Chicken Sisig

DSCF7109 (640x480)This is my 50th blog. I never expected to hit fifty. It was a struggle to hit even three blogs when I started May of last year, but through the changes of the season and with the quick passing of the year, I managed to cup up this huge amount of dishes. To celebrate this monumental event, I have dedicated this 50th episode to my and to everybody’s all-time favourite lunch and late night snack: The SISIG.

This is my third Sisig dish, and it continues to mutate like a flu virus. My first ever attempt to make one was using marinated lean pork similar to most Pinoy BBQ dishes and grilling it thereafter. It was a healthy a sisig so to speak with less grease involved and more smoky to sweet aroma. The second one was made of Roasted Turkey Legs and bits and pieces of leftover lean pork and bacon slab. That turned out to be a spectacle as well. This one was a challenge. Houston was calling once more and had requested to recycle the Tinola. Sisig was on his third addendum; being the Fried Chicken and Chicken Curry the first two.

It was also about this time that I went to a Filipino restaurant in the suburbs and was dissatisfied with the Chicken Sisig they had served. It was handed cold and was too clean to be called a Sisig. Moreover, I didn’t smell anything pungent, garlicky or otherwise, that should have been emanating from the mixture of spices and sauces to be worthy to be called a Sisig extravaganza. That experience further led me to make this one. This Sisig is made from leftover Tinola drums.

Ingredients:

  • Leftover Chicken Tinola Drumsticks
  • Leftover Finger Pepper Chili (I think)
  • Red Onion
  • Green Onion
  • Garlic, minced to a paste
  • Thai Chili
  • Knorr All-purpose seasoning
  • Patis
  • Light Soy Sauce
  • Lemon Juice
  • Brown Sugar
  • Sea Salt
  • Ground Black Pepper
  • Cornstarch & Flour, for dredging
  • Hot Sauce, Optional

Remove the meat from the bones of the drumsticks and coarsely chop. Dredge with cornstarch and flour and season with salt and pepper. Pan-fry until golden.

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Set them on one side of the wok and add the red and green onions. Saute until aromatic. Add the garlic paste and Thai chili and continue stirring. Drizzle with a generous amount of Knorr followed by a touch of light soy sauce and Patis. Add a pinch or two of brown sugar, and season with sea salt and ground black pepper. Squirt with lemon juice and hot sauce before serving.

This is freestyle Sisig. I worked with what I had in my fridge, and really didn’t follow any particular recipe. It was all according to taste.

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Pork Hock & Meatball Stew (Ragout De Pattes Et Boulettes)

DSCF7098 (640x480)I am back after several weeks of hiatus.  There was a lull and a gray mist that left me with basically nothing to write nor to cook about that was worth of a blog. Moreover, unknowingly I guess, stress might have caught-up on me and I had to step back for a bit and set aside other matters (including Tai Chi and reading)  to gather much needed energy and personal motivation to continue writing about personal food accounts or food ‘stories.’  I went to several groceries for some inspirational kicking in the butt, however I still fell short of coming up with something productive that is worth remembering and instead became counterproductive.  I ended up buying cuts with no stories nor special myths behind them, up until last week when I was eavesdropping into a conversation by two ladies discussing oatmeal recipes in a crowded bus during the morning rush hour. I was intrigued how passionate the other woman was about vigorously stirring the ‘organic’ oats to achieve the appropriate consistency in the end product.  The discussion went further about the various fruits, sugar (never sugars, please) and milk or ‘add-ons’ which made the oatmeal more succulent and savoury. And when they skipped-off the bus, I recalled how much oats I have vigorously stirred throughout my professional kitchen life and I was not really passionate about waiting and stirring non-stop until the oats had thicken.  My neck was on the line and I had other chits on my board about a mile long. I’ve definitely done many, and I just smiled throughout the trip up until I reached work. I don’t do oats anymore. It has been substituted by rice enough to feed at least 200 (Iska knows. She’s my food and just recently shoe confidante when I’m in the weeds). Thanks!

I still came home empty-handed after work, but found this pork hock recipe instead. It’s a French-Canadian Christmas recipe of Quebec which further inspired me to make it. Luckily, I bought and froze a package of hocks during those static moments when ‘it’ was not arriving. Moreover, by the summer is over, Christmas will be knocking on our doors again and this should be perfect for those cold and wintry days and nights.  I have no idea how traditional or authentic this could be, but as long as there are hocks involved,  I am all-in for that.  Who doesn’t love pork hocks? Who doesn’t love ‘Pata’? Who doesn’t love anything crispy and crunchy? I’m not heading to that though, unfortunately. Sorry Philippines.

There were several ways how it was done, but the basic browning of the meat and creating a nutty roux were always included in the procedures.   I skipped the browning procedure and did it the Filipino way of preparing a ‘Pata’ by boiling the hocks for hours end until tender with a bunch of aromatics and spices and added and reduced the chicken stock and pork broth in one pot.

Ingredients:

  • Pork Hocks
  • Ground Beef or Pork
  • Chicken Stock
  • Onions, diced
  • Garlic, minced
  • Cinnamon
  • Nutmeg
  • All Spice
  • Cayenne Pepper
  • Bayleaf
  • Butter
  • Sea Salt & Ground Black Pepper

Meatballs:

  • Onions, minced
  • Garlic, minced to a paste
  • Cinnamon
  • All Spice
  • Nutmeg
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Breadcrumbs
  • Flour

Boil the hocks in warm water until tender with the aromatics and spices.

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Pull the hocks, drain the pork broth, and shred the meat off the bone.  Combine the chicken stock and pork broth in a separate pot and reduce to half.

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Heat oil and butter in a pot and saute the onion and garlic until aromatic.  Dust with flour and stir until the roux turns golden to brown.  Add the reduced chicken stock and pork broth into the pot. Return the shredded meat into the stock, season with the same seasonings as with the pork broth and boil to simmer.

Cook the meatballs in a pot of boiling water, strain and add them into the pot.  Stir gently and serve with potatoes or French bread. I served mine with steamed rice. I was hungry.

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