Filipino chicken afritada is a favorite chicken dish in a tangy tomato sauce simmered to perfection! With a touch of vinegar combined with the delicious vegetables, this stew is extremely nourishing and hearty!
Packed with potatoes, vegetables, and chicken, this Filipino chicken afritada is an easy stew to make for anyone that is MORE than hungry!
The chicken simmers in a tomato-based sauce that is both spicy and tangy due to the vinegar, fish sauce, and chili flakes. It’s definitely no question how flavorful this main dish is!
Perfect any day of the week, this Filipino style chicken afritada also makes great use of any leftover vegetables!
This post will go over everything you need to know to create this Filipino chicken afritada.
Recipe difficulty: Beginner level tried and true!
These chicken afritada ingredients makes great use of leftover vegetables combined with diced chicken breast! Simple and ready to eat! In this recipe, the prep work will actually be more work than the cooking but is totally worth it in the end! (Don’t worry, this recipe is super delish!)
Sam’s Pro Tips for this Filipino Chicken Afritada
Getting the Potatoes and Chicken Right
- Simmer the stew until the potatoes are just cooked! This tip is very similar to our Filipino Beef Giniling to Warm the Soul. Potatoes absorb liquid; therefore, you only want to cook the chicken afritada until the potatoes have just fully cooked and not a minute longer! If you do have leftovers (which I highly doubt), the potatoes will also absorb a little of the liquid. Don’t worry! The recipe accounts for the absorption of the liquid and will be perfect! Russet potatoes work great for this simple chicken afritada recipe and will be diced in with the vegetables.
- Cook the chicken only until the outside is cooked. The chicken will be sautéed with the vegetables until the outside is just cooked. The reason for this is that once the tomato sauce and other liquids are added in, the chicken will continue to cook in the sauce. No one likes overcooked chicken! See our 25-Minute Simple Chicken Adobo Recipe for more chicken tips and to get the best flavor! Since we are using chicken breast in this Filipino chicken afritada, chicken breast cooks a lot faster than chicken thighs or drumsticks. (Quicker to your table, right?) Therefore, watch it closely as your hearty stew cooks!
Who Doesn’t Like a Little Spice?
- Bell peppers or habaneros? So traditionally, Filipino chicken afritada is made using red or green bell peppers. As we like our food on the spicy side, our go-to spice are habaneros! If you do decide to use habaneros, use food gloves for added safety and try to keep the stem on the pepper when you cut it. Above all, tailor this recipe to how you like it! (There’s no wrong answer here, I think the question is whether you want comfortable spicy or “I like a challenge” spicy?!)
Key Ingredients – Filipino Chicken Afritada
Below are some key and optional ingredients for this recipe:
- Chicken breast: We love this healthy chicken afritada recipe with diced chicken breast as there are no bones and is lean meat! Another benefit is that it’s quicker to cook! You can use chicken drumstick or thighs, but the cooking time will need to be adjusted.
Vegetables and Herbs
- Russet potatoes: Only one potato is used, and we like russet potatoes for this! Red ruby potatoes are another great option in this stew as the skin is thin enough to be kept on. However, by buying one large russet potato you always get the perfect amount that soaks all that rich sauce!
- Onion: Dice a whole onion and throw it into the pot!
- Garlic: 5 cloves is needed for the best flavor! That’s right folks, 5 cloves!
- Carrots: Dice one carrot for the fresh vegetable taste.
- Peas: Peas have a very distinct taste, so only a ½ cup is needed. The peas will cook in the tangy tomato base of the soup and absorb all that rich flavor!
- Habaneros (optional): As discussed in the Tips section, bell peppers are more common in this Filipino style chicken afritada. If you do decide to use a bell pepper, only 1 is needed. Likewise, if a habanero is used for a stronger spicy flavor, use only 1!
- Tomato sauce: The tomato sauce is the base of the sauce in this Filipino chicken afritada. Therefore, open your 8-ounce can of tomato sauce and throw it in the pan. That’s it! Meanwhile, this will simmer beautifully with the other ingredients.
- Chicken broth: For added flavor since we are using diced chicken breast, the chicken broth will be stirred in the stew and be absorbed by all the vegetables.
- Fish sauce: Only a little bit is needed to add to that tangy flavor. We use the Thai Kitchen Gluten Free Premium Fish Sauce as a flavor enhancer to this dish!
- Bay leaves: 3 bay leaves will simmer with all these nutritious ingredients! Be sure to remove the bay leaves when serving! (No one wants to eat a leaf)
- Vinegar: Add a tablespoon of cane vinegar for that tangy, flavorful sauce. Similar to our 25-Minute Simple Chicken Adobo Recipe, we love using Datu Puti Vinegar!
- Sugar: Just a teaspoon of sugar to balance everything out!
- Chili flakes (optional): Depending on what you decide to use, the habanero or bell pepper will most likely give you all the spice you need. On the other hand, for some EXTRA spice, a pinch of chili flakes can be added to further enhance the dish. No pressure!
More Variations to this Filipino Chicken Afritada
There are a few ways you can variate this Filipino chicken afritada. Here’s how:
- Use pork or beef. There are so many variations to this popular dish! For something other than chicken, give pork or beef a try and let me know in the comments below how that goes.
- Add some pineapple: I’m not kidding! For some added sweetness, you can incorporate some pineapple chunks into this dish and have it simmer with the sauce. This is another common variation and sure is unique!
- What can I pair with this dish? Have some steamed white rice on the side to spoon this stew over. As these chicken afritada ingredients tend to be on the heavier side, this is a solid main dish that will definitely feed everyone. In addition, for more stew-like options, don’t forget our Filipino Beef Giniling to Warm the Soul or our 25-Minute Simple Chicken Adobo Recipe to add to your dinner table!
- 25-Minute Simple Chicken Adobo Recipe | Filipino Chicken Recipe
- Spicy Filipino Sardines Recipe with Habaneros | Ginisang Sardinas
- Filipino Beef Giniling to Warm the Soul | Meat Stew
- Filipino Bistek Recipe | Steak and Onions
Frequently Asked Questions
What is chicken afritada?
Filipino chicken afritada is a tangy stew using chicken in a flavorful tomato-based sauce simmered with vegetables.
How long does Filipino chicken afritada last?
For the best chicken afritada recipe, consume within 3-4 days for optimal flavor.