Monday, April 18, 2011

BINAKOL - Chicken Stewed in Coconut Juice with Coconut Meat


Every time I would miss certain places in the Philippines, I will cook their famous recipe and experience being there. 

I find it inherent in every province to have their distinct food recipe, in Baguio City you can enjoy Pinikpikang  Manok, In Vigan the famous Empanada, going down to Pampanga who will miss the famous Sisig, heading to Southern Tagalog you can stop for their famous Bulalo , in Bicol you can choose from Kinunot Na Pagi, Laing , Tinuktok and the mouthwatering Cocido there version of sinigang.

Jumping to the island provinces, in Cebu they have there on version of Bulalo , they call it Pochero , the recipe has several variations some would include cabbage and whole corn , but there is one concoction that I like which includes either young coconut or banana trunk both known locally as ubod. 

And now, I am missing Iloilo and Bacolod altogether, and we know that the famous food from my province is no other than the famous Chicken Inasal among other else. But little known to most of us, there’s another delicious preparation for chicken known as Binakol.

So am preparing Chicken Binakol my own version.

Binakol is an Aklanon dish. It is a chicken soup based on young coconut water including the coconut meat.  Originally,  people of Aklan would cook this recipe inside a young bamboo tube to lock in the taste by sealing off the juice. But through the years another way of cooking was introduced which makes cooking binakol in a casserole a lot easier.  And this was adapted by Ilongos in Iloilo province, the southern part of Panay Island.  Aklan is situated on the northern part which is considered the seafood capital of Visayas if not the entire Philippines.

Ingredients would include chicken parts, young coconut juice and meat, ginger, garlic, onion, lemongrass , long green pepper.  I do away of lemon grass, instead I would use leeks and instead of long green pepper I would use bell pepper instead.  What crucial here is how you sauté and when to add the coconut juice and meat.