan over medium–high heat. Add half of the chicken and cook for 4 minutes, turning to brown on all sides. Transfer to a bowl once cooked and repeat with another 2 teaspoons of the oil and the remaining chicken.
  2. Heat the remaining vegetable oil in the cleaned pan over medium heat and cook the onion and garlic for 5 minutes, stirring regularly until soft.
  3. Return the chicken to the pan with the tomatoes, stock, fish sauce, chilli and bay leaf. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to low–medium, cover, and cook for a further 15 minutes.
  4. Add the potato and capsicum, cover again, and cook for 20 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through and the potato is tender.
  5. Season with fish sauce and freshly cracked black pepper, to taste and serve with steamed rice.

What is it?

  • Afritada (also apritada or fritada) is derived from the Spanish fritar, meaning to fry, a reference to the sautéed onion, garlic and tomato, which form the backbone of this dish. As with its close counterparts menudo and kaldereta, ingredients are flexible and vary with preference and availability. Pork is a common substitute for chicken, while frequent additions include carrot and peas.
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