Apritadang Manok / Chicken Saute with Tomatoes, etc.


I am guessing that Afritada or fritada refers to frying or sauteeing in Spanish. So Pollo Afritada or some such name would approximate the “original” or inspirational recipe for our own local version (and it was just as likely made with pork, as well). At any rate, I found lots of similar recipes from Spanish cookbooks that include onions, potatoes, green and red peppers, peas, tomatoes (or sauce), garlic, sometimes sherry, vinegar or wine, etc. It seems the ingredients and the loose method of cooking resulted in a well-like “everyday” dish that stuck with local cooks even after the Spanish were gone… But forget about the underpinnings of this dish and finding the “true” or most authentic version…to me, this is one of those totally carinderia or office canteen comfort foods. I LOVE apritadang manok, period. My mom or the cooks made it a lot, and in a school or office lunch setting where I wasn’t too keen on the other viands, this was one of the default choices.

I have a heavy bias towards tomato based dishes and I should have purchased stock in Heinz or Del Monte considering how much ketchup I afri2consumed as a kid, so it’s not a surprise that this dish is one of my childhood favorites. Most local households have their version of this and I have rarely had a totally inedible version (except for those with shards of chicken bone and hardly any meat…). One shouldn’t really have a recipe for this, rather it is done by mood and feel and available ingredients… If I am feeling more “authentic,” I use olive oil, saute the chicken parts till browned, add some crushed garlic, then onions, carrots, red bell peppers, some paprika, potatoes, crushed tomatoes or tomato sauce, salt and pepper and a bit of chicken broth if you want it on the saucier side. Cook another 10-15 minutes until flavor are all melded and everthing is cooked through. If you want the more pinoy version, you use some vegetable oil, saute the chicken until browned, add many of the same ingredients above except the paprika and use tomato sauce and a splash of patis for saltiness. Bay leaves are another flavor option. A splash of vinegar or wine makes this closer to a “cacciatore” style of chicken. I would even experiment with mushrooms if you like them. Those needing color and vitamins add green peas. The variations are many and I like almost all of them! Despite having starch from the potatoes, serve this with lots of rice. I like to put the tomato-ey sauce on the rice….yum!

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21 Responses

  1. Afritada doesn’t rock my boat inasmuch as kaldereta. To me, it’s like culinary purgatory — ok kung meron, ok lang kung wala. In any case, what you made looks good, MM! May pagka-retro feel ang photo mo like those dated black and white Daza cookbooks and kitschy recipe books na palaging may barkadang pinya yung ulam na nasa “puswelo”….

  2. How can I forget afritadang manok? It was one of the main dish featured at the boarding house where I stayed while attending college in Manila. We only got two pieces of meat the rest were potatoes and bell pepper swimming in a pool of tomato sauce. My appetite then was good and metabolism was fast so I ate it with tons of rice and patis on the side. I made it through college.

  3. hi, MM — could this be your LP14 post and you just forgot to tell me about it? let me know so i can add it to the roundup. deadline is October 15.

  4. I am about to cook some chicken breasts for our supper and what a fluke i clicked on your site and gave me a great idea- afritada!. thank you I don’t need to think more further.

  5. one of the first dish i’ve learned to cook when i was still in the phils., i want my potatoes fried, so i fried them first before adding to the dish at the last minute ….but haven’t cook it in a long time now…. mmmmm….maybe this weekend…..thanks again MM for the idea :)

  6. Yes! basta apritada… Easy to cook and most people will eat it. But I like afritada using achuete instead of tomato sauce…mmmm, just yummy!

  7. I love our old cook’s version which we actually called “sarsiado”. Off-topic, you mentioned your love for ketchup as a kid. I just noticed in the last few months the absence of Heinz in the supermarket shelves. What happened to it? I prefer this brand over the other one. i actually don’t like the taste of the other brand.

    I also love tomato-based stews…callos, beef caldereta/stew, name it. As long as it is cooked well. Comfort food! Yum!

  8. I thought I was just too picky with lunch when I was a kid. I must’ve had this dish at least twice a week at the school canteen whenever the nuns can’t seem to come out with something more interesting. Twice a week means I choose a different dish for the 2 other days of the school week. The fifth day simply leaves me with no choice since its fish only on Fridays. This is my default choice. As result, I have not had this for quite sometime. Now after reading this post, I get this sudden urge to have this dish again. I’ll definitely make some tonight.
    BTW, I am also a ketchup (or catsup) addict, then and now. Del Monte is my brand of choice. Not very fond of the Pinoy banana variations, except with Max’s fried chicken.

  9. Haha i do the same variations (eg EVO/paprika vs veg oil/patis)in the recipe for the exact same reasons as MM’s. except i have one other variation: the addition of either siling haba or labuyo and pimientos (or chargrilled black and then peeled capsicum slices).

    There is a Turkish version that’s equally interesting involving chicken and eggplant, served with yogurt on the side. In fact Turkish everyday food (other than kebabs) is strikingly similar in taste and appearance to pinoy food. Try visiting Turkey on your next trip– interesting places, very good food that is familiar to pinoys, believe it or not.

    oh and i believe it’s apritada for pinoys and fritada for spaniards. ..if you ask me, apritada is pretty close to the spanish dish pollo al chilindron (chicken w capsicums) as well. indeed, i would say that pollo al chilindron probably served as the original inspiration for our pinoy apritada.

  10. I just cooked callos for lunch, I really don’t have the recipe but I think it’s close to afritada, with the addition of garbanzos. . .well it turned out good though. . . hehe

  11. one of the very first few dishes i learned to cook when i was still in high school. I would pester my lola to teach me how to cook and she one day allowed me to cook apritada with her just looking over my shoulder. it turned out good and eversince my lola would teach me dishes which up til now i am using to feed my family and satisfy my longing for my lola..i love mashing the potatoes on my plate and adding some of the sauce to it, instant mashed potatoes with a twist!! hehehe!!

  12. Yep, I used to put ketchup on everything as a kid. I miss this from back home. Will try your recipe soon. I remember our cook used to put liver sauce (pate) in it. Have you ever tried that variation?

  13. Another dish cooked by my in-laws differently (different from the tomato-based sauce everybody are used to): they don’t use tomato sauce in their afritada! They cook afritada by sauteeing garlic, onion quarters and red pepper chunks, pork and shrimp (with tails on), adding shrimp and pork broth (from shrimp heads and parboiled pork), flavoring with fish sauce, simmering well to blend the flavors of pork and shrimp. Then finally fried potatoes are mashed in the sauce to thicken it, and some fried tomatoes left unmashed. Surprisingly even in the abscence of tomato sauce, the dish tastes like Afritada! Probably from the blend of red peppers and potatoes, and the shrimps are an added treat!

  14. I tried this recipe last weekend along with the Adobo with Duhat balsamic vinegar. Both turned out great. I felt like a culinary goddess! It’s the first time I trusted my instinct and senses instead of sticking to a measured recipe. Thanks for inspiring me!

  15. When there’s is ” TULUNGAN” for the wedding feast in our province, I usually watch how they cook. Normally, about 20 kls. were cooked ata. After they marinate it they put some space in the middle of the basin para daw makahinga yung ulam.LOL And I have noticed and even it is my Lolo’s way to use atchuete instead of tomato sauce.. But it tastes great talaga!

  16. good, i’m not just imagining things… one can actually make apritada(pinoy / carinderia version) with just achuete instead of tomato sauce. that’s what a vaguely remember from my childhood and that is what i wanted to introduce to my boyfriend. but he insisted that i need tomato sauce to make afritada, period! hah! :)

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