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Chicken Asado

A recipe of chicken asado from theheartoffood.com

Filipino food, the cuisine of the people from the Philippines, is something that I’m not all that familiar with having only experienced it a few times. So I was rather excited when the opportunity arose to attend a Filipino-themed potluck dinner party. Not only would I be able to experience more of their cuisine (home cooked no less) but I’d also have the opportunity to learn how to make a Filipino dish to contribute to the party.

The dish I’d brought to the party was Chicken Asado, a stew of chicken and potatoes in sweet, rich and tangy tomato-based sauce. Chicken Asado, much like the people and the country that it’s native to, is a dish that looks Asian but sounds Hispanic.

While Chicken Asado may seem exotic to some, it’s a dish that is about as familiar, as accessible and as delicious as chicken with barbecue sauce.

Yes, barbecue sauce. Whether by design or through sheer coincidence, the sauce for this recipe is essentially a modified barbecue sauce. If you’re familiar with what goes into a barbecue sauce you’ll know that a typical barbecue sauce generally have a tomato base, onions and garlic, brown sugar or some other sweet element, some acidity for tang, as well as some spices and additional flavours. All the elements are there – tomato paste, onions and garlic, brown sugar, lemon juice for tang, as well as star anise and soy sauce for spice and additional flavours.

The recipe is reasonably simple and fairly straightforward, though it does consist of a lot of small steps. These steps are there build layers of flavours as well as to get the right balance in the sauce as well as the doneness of the chicken and potatoes. You could just throw all the ingredients into a pot, simmmer until everything is cooked but it won’t have anywhere near the flavour and unctuousness this way.

This recipe was designed with a pressure cooker in mind to get the consistency of the chicken and potatoes such that the chicken is so tender that it practically slips off the bone while the potatoes are tender as well, though not to the point of disintegrating into the sauce. If you don’t have a pressure cooker, don’t worry. Instructions have been included in the recipe for those without one, though you may find that the chicken, while perfectly fine and cooked through, may not be quite as tender.

A recipe of chicken asado from theheartoffood.com

Chicken Asado is a one-pot dish that sounds exotic but have a familiar flavour to it. If you’ve never had Filipino food, step out of comfort zone and give this recipe a go. Once you do, you’ll realise that this dish was right in your comfort zone all along.

Click on this link for additional recipe notes.

Chicken Asado (Serves 4)


1kg Chicken wings
Cooking oil, neutral
1 Medium onion, large dice
50g Butter, preferably unsalted
1 Garlic clove, crushed
5 Bay leaves
70g Tomato paste (5 Tbsp)
55g Brown sugar (3 Tbsp)
30g Soy sauce (2 Tbsp)
35g Lemon juice (2 Tbsp + 1 tsp)
5g Chicken bullion powder (1 tsp) [Optional]
2 Star anise
5 Small waxy potatoes, peeled and halved
Water (approx. 800mL)



1. Break down the chicken wings into drumettes and wing pieces.

2. Pour enough cooking oil to generously cover the bottom of the pot and heat on medium-high until shimmering.

3. Fry the chicken pieces in small batches until all sides are browned.

4. Turn down the heat to low and pour out most of the oil, leaving approx. 1-2 Tbsp in the pot.

5. While off the heat, add the diced onions to the pot and sweat for around 30 seconds to bring down the heat of the pot.

6. Add the butter and put the pot back onto the heat to allow it to gently melt and continue sweating the onions, making sure to scrap up the brown bits (fond) from the base of the pan.

7. Once the onions are translucent, add the bay leaves and crushed garlic and sweat for approx. 30-60 seconds until they become aromatic.

8. Add the tomato paste and turn the heat up to medium. Stir and fry the tomato paste for around 1 minute.

9. Add the soy sauce, brown sugar, lemon juice and optional chicken bullion powder, stir and fry for around 1 minute.

10. Test the sauce to ensure it’s properly seasoned and well balanced at this stage as this will be close to its final consistency. It should be mildly sweet, tangy and well seasoned, though not salty.

11. Add the browned chicken pieced back into the pot along with the peeled potatoes and toss in the sauce to coat all sides.

12. Pour enough water to barely cover the chicken and potatoes and add the star anise. Turn the heat on high, stir the contents gently until they’re well combined and then cover with the lid.

13a. [Pressure cooker] Bring the pot to pressure and then turn down to low and cook for 10 mins. Use a rapid release method to remove the lid like running cool water down the side of the pressure cooker so the potatoes don’t overcook.

