Monday, February 4, 2013

Cheesy Chicken in Pineapple (Cheesy Pininyahang Manok)

Learning how to cook began as early as grade school years. Back then I would always sneak into the kitchen and whip up something from whatever I could find inside the fridge, the urge to cook and create has always been within me, coming from a family that loves to cook and eat also, there was so much expectation whenever I create something in the kitchen. Maintaining a carinderia/eatery provided proper training on how to prepare each dish. I need to wake
as early as 3 am together with my siblings, and we are all assigned in the chopping of ingredients and assisting in the kitchen. To earn extra money I buy puto (rice flour cakes)  and suman (glutinous rice cakes wrapped in banana leaves) in the market and sell it early in the morning for baon, sometimes I boil plantain bananas and sell it in pairs, that is how our parents taught us the value of hard work and earning money on our own sweat (and tears).

Whenever my mother is not available my eldest bro, Eugene takes over the cooking and we all help in the business that help sustain our lives back then. I saw the dedication he gives each time he is passionate on something. He also likes to cook and experiment on creating new dishes in the kitchen. My fondest childhood memory of my brother is, he would make ships out of worn out slippers where he designs warships, galleons, yachts, all out of used rubber slippers. We make it as tabletop decorations and guests would admire the dedication and patience he gives of himself on each piece. 

 After all our family has went thru, he stood as the father and parent figure. If one of us makes mistakes his advices and his words are always fair. He does not scold but leads through example, he is never selfish when it comes to giving and sharing. He gave me the chance to work with his employer, the first real work I had where I stayed working for ten years. Today is his birthday and I dedicate this post especially for him, Big Bro, honestly, thank you is not enough to tell you how grateful I am. Happy Birthday and if I can wish for anything, it is that you live more longer years and continue to amuse us with your love for photography, I am proud of you, may God continue to bless you and your family.

  Cheesy Pininyahang Manok

Chicken with Pineapple is a dish made out of chicken that is marinated in pineapple juice then cooked together with pineapple and other vegetables such as capsicums, carrots and onions.  In the Philippines there are 3 main variations of this dish and they vary on the sauce used, you can make one using chicken stock as a base, another variation uses coconut milk and the last one makes use of evaporated milk.


1 whole chicken, cut into serving pieces

1 can Del Monte pineapple tidbits, set aside the syrup for marinate

1 Tbsp olive oil

8 cloves garlic, minced

1 medium-sized onions, chopped

1 big can evaporated milk

2 pcs, red and green bell peppers

2 stalks chopped lemongrass (white part only)

Salt and white pepper

1 block of cheese, grated

1 tsp. patis (fish sauce), to taste

Chopped parsley (garnish)


Marinate whole chicken pieces in pineapple juice, at least 3 hours before cooking. Add mashed garlic and white pepper.

Remove chicken from marinate then pat each chicken pieces dry.  
In a wok add olive oil sauté onion, garlic, and chopped lemongrass. Lightly sear chicken pieces to seal in the juices.

Add carrots and simmer with the rest of the marinade.

Pour in evaporated milk , do not cover the wok to avoid curdling of the milk, at this point, simmer in low heat.

Add the pineapple tidbits, continue to simmer in low heat.

Add red and green bell pepper strips.

Grate processed cheese on top and let simmer for a minute before removing from wok.

 Pineapple offers many benefits besides great taste: eases digestion, anti-

inflammatory and high in Vitamin C.

Pineapple, chicken, lemongrass…..a winning combination for a very tasty recipe! The result is a very colorful “rainbow dish” which is appetizing and a good one for company. 

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