Chicken Tinola

Jose Rizal wrote on his famous novel Noli me Tangere, that chicken tinola is Padre Damaso’s favorite dish. I wouldn’t disagree with him for this chicken soup is truly one of the best comfort food that highlights filipino’s abundant local ingredients. When my grandad loses in a cockfighting we knew we will feast on a delicious tinola soup after!! Enjoy!


one whole chicken cut in serving portion

* for this dish it is advisable to use native chicken. The taste is uncomparable. But you need more patience and more water to cook this.

2 cloves of garlic

1 onion sliced

1 small ginger sliced

one cup of green papaya cut in cubes

* my father loves to use semi-ripe papaya for his tinola. The taste of the soup is marvelous, really worth trying!

*you can replace this with Sayote (Christophine), Carrots or Zucchini

Sili leaves about one bunch

*I think this is irreplacable in a Tinola soup. So if finding this ingredient is hard in your area, I suggest you plant your own chili at home. Chilis and peppers can be cultivated in pots and indoors!

one liter of water

1 cube of chickenbroth



Start by heating a saucepan, pour the cooking oil (about two to three spoons). As it heats up put the ginger and garlic. As soon as it changes color add the onion. Wait that it becomes translucent to add your chicken. Stir them well to be sure they are being cooked at all sides. Add your green papaya (sayote, carrots or zucchine) at this stage. Dissolve your chickenbroth cube on your one liter of water. Pour this water eventually to your tinola. The chicken should be all submerged by the water. If you need more you can add at this point or if you need to put less do not pour everything. The most important thing when cooking soupy dishes like sinigang, tinola or nilaga is to put all the water necessary right from the start. In this way the soup taste uniformly meaty. Let it simmer for about twenty minutes at a medium fire. After the first boiling, verify the tenderness of the chicken. Put the cover back and let it simmer again for few minutes over low fire. Once the chicken are tender, add the sili leaves put the cover and turn off the heat. This dish is best eaten with patis and chopped siling labuyo (hot chili pepper).

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