13b. [Standard pot] Once the sauce begins to boil, turn the heat down the low and simmer until the potatoes are just tender.

14. Using a slotted spoon or tongs, gently remove the chicken and potatoes, leaving the bay leaves and star anise in the pot.

15. Reduce the remaining liquid until it becomes a thick sauce. Taste the sauce to ensure that it’s balanced and seasoned. Add more lemon juice for tang or soy sauce for seasoning if necessary.

16. Add the potatoes back into the thick sauce and toss gently to coat all sides. Remove the potatoes from the pot and place onto the serving dish. Do the same for the chicken. Serve with some steamed rice.

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{ 16 comments… add one }
  • Helen | Grab Your Fork February 4, 2015, 2:01 pm

    Looks like a perfect one-pot meal, and do I detect a new direction in writing style?
    Helen | Grab Your Fork recently posted..Me Oi, Strathfield

    • Simon February 5, 2015, 8:51 am

      A little. Details is still there, just as a second page of recipe notes.

  • Ramen Raff February 4, 2015, 2:23 pm

    Looks and sounds legit bro! only thing missing it spoon and fork to make it 100% haha well done!
    Ramen Raff recently posted..Artificer Coffee Bar and Roastery, Surry Hills

    • Simon February 5, 2015, 8:53 am

      Oh man. That shot was moments before I ate it so you can see my preferences but you’re totally right. Will have to bear it in mind for next time. Thanks dude :)

  • Priscilla @ foodpornnation.com February 5, 2015, 3:16 am

    Great to see you back Simon!

    Love the sound of this recipe and I can’t wait to try it. I am sucker for chicken wings!!!
    Priscilla @ foodpornnation.com recently posted..Roka – Aldwych, London

    • Simon February 5, 2015, 8:53 am

      Thanks! I look forward to the photo and your thoughts when you do :)

  • Julia Olsen February 5, 2015, 7:09 am

    Gosh, it looks delicious! It’s a must try for me! Yum!

    I’m cooking on youtube and I’ve just uploaded a recipe for homemade falafels, hope you will check it out! Thank you! :-) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=anFe4nYoX9s

    Thank you for an awesome recipe!
    Julia Olsen recently posted..Easy Noodle Stir Fry

    • Simon February 5, 2015, 8:54 am

      You’re welcome. I hope it serves you well :)

  • Thalia @ butter and brioche February 5, 2015, 7:38 am

    I’m not very familiar with filipino food either – but this chicken asado is definitely something I know I would love, it looks so flavoursome and delicious. I have to try the recipe!
    Thalia @ butter and brioche recently posted..Blackberry and Lime Financiers

    • Simon February 5, 2015, 8:54 am

      Please do and feel free to let me know how it goes :)

  • Christine @ Cooking Crusade February 6, 2015, 10:47 pm

    Thanks so much for bringing this Simon and for coming along!! – This was brilliant, I could totally drink that sauce hehehe
    Christine @ Cooking Crusade recently posted..Christmas giveaway: Your chance to win 1 of 3 gift hampers!

    • Simon February 7, 2015, 7:48 am

      No, thank you for the invitation. You are the reason this recipe exists. I’m glad that it was to everyone’s liking :)

  • Ericka Grace Murcia April 1, 2015, 6:28 pm

    Thank you for sharing this recipe. I really love filipino food and I will give a try and share it to my family.
    Ericka Grace Murcia recently posted..Tinola: Chicken Soup with a Twist

  • Heather August 14, 2015, 10:51 am

    Wow! I just finished making and eating this and I wouldn’t have believed it was possible to get that much flavour in so little time. So delicious and will definitely be made again. Simon, thank you for such a good recipe and I enjoyed the detailed instructions and your recipe notes.

  • Racquel March 30, 2016, 8:28 pm

    As a Filipino, i had low hopes that this would hit the mark, however, this was quite delicious! If reduced right, you really do get some yummy flavours.
    I changed it just a touch for my own: chicken boneless thigh (agreed bones are better but my parner likes boneless) 280g of tomato past and cooked through for 5 minutes. I added ABC soy sauce and Japanese soy. 1 whole lemon. 8 bayleaves. And Ghee instead of butter.

    I really love your recipe. Thank you :D

    • Simon March 31, 2016, 8:20 am

      Hi Racquel. I really glad that I met your low expectations :) hehe.

      Seriously though, I’m glad to hear that you and your partner had enjoyed the recipe and your variation of it looks like it would have been just as good. Thanks for the feedback. Really appreciate it :)

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