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    Filipino Chicken Asado (Kapampangan Style)

    Another cracker Filipino stew. This Chicken Asado is simple in nature, yet there are so many flavors going on at the same time. It’s got tangy, sweet, sour, and savory all at once – a real umami bomb.

    I marinate the chicken in citrus juice and soy sauce for that extra boost of flavor, then braise it in tomato sauce until it’s tender and falls right off the bone. It’s a dish that’s sure to impress!

    ALERT: It’s going to be very difficult to say NO to rice when this one is finished cooking in your kitchen!

    Bowlful of chicken asado on a platter full of rice.

    I am always excited when some stew or curry is happening in my kitchen. There is something special when meat is cooking slow and low in my pot. Every single time it takes a little different shape, with a little different outcome.

    I absolutely love Filipino food, mild in spice but rich in the complexities of flavor. Our chicken caldereta and pork menudo are stars, and are very popular with our readers. So I decided to give Asado a try. One look at my bowl and I know this one is a keeper too.

    What is Chicken Asado?

    Closeup of this bowl of Filipino stew.

    Does Asado sounds Spanish to you? Yes it is. The word Asado comes from the Spanish word “Asar” meaning to roast or grill. In general it refers to anything that is roasted, grilled or barbecued. The classic example is Mexican or Cuban pollo asado, which is marinated chicken grilled or roasted.

    Well this Filipino asado is nothing like the asado from some of the Spanish speaking countries. Here the meat is braised low, slow and steady in a tomato based sauce.

    The Philipines was under Spanish rule for over 300 years. But long before that, they were already trading with China. The mingling of various cultural and culinary influences is very typical in Filipino cooking.

    This stew has elements of stewing the meat in tomato sauce, something they might have adapted from Spanish culture, whereas the presence of soy reveals Chinese influence too. In fact, there is a complete Chinese variation which uses brown sugar and Chinese spices like five spice.

    Asado is something passed from one generation to another, going from mothers kitchen to daughter’s. Every province of the Philippines has little variations, and no household has the exact same recipe. This is their everyday affair, as well as a dish for special occasions, something that they hold close to the heart.

    Big potful of chicken asado.

    Ingredients Needed

    To marinate the chicken

    • Chicken – Traditionally whole cut up chicken goes in asado. I am using bone in chicken thighs with the skin removed. Any dark meat results in more flavorful and tender stew.
    • Lemon juice – Filipino chefs commonly use calamansi juice instead. It is a citrus fruit similar to lemon.
    • Soy sauce
    • Garlic – Finely chopped.
    • Bay leaf
    • Star anis
    • Freshly cracked black pepper

    For the stew

    • Onion – Chopped.
    • Tomatoes – I am using canned tomato sauce here. You can use canned diced tomatoes, just blend them to make them saucier.
    • Garlic – Finely chopped.
    • Oyster sauce
    • Sugar
    • Potatoes – Cubed.
    • Bell peppers – Cubed.

    Chicken Asado Recipe

    Like the simple and few ingredients, it’s a simple straightforward recipe.

    To start making Chicken Asado, I marinate the chicken with all the marinade ingredients. I do this either in the morning or afternoon. The key to a tasty asado is letting it marinate for at least two hours, but longer is even better if I have the time. Then, I cover it up and store it in the refrigerator.

    Chicken pieces marinating in a metal bowl.

    When I’m ready to cook, I heat up some oil over medium heat. The first thing I do is to add some color to the chicken. I take the chicken pieces out of the marinade (but I keep the marinade aside because I’ll use it later in the stew) and cook them for about 4-5 minutes on each side until they’re nicely browned. Then, I take the chicken pieces out and set them aside on a plate.

    Cooked chicken pieces on a white plate.

    In the same pan, I sauté the onion and garlic until the onion becomes soft and gets a light brown color. Then, I add in the tomato sauce and the marinade that I reserved earlier, and cook it all together for a couple of minutes. After that, I stir in the oyster sauce.

    Now it’s time for the chicken pieces to go back into the pot. I cover it and let it cook for about five minutes. Then, I add in one to one and a half cups of water, depending on how saucy I want my stew to be (asado in general is a thick stew). I also add in some sugar to balance out the tanginess from the tomatoes and lemon. I cover it again and let it cook for another 10 minutes.

    While it’s simmering, check out my collections of the best Asian Recipes and Curry Recipes.

    Chicken added back into the pot with the gravy.

    Later I add in diced potatoes. There goes all the flavors, savory umami from the soy, tang from lemon and tomato, sweet from sugar. I let the chicken cook happily in all these varied flavors.

    It is common to add liver paste to thicken the sauce. As you can see, I am skipping this step, just a personal preference.

    Oftentimes, the locals like to fry their potatoes in some oil and add them to the stew towards the end, when chicken is cooked. You can try that some day, but personally I feel it’s an extra time consuming step without contributing too much to the flavor.

    Towards the last 10 minutes of cooking, I add diced bell peppers. You want them to still retain their crunch when your asado is ready to serve.

    Finished product in the pot.


    1. Some days I use fresh tomatoes instead of canned tomato sauce. The asado turns out less tangy, as fresh tomatoes are sweeter than canned.
    2. The Chinese style of cooking asado skips the tomatoes completely. Along with soy, the chicken is cooked in chicken broth with most of the same ingredients, with the addition of Chinese five spice powder.

    What to serve this with

    Big serving of chicken asado in a black bowl.

    I always serve this stew with a heaping bowl of steamed hot rice. This stew turns up so delicious that the rice goes off the plate pretty fast.

    It’s very common to use shredded asado chicken as a filling in Filipino steamed buns. This is called “siopao Asado”.

    Cauliflower rice or mash are great options to finish off this yum chicken stew if you’re watching carbs.

    The bowl of stew with the pot in the background.

    Filipino cooking is so easy, yet packed with dense flavors. If you want to try some new Asian style recipe, cook Chicken Asado, my style! It’s more like chicken cacciatore, braised in tomato sauce, just some additional Asian flavors.

    Pin or bookmark this stew and keep on coming back to GypsyPlate. There’s a lot more coming your way… 🙂

    Chicken Asado, on our Gypsy Plate… enjoy!

    Bowl of chicken asado atop the Gypsy Plate.

    Try these other great chicken curries and stews!
    Indian Chicken Masala
    Dominican Pollo Guisado
    Trinidadian Curry Chicken
    Persian Fesenjan
    Chicken Tagine
    Fricase de Pollo
    Vietnamese Chicken Curry

    Chicken asado.

    Filipino Chicken Asado (Kapampangan style)

    Yield: 6 servings
    Prep Time: 10 minutes
    Cook Time: 45 minutes
    Total Time: 55 minutes

    My Filipino Chicken Asado is simple in nature, yet there are so many flavors going on at the same time. It’s a brilliant combination of tangy, sweet, sour and savory.


    To marinade

    • 2 pounds bone in chicken thighs, skin removed
    • ¼ cup soy sauce
    • ¼ cup lemon juice
    • 2 bay leaves
    • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
    • ½ tsp black pepper
    • 1 star anise

    For Asado

    • 3 Tbsp oil
    • 1 onion, chopped
    • 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
    • 1.5 cup tomato sauce
    • 2 Tbsp oyster sauce
    • ½ Tbsp sugar
    • 1 large potato, cubed
    • ½ red bell pepper, cubed
    • ½ yellow bell pepper, cubed
    • ½ green red bell pepper, cubed


    1. Marinate chicken with all marinade ingredients for at least a couple of hours.
    2. Heat oil in a pan over medium heat and sear chicken (reserve the marinade for later) undisturbed 4-5 minutes per side. Plate it out.
    3. In the same pan, sauté onion and garlic till onion gets soft, translucent and lightly browned.
    4. Add in tomato sauce, remaining marinade and oyster sauce. Cook for 2-3 minutes.
    5. Add in chicken, mix well. Cover and cook for 5 minutes.
    6. Stir in 1.5 cups of water along with sugar. Stir well. Cover and cook for 10 minutes.
    7. Add in potatoes (see note 1) and continue cooking till chicken is cooked. Towards the last 10 minutes, add in diced bell peppers. Cook till chicken is fall off the bone. (see note 2)


    1. You can fry the potatoes separately in the beginning and them add them towards the end when the chicken is almost cooked.
    2. Chicken is considered safe to eat at 165°F. For fall off the bone tender, I prefer to cook it to 180°F.
    3. You can cook the same recipe with fresh tomatoes instead of canned.
    4. For a saucier version, increase the amount of water.
    5. Leftovers: They are great, as with any other stew. Store in an airtight container up to 3-4 days in the fridge. This one freezes well for a couple of months.

    Nutrition Information
    Yield 6 Serving Size 1
    Amount Per Serving Calories 346Total Fat 16gSaturated Fat 3gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 13gCholesterol 138mgSodium 1248mgCarbohydrates 22gFiber 3gSugar 6gProtein 31g

    Nutrition information calculated by Nutritionix.

    Did you make this recipe?

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    Picture of Alpana, blogger and recipe developer at GypsyPlate

    Welcome to GypsyPlate! I'm Alpana, former wordwide tour manager and professional caterer, now full time blogger. I love exploring cuisines from around the world, and my recipes have been featured on sites such as MSN, Parade, Brit + Co, CNET and AOL. You can explore my entire collection of sortable recipes in my Recipe Index or learn more about me here.

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