Filipino Chicken Casserole

    1 hour

    This is a one pan chicken casserole from the Philippines where it is known as chicken 'Tinola'. The chicken is simmered with chcoko, spinach, bok choy, garlic and onion.

    9 people made this

    Serves: 4 

    • 1 1/2 kg chicken legs and thighs
    • 1 medium onion
    • 2 cloves garlic
    • 2cm ginger, sliced thin across the grain
    • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
    • 800ml chicken stock
    • 1 choko or 1 small green papaya
    • 1 pinch salt and pepper, to taste
    • 250g spinach
    • 1 bunch bok choy, cut bite size

    Preparation:40min  ›  Cook:20min  ›  Ready in:1hour 

    1. Rinse chicken and pat dry with paper towel.
    2. In a large saucepan saute onion and garlic. Add ginger and fish sauce.
    3. Add chicken and cook for 5 minutes. Mix well then add chicken stock. Let boil for another 5 minutes.
    4. Peel choko or papaya then slice into bite size pieces. Add to the saucepan and cook another 10 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste.
    5. Add spinach and bok choy. Cook just until spinach is wilted. Serve hot.

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    Reviews in English (53)


    I made this for a filipina friend of mine & she commented that it tasted good but the spinach was not something she grew up using. It was too strong a taste. Try pepper/sili leaves. She also makes this with/without the squash. It's not crucial if you just want soup now. What makes this dish distinct is the ginger , onion, & fish sauce(patis). I buy it in the asian market. Without this trifecta, you DO NOT have Tinola. Soy is not a substitution at all. Soy is a plant based product. Patis is animal based and although both are salty, soy is not multilayered in taste like patis. Maybe this is why some of you find it lacking depth when you use soy as a substitution. It's like saying a veggie burger tastes like dry aged prime rib steak. The secret of this broth is Patis. There are no substitutions unfortunately. I've had this made for me, where you dump it all into a pot to stew for a couple of hours & it tastes great. I don't even brown it. You can even substitute beef(don't brown it) for chicken, so my filipina friend tells me. I've had it & it tastes great. Btw I don't use chicken broth. I use water & season to taste(with more patis if necessary, never with more salt which is one dimensional) when the meat's done. You are essentially making a stock from scratch. It keeps the broth rich, the meat tender but the soup delicate. It's supposed to be delicate tasting but NOT bland. On a historical note, patis is the closest modern substitution for the ancient roman ingredient "garum".  -  09 Jul 2011  (Review from Allrecipes USA and Canada)


    This is a great recipe. I use three chayote squashes and usually a box + a can of chicken broth (or sometimes I use 3 cans instead). I haven't used spinach before but baby bok choy or regular bok choy both make this delicious. I use a bit extra on the ginger and 1 large onion to make sure it's fragrant. No need for salt if you're using regular chicken broth. Easy, quick and wholesome! I love cooking from whole foods.  -  28 Mar 2011  (Review from Allrecipes USA and Canada)


    I feel like I've made this shout a hundred times already!I always use papaya,eggplant,bok choy,and spinach because I love a variety of veggies and thats what some Filipino restaurants put as well.  -  16 Aug 2011  (Review from Allrecipes USA and Canada